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Energy-efficient Smart Cities: A Research and Opportunity Study for NRI

ELEKS helped NRI with its investigations into sustainable smart cities by producing an in-depth report on potential CityGML use cases for urban energy modelling
About the client

Founded in 1965, Nomura Research Institute (NRI) is a leading global provider of consulting services and system solutions, including management consulting, system integration, and IT management and solutions for the financial, manufacturing, retail and service industries. NRI is one of the founders of ELEKS Japan K.K., a joint venture established to accelerate digital transformation in Japan.

Industry: Technology
Location: APAC
Client since: 2020
Comprehensive PoC prerequisites for future product development
In-depth study of the opportunities for using CityGML for urban energy modelling
The Situation
NRI wants to assess the potential of using CityGML for modelling energy sustainable smart cities

NRI is committed to helping mitigate industrial environmental impacts through research and the promotion of technology projects aimed at reducing global CO₂ emissions. With one of its clients, NRI explored the possibility of carbon footprint reduction by developing smart residential areas with energy-efficient renovated buildings and new builds. The company asked ELEKS to explore the capabilities of CityGML – an open XML-based data format used to represent cities and urban areas – in the modelling of smart, sustainable urban areas and energy simulations.

nri energy
The solution
ELEKS and partners delivered a comprehensive multistage analysis of promising CityGML applications

ELEKS partnered with the Institute of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building at RWTH Aachen University to help NRI evaluate the potential of using CityGML for urban modelling. It also explored the potential for building-structure enhancements that could distribute and supply renewable energy.

The ELEKS and RWTH Aachen experts researched the use case for CityGML in the planning and designing of sustainable urban areas and prepared initial documents that can be used for future PoC planning. Our research and consultancy process contained three key phases:

Exploration of use cases for CityGML

The team conducted deep-dive research into CityGML’s uses and capabilities. We generated more than ten potential use cases and then narrowed the list down to three that met NRI’s criteria:

  • Photovoltaic optimisation in city quarters: a Simulation-as-a-Service solution aimed at optimising the power, location and coverage of solar PV systems within cities to fulfil energy demands.
  • Micro-wind turbine installation: a Simulation-as-a-Service solution with smart analysis and planning capabilities aimed at calculating the potential benefit of micro-wind turbine installation for building planning.
  • Micro-grid installation: a Simulation-as-a-Service solution paired with a CO₂ reduction-calculation tool that can estimate the potential reduction of CO₂ emissions as a result of installing solar/wind-powered micro-grids.

Test run with CityGML

We examined the chosen use cases and prepared a detailed test run report for one, photovoltaic optimisation. To mimic real-world conditions, the team applied various open-source tools to enhance the capabilities of City GML.

Suggestions on CityGML usage and PoC prerequisite documentation

Together with the IEESB experts, we delivered a detailed report of recommendations, based on the test run results, and suggested some unique use cases for CityGML – in combination with a varied open-source toolset. The team also outlined fulfilment methods for the use cases and evaluated them in terms of desirability, feasibility and viability, thus providing the NRI with solid PoC prerequisite documents.

nri energy
The Results
The NRI received feasible suggestions for using CityGML in urban energy modelling

Our report on CityGML uses, particularly for photovoltaic optimisation, micro-wind turbine and microgrid installation, allowed NRI to evaluate its options for urban energy modelling confidently. With this comprehensive information, NRI now has a basis from which to prioritise cases and the kick-off development of sustainable urban areas.

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