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Management of energy and environmental impact

Better managing energy consumption and reducing our impact on the environment are major challenges of the 21st century. In order to address this crucial problem, European policy, also applied at national level, adopted in 2008, sets ambitious environmental objectives called "20-20-20 targets".

Keywords : Embedded systems design eco-design of robots power grids adaptable data centers .

Coordinator : Malek GHANES  

List of ambitious environmental objectives called "20-20-20-20 targets" :
  1. reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 (40% by 2030)
  2. increase energy efficiency in order to save 20% of energy consumption by 2020 (27% by 2030)
  3. increase to 20% renewable energy in the energy mix by 2020 (27% by 2030).

The laboratory develops these issues in 3 main areas :

  1. Energy management: how to better control the energy consumed (by consuming less, by optimizing the hardware/software pair, better, by a better distribution of energy flows, and differently by integrating renewable and ambient energy sources (energy harvesting)). These aspects must be addressed at different scales: micro (e. g. embedded battery systems with the longest possible service life), meso (e. g. robot or robot cell with the lowest possible energy consumption to reduce the energy bill, energy management in IT servers) or macro (e. g. production management / energy distribution on a regional, national or international network).
  2. Controlling the transmission and connection to the grid of new energy sources (largely renewable) and new loads (electric cars): to achieve the objectives mentioned above, the arrival of renewable energies must be supported by strengthening the transmission grid. This is broken down into several challenges :
    • the integration of modern means of transport based on power electronics (direct current links - HVDC)
    • the connection of renewable energies with new specifications for transmission grid system services
    • the massive integration of electric cars as new types of loads (low individual volume/high cumulative volume, intermittency/stochasticity...)
    • the evolution of modeling/simulation means (construction of large dynamic models, model reduction...)
  3. Control of environmental impacts: how to design / control systems (hard or soft) such that their impact on the environment (in terms of air, soil, noise pollution, etc.) is minimal.
While in line with the industrial / societal challenges (future government markets and the objectives of the H2020), the laboratory's assets are of two kinds :
  1. The immediate environment: it is favourable due to the presence of various research institutes, in particular the IRT Jules Verne, the West Atlantic Marine Energy Center for Renewable Marine Energies, the GreenLab Center cluster and also large companies such as STX, SMEs (such as HydrOcean). There is also a willingness at the level of regional institutions to engage strongly on these challenges (see the regional energy transition strategy). The richness of this environment represents an additional asset for the launch of innovative projects and the transfer of scientific knowledge.
  2. Existing internal nuggets: the skills gathered in the laboratory make it possible to cover large facets of complex organizations. Established or emerging forces include :
    • The design of fully autonomous embedded systems, which requires taking into account the problems related to the collection of ambient energy, its storage and use, in order to ensure sustainable autonomy (from one to about ten years) while maintaining an acceptable level of performance in terms of compliance with the time constraints that characterize these systems.The existing work has already made it possible to validate real-time scheduling and dynamic power management techniques that best adapt the activity of an embedded system to the profile of the ambient energy source and thus offer it a behaviour qualified as energy neutral.
    • The launch of innovative projects in robot eco-design (reduced environmental impact through the use of bio-sourced materials, and drastic reduction of energy consumption through innovative techniques  and control).
    • The TEN-ECN Chair, which is by its transverse nature: it combines skills in Automatics (analysis, modelling, control) and Electrical Engineering. Other synergies will be created to support the specific themes of electricity networks for the duration of the Chair (2014-2019) and beyond.
    • The expertise acquired over the last decade on energy management in data centers. Initially focused on optimizing the energy consumption of data centers, current work is focusing on the use of renewable energy for these infrastructures. With these new sources, the challenge is no longer to consume less but to consume better. The SEDUCE experimental platform currently being deployed is an important asset.

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