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Saving heating demand through AI: SECAI project receives award from "Edge data economy" technology program

Making sustainability digital - this is the guiding theme of this year's Days of Digital Technologies (TddT) from August 29th to 30th, 2022, at the Berlin Congress Center bcc. At the two-day congress, the SECAI research project today was honoured as one of the winners of the "Edge Data Economy" funding program launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The research project aims at the development of AI-based heating solutions for private homes and contributes to the saving of fossil fuels. The collaborative project is led by Strategion GmbH, a spin-off of DFKI, which is one of the partners along with others.


[Translate to English:] © BMWK/Christian Kruppa
On behalf of the project consortium, Florian Remark, Managing Director of Strategion GmbH, accepts the award for the SECAI project from Dr. Daniela Brönstrup, Head of the Digital and Innovation Policy Department at the BMWK.

In SECAI (Sustainable heating through Edge-Cloud-based AI systems), which is based on the previous findings of the smart living lighthouse project ForeSight, the heating requirements of private housing will be analysed based on AI methods in order to create optimized heating plans for building complexes and apartments that are adapted to the needs of tenants and landlords. For this purpose, an edge-cloud-based AI system for decentralized heating control is being developed, which can be installed in existing buildings by retro-fitting.

In the context of the current energy crisis and long-term climate targets, the approach that is to be explored in SECAI, promises high potential for saving heating energy in a resource-efficient and cost-effective way. The technology is intended to be quickly available and applicable at short notice.

The project's consortium partners are Connectivity Solutions GmbH, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH (DFKI), the Research Association for Electrical Engineering at ZVEI e.V., Goethe University Frankfurt, GSW Sigmaringen and Strategion GmbH. The latter is not only a development partner but also the consortium leader and has received the award on behalf of the consortium today, Monday, August 29, 2022, at the Days of Digital Technologies. In addition, there are three associated partners already involved in the project: The Bundesverband deutscher Wohnungs- und Immobilienunternehmen e.V. (GdW), the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and the wibutler alliance e.V. Further partners are welcome to participate in the research project over the three-year course even after the project has started on October 1st, 2022.

The motivation for the SECAI research project

Sustainability, digital transformation, and an increasingly difficult economic and international environment are challenging business and society. In particular, the daily heating behaviour of German households is of central importance facing the challenge of climate change. Over 75 % of homes in Germany rely on the fossil fuels natural gas and oil for heating. Thus, the heating and cooling of buildings as well as the provision of hot water cause approximately 18 % of all CO2 emissions in Germany. The discussion on energy supply security and rising oil and gas prices that has accompanied Russia's war against Ukraine additionally highlights the acute and great need for action. Sustainable solutions are needed to reduce the consumption of heating energy on a broad scale in the short term. Conventional methods such as installing insulation are often too lengthy and costly.

[Translate to English:] © BMWK/ Christian Kruppa
All winners of the "Edge data economy" funding program on stage