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1.7 million euro grant to research sustainable behaviour and better energy management

Researchers from Roskilde University are participating in a Danish-German collaboration to create sustainable digitalisation to assist in ensuring more cost-effective consumption of renewable energy in private households. The project is supported by the EU’s Interreg initiative.
One of the sub-aims of the project is about investigating consumer behaviour and the need for electricity. Photo: Colourbox


A collaboration between Roskilde University and Fachhochschule Kiel in Germany, in addition to a number of Danish and German companies, has received a grant of 1.7 million euros for a 3-year project called Intellipower. The project is receiving the grant from the EU’s Interreg initiative which supports collaboration across national borders in the EU.

The aim of the Intellipower project is to design and construct a flexible and cost-effective electronic control unit that can go online and help to improve the coordination between the energy consumption of households and the energy production from regenerative renewable energy.

The project has been brought to Denmark by Professor Jan Pries-Heje and Associate Professor Magnus R.P. Hansen, both from the Department of People and Technology at Roskilde University. The two researchers will be spending one day per week on the project for the next three years. The project grant also includes co-financing of a PhD in green and sustainable IT.

The overall objective of Intellipower is to solve the double problem involved in both motivating private households to use electricity when it is in the form of renewable energy, i.e. when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, while at the same time maintaining a better balance in the electrical grid by ensuring that electricity from renewable energy sources is used when it is produced. The solution that the researchers in the project are aiming for is a cost-effective control unit that can solve this double problem.

The project’s objectives are divided into three sub-aims. The first sub-aim is about designing and developing the Intellipower solution (the control unit itself) which can motivate private households to use electricity when the renewable energy is actually being produced by wind and sun.

The second sub-aim is about investigating consumer behaviour and the need for electricity. Here the project researchers will focus on studying the attitudes and motivations of consumers and will do so via prototypes and pilot projects – both for the control unit and the user interface. In addition, the intention is to investigate the need for balancing the electrical grid better by focusing on the periods where private households use the most or least amount of energy.

The third sub-aim involves the evaluation of the Intellipower solution in terms of the needs that have been identified. Specifically, the project is to evaluate the control unit that has been designed on an ongoing basis. At first, this will be done by evaluating how the solution can be further developed. Later, the evaluation will be more ‘naturalistic’ – i.e., it will be done with real users and in the correct context. Finally, it will be evaluated whether the control unit solves the problem that it was designed to solve.