Stockholm, Sweden — (METERING.COM) — February 27, 2012 – KTH Royal Institute of Technology has been selected to anchor the new Swedish Center for Smart Grids and Energy Storage (SweGRIDS), bringing together academia with industry and public utilities to tackle the European Union’s ambitious targets for improved energy efficiency.
SweGRIDS has been awarded SEK22.5 million (US$3.4 million) by the Swedish Energy Agency to fund the first two years of operations. Further funding will come from corporate sponsorship and payments for access to industrial research facilities.
SweGRIDS will bring together about one hundred researchers specialized in disciplines ranging from physics and chemistry to systems technology and information and communication technology. In the first phase approximately 30 researchers will be recruited to work in materials science, chemistry, electrical and systems engineering, and engineering physics.
Among the founding partners are Vattenfall, Sweden’s largest public utility, and the Swedish-Swiss electrical engineering firm ABB, and more companies are expected to join soon. Also onboard is Uppsala University.
SweGRIDS will integrate closely with KIC InnoEnergy, the European “Knowledge and Information Community” involving all the partners in SweGRIDS as well as a network of more than 50 companies, research institutes, technical universities and business schools.
“One of the great strengths of this constellation is that we’ll be involved in an enormous urban development project, Norra Djurgårdsstaden, that will completely re-shape the northeastern side of Stockholm surrounding the main KTH campus,” said Rajeev Thottappillil, KTH professor of Electric Power Engineering and Design, who will head the new SweGRIDS center.
Begun in 2011 and slated to continue at least through 2025, Norra Djurgårdsstaden is one of Europe’s largest urban building projects, involving construction of 10,000 residences, about 30,000 workplaces and a new harbor for Baltic Sea passenger and freight shipping. Energy efficiency is a central theme in every step of the project’s construction and long term planning.
As part of this initiative KTH is to launch a two-year project focusing on the design of innovative new smart homes for Norra Djurgårdsstaden. The research and construction will cover a range of technologies, including precise control of ventilation and electric charging stations for automobiles. Substantial research will also go into visualizing electricity consumption so that innovative approaches to energy conservation can be put in place.
Other participants in this SEK21.8 million (US$3.3 million) project include Interactive Institute, Fortum, ABB, Electrolux, JM, NCC, HSB and ByggVesta. The project also will build a model apartment to provide a detailed demonstration of the smart building of the future.