With a growing relevance of the energy transition, we are forced to consider the use of more and more decentralised renewable energy sources. Whilst we are seeing great developments in these technologies, their implementation is lagging far behind. There are issues in the fact that the traditional grid is not always accommodated for these sources. An area suddenly switching to run solely on renewable energy would result in an unprecedented amount of electricity running through cables that were not made to handle this load. Additionally, the dependency on weather conditions means that not everywhere is as equally suited to every type of technology. There are many complex challenges that inhibit and slow down this process of actually implementing these technologies. Analysis of all these factors can be very expensive and time-consuming, and if it comes to the conclusion that the technology isn’t suitable, it can be very frustrating. Therefore, for all our good intentions, turning it into action isn’t always that simple.
Team RED targets exactly this decision making process, by providing an interactive platform, on which the effects of lots of different energy technologies can be tested. The interactive map which we have created gives the users insights into the current energy situation, as well as providing an opportunity for them to simulate the placement of new technologies. They do this by selecting the type of technology (e.g. solar panels) they would like to add, setting its parameters, and deciding which building to place it on. The data model then calculates the effect this would have and displays this information in a way that is clear and understandable. The map works with real data to provide an accurate model for the buildings and cables in the area. This is paired with calculations and models to simulate the different technologies that could be added. The users interact with the map through a physical interface which includes a 3D printed model of the buildings. This gives a very intuitive interaction which is understandable for all people, and not only the experts and engineers.