VPS, ISEP and Energia Simples develop NetEffiCity project

Project NetEffiCity Virtual Power Solutions

Virtual Power Solutions (VPS), Energia Simples and the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP) have teamed up to develop and implement the NetEffiCity project, Virtual Power Networks Efficient Management.

This "forward-looking project, with innovative approaches and techniques", aims to implement an intelligent and decentralised management system for energy resources, adapted to local communities’ consumers. Thus, this initiative main goal is to significantly increase management efficiency of the available resources, "including resources for the distributed generation of electricity and loads management, through ADR (Active Demand Response) management programmes".

Co-financed by the Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation Portugal 2020 and by the European Union through the ERDF, NetEffiCity is born out of the combination of experience and knowledge on energy efficiency of VPS, leader of the consortium, together with the scientific knowledge of the ISEP’s GECAD research group and with the experience of Energia Simples in the electricity market.

At this stage, the project will only be implemented "in a limited number of communities, namely in Penela and Alfândega da Fé, which will allow validating the effectiveness of the proposed solution". This initiative will also involve consumer awareness activities, which will cover a wide range of topics from the participation, promotion and implementation of energy consumption measurement and control systems to intelligent consumption systems, and the importance of using renewable energies.

According to the Energia Simples press release, the project involves the implementation of energy and environmental monitoring measures and remote control solutions for electrical equipment. These devices will be managed by a centralised software platform that will be responsible for the acquisition, validation and storage of collected data for further processing and application of decision support techniques based on neural networks with "learning ability".

The platform will inform users about their consumption profiles, through graphical interfaces specially designed for the different categories of users, "to allow a more rational use of energy".

For the founder of Energia Simples, Manuel Azevedo, "the implementation of NetEffiCity will allow the two companies to stand out on the market, since this project, given its relevance, innovative approaches and techniques, will allow them reputation and competitiveness benefits, as well as enabling the release of new products and services".