Aspern – Vienna’s Urban LakesideThe 240-hectare "Aspern – Vienna's Urban Lakeside" is one of Europe’s biggest urban development projects. Now under construction on the site of an abandoned airfield, by 2028 Aspern is scheduled to have around 10,500 apartments, 20,000 jobs, a school campus, an industrial park and a research center. At the end of 2016, there were already 2,600 housing units for some 6,100 people, a shopping street, an underground/metro and tram links. The first wave of corporate residents has also moved in. However, Aspern is not just another big real estate development. Behind it all is the Aspern Smart City Research, a joint venture between the city’s utility companies (Wien Energie and Wiener Netze), Wien 3420 (project development), Vienna’s Business Agency and Siemens as the only industrial partner involved in the project.
A special aspect of Aspern Smart City Research is the electricity grid. To construct a smart grid, among others different types of data have to be collected from building automation systems and combined with current and predicted weather information. System optimization is then possible based on this data. A core issue is figuring out how much data and monitoring hardware the system requires to calculate cost and efficiency.
Siemens has assembled a three-part package whose main components include technologies for:
- Power management in smart buildings
- Solutions for the low-voltage grid (the electrical distribution system from transformers down to individual buildings and apartments)
- Solutions for managing "big data" that include the establishment of a city data center
These technologies build the core of Aspern’s living lab concept.
Among the many unique features of Aspern’s living lab concept, one is that the cost efficiency of its electrical grid will not be rooted in a classic demand-based system. Instead, it is intended to generate and consume as much electricity as possible locally. This also requires local energy stores. The next level is to interact with the smart low-voltage grid, which allows simpler coordination between buildings and the grid.