Technology - Energy - Society: Smart Buildings for Welfare (2015-2018)
This priority area received funding from 2015 to 2018.
Technology - Energy - Society is one of the focus areas of Østfold University College with participants from the Faculties of Computer Science and Engineering.
Imagine a house in a city. The house and the people who live there are part of sciety. Imagine the you may divide the house in three levels: the foundation, the house proper with sensors and actuators, and the people who live there with their different needs. What are the needs of the people and the society for energy and welfare in cities in the future?
The three levels have been used to separate the research project Smart Buildings for Welfare in work packages. The Faculty of Engineering research the foundations of the house, its materials and the energy consumed. This is WP1 led by Professor Anna-Lena Kjøniksen. Faculty of Computer Science has separated its work in two work packages led by Professor Øystein Haugen and Harald Holone. Logical Infrastructure does research on the communication structure of the house including connected sensors and actuators, how the infrastructure communicates with the users and the society surrounding it. Therefore, we cover Internet of Things and Machine Learning as well as Big Data and Cloud Computing. Services and Functionality is the third work package and it has focus on the needs of the end-users. In particular the work concentrates on patients having suffered cognitive loss from stroke and what services they would require to return home.
Throughout the work packages we find the goal of good innovation processes and products being applied beyond the walls of the lab and of academia.
The goal of this work package is to develop user friendly, sustainable and resource effective solutions, materials and control technology for the buildings of the future.
Micro-encapsulated phase change materials in concrete
Funded by the Norwegian Research Council and including four PhD candidates and a number of esxternal partners, the project develops concrete containing microcapsules with phase change properties melting at high room temperatures. Thus, walls made with this concrete may stabilize the room temperature when outside temperature is decreasing. On major challenge is the fact that the strength of the concrete is critically altered through the manipulation. We search to create a good compromise between energy properties and strength.
Salt water power based on hydro gels
In this subproject there is one PhD candidate and the purpose is to investigate whether it is possible to extract energy from the interface between fresh water and saltwater where rivers reach the sea. The membrane technology for exploiting osmotic pressure has several challenges. Our project wants to develop technology that is not dependent on membranes, but rather based on swelling and shrinking of hydro gels. Such a system, if successful, would have clear potentials on the commercial market.
The goal of this subproject is to find out how a house needs to be self-sufficient with energy in harsh arctic climate, where temperatures are low and sunlight scarce in the winter, combined with icing and snowstorms.
Logical Infrastructure is the glue that ties the technical installations of WP1 to the human services in WP3.
Network and Cloud
The purpose of this work package is to investigate the opportunities that lie in communication between the different technical components (sensors, actuators), data mining, data storage and data analysis.
We have built our own minicloud on which we can experiment and explore the logical infrastructure.
Modularity and Abstraction
Modularity is a requirement such that it should be simple to evolve the systems such that pieces of the technical infrastructure may be replaced without jeopardizing the continuous functioning of the system. Modularity is achieved e.g. by applying Arrowhead Framework on which we contribute in the European project Productive4.0.
Productive4.0 has over 100 European partners and around 100 MEUR budget. The Norwegian consortium has two local industry partners, Unger Fabrikker and Prediktor, both located in Fredrikstad, in addition to SINTEF Digital in Oslo and TellU from Asker.
The logical infrastructure shall in turn support the services of WP3 such that the threshold for innovation and creation of new services and functionality for humans will be low. The services should also be robust against internal evolution of the logical infrastructure.
The logical infrastructure comprises cyber-physical systems of different purposes. We research how cyber-physical systems should be modelled and implemented to support effective design that is robust and suited for real time analysis. Big data and machine learning and cloud technology will also be central to this work package.
In WP3 we focus on services and functionality that will improve the welfare of citizens. The interplay between man and technology for a better everyday life is the focus. To this end the principle of participatory design where the user participates actively in the development is crucial.
There are some concreate subprojects in this work package:
The interactive achievement plan
One PhD candidate will investigate what technology could best support the rehabilitation of patients having suffered strokes where the brain damage has resulted in a cognitive challenge. The subproject is conducted in close cooperation with Sunnaas Hospital. Central in this is the achievement plan which is worked out in cooperation between health personnel and patient and which describes the activities and the goals that should be reached in the course of the rehabilitation process.
The innovation journey of welfare and health technology
Faculty of Computer Science also collaborate with Faculty of Health to follow Fredrikstad Commune in their innovation journey where new technology and organization of health services are introduced to strengthen the services and maintain user participation.
Speech recognition as method of interaction
Collaborating with Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and Edda Systems we investigate what opportunities lies in the use of speech recognition for interaction with data systems. The pilot Master project is in cooperation with air traffic control, but may have potential synergies with smart homes and even industrial applications.