Symvio adresses energy poverty through machine learning.

17 January 2022

Symvio adresses energy poverty through machine learning.

Symvio, a spin-off of Fraunhofer ISE, created in 2019, is working in AI4Cities on a solution which stimulates energy conservation to reduce the city CO2 footprint and supports municipalities to prevent vulnerable households to fall into energy poverty. Furthermore, the solution enables supply companies to manage their system more efficiently and to streamline capacity planning.

The solution collects (near) real-time time-series data coming from sensors, meters, and actuators of district heating substations. It then identifies operational issues leading to energy wastes and aggregates this information for different stakeholders - citizen, cities and district heating operators - with the objective to transform this information in energy conversation measures.

To identify potential inefficiencies Symvio uses an AI technology developed and patented by Fraunhofer which combines two different machine-learning (ML) methods - clustering and decision-trees - and uses an integrated feedback mechanism to learn and adapt continuously. Ultimately, its aim is to provide reliable information that enables citizens, cities and district heating companies to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.

  • Citizens can adapt their behaviour and/or modify e.g. set-point values of the heating system.
  • Cities can promote/support/fund energy conservation measures, especially for financial weak households affected by heat supply inefficiencies
  • District heating companies can benefit from an optmized network and can reduce their operational costs and streamline their investments in new capacities

Through AI4Cities, Symvio has managed to get a better understanding of the needs and expectations of cities and their various stakeholders with regards to digital energy solutions. In Phase 2 of the project it has worked on its value proposition and has installed a pilot in the sustainable neighborhood of Vauban, in Freiburg. The company is now aiming to further develop the technical aspects and to implementing real pilots in selected AI4CITIES municipalities.

Symvio is confident that its solution has a future even if it doesn’t coninue to Phase 3 of AI4Cities, noting that despite district heating systems being at the heart of the decarbonisation strategies of European cities, very few district heating substations are well monitored. Because of this, many citiies and citizens lack enough information to be able to take action to reduce CO2 emissions and energy costs.

More information on Symvio's solution can be found here

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