The University of Genoa - Energia 2020


The University of Genoa (Italy) developed the “Energia 2020” project, a R&D action within the Smart City & Sustainable Energy sectors. This innovative technology project, with an overall value of about 10 M€, has been funded by the University of Genoa, the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Liguria Region (a north west Italian district). “Energia 2020” was designed in order to implement within the Savona Campus facilities renewable and high-efficiency energy systems aimed at reducing operating costs and CO2 emissions.

The project is based on 4 main actions:

  • Smart Polygeneration Microgrid (SPM)
  • Smart Energy Building (SEB)
  • Energy Efficiency Measures (EEM)
  • Smart City Demo Campus (SCDC)

The SPM purpose is to efficiently and economically manage energy produced and distributed within the Campus, optimizing contributions coming from renewable sources. The SPM is equipped with a monitoring system for the electrical and thermal/mechanical grid, in charge of checking the functional status of all the grid’s elements and informing in case of problems or breakdowns. The SPM also includes a control and optimization system allowing consumptions’ forecasts, operations’ planning and real time control of the grid exchange, by regulating generation and consumption units.

SPM includes: a photovoltaic plant, three solar thermodynamics dishes, three cogenerating micro-turbines, two natural gas boilers, a refrigerating and absorbing plant, two electrochemical/thermal storages. Among SPM electrical loads, also some charging units for electro-mobility are included. These are connected to an E-car Operation Center platform and allow both G2V and V2G. Besides this, inside the Campus area a district heating system has been installed to satisfy the heating request. This is supported by micro-turbines and boilers thermal production, supervised by an EMS (Energy Management System) developed by the University of Genoa.

The SEB is an environmentally sustainable building connected to the SPM as a Prosumer (Producer and Consumer). It is equipped by a geothermal heat pump that covers 100% of winter and summer thermal demand of the building, a PV plant on the roof, solar thermal collectors, controlled mechanical ventilation plant, rainwater collection system, extremely low consumption led lamps and high performance thermal insulation materials for building applications and ventilated facades. It is a n-ZEB (nearly Zero Emissions Building) with a Building Management System (BMS) that interacts with the EMS of the SPM, to which is connected, and with a platform capable to evaluate in real-time the environmental and economic benefits due to its operation day-by-day. A peculiarity of the building is its Gym because it includes elliptical machines, tapis roulant and bikes electrically equipped in order to transform the Human Energy of people into Electricity for the SPM.

The EEM consists of energy efficiency interventions to increase the energy performance of some buildings inside the Savona Campus, reducing energy dispersions and CO2 emissions through the implementation of a central air conditioning system, based on the absorption chiller technology, and the installation of high-efficiency windows and doors. The project will be completed at the end of summer 2017 and includes also the development of a centralized control system to monitor and manage generation units (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and loads (Lights, electrical appliances).

The Smart City Demo Campus is a new action, currently at the design stage and expected to be completed in 2019, to transform the Campus in a “Living Lab” of the City of the Future, installing new technologies in ICT, energy and environment sectors in order to show a real implementation of the Smart City concept to population and external stakeholders. Moreover, this activity includes the cooperation with the Italian DSO to test the capability of the SPM and SEB infrastructures to operate disconnected from the National Grid, relying only on the supply of renewables and storage systems.

For more information on “Energia2020” project: