Integrated Intelligent Energy/Water Management Systems

Integrated Intelligent Energy/Water Management Systems


Project Title: Integrated Intelligent Energy/Water Management Systems

Research Group: Intelligent Efficiency Research Group (Lead PI: Dr Dominic O’Sullivan)

End date: March 2016


Project description: The management of energy is one of the most important challenges facing the international community. As targets are set for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improvements in efficiency, cost reduction goals are also being imposed. The criticality of demand side management is now emerging, with energy efficiency widely accepted as being the first objective. In parallel with Energy, worldwide shortages in the availability of water of a suitable quality have now created a shift in focus towards its utilisation. Water is being proclaimed as "the new oil" with individuals and industries alike projecting ahead to the criticality and cost impact of this valuable resource. Water and energy consumption are not always fully considered as two parts of the same issue, however it takes a lot of water to produce electricity from most of the generation sources used today and it also takes a lot of energy to pump, deliver and clean water. Increasingly, the energy-water nexus cannot be ignored and indeed many water efficiency improvements save as much energy as some energy efficiency measures but at about half the cost. Within this overall research scheme, it is proposed to consider Water as a utility resource in a similar manner to other environmental energy streams.

The new ISO 50001 standard for Energy Management Systems (EnMS), which was launched in June 2011, is estimated to have a positive impact on some 60% of the world’s energy use.  A new concept is an IT system to streamline and substantially improve energy and water efficiency and demand side management practices. It is the exploration, research and development of Software for Integrated, Intelligent Energy Management Systems (SIIEMS) to support the processes required to implement an ISO 50001-compliant comprehensive EnMS which forms the basis of the research for this project.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork