CTIT University of Twente
Research Business & Innovation About CTIT Research Calls Looking for a job? Intranet

Centre for Green ICT

Prof. dr. Gerard Smit, Prof.dr. Johann Hurink


Energy has become a crucial factor in our society. Without energy, production processes stop, no factory nor bank nor shop can operate and neither goods nor passengers can be transported. In the centre the focus is on: 1) reducing energy consumption of ICT systems and 2) using ICT to reduce the energy consumption of non-ICT systems such as the energy infrastructure. Both research areas ask for a combination of mathematical optimization techniques and ICT solutions.

The first focus area addresses efficient reconfigurable processors for streaming applications and heterogeneous MPSoC (Multi Processor Systems-on-Chip) devices, as found in battery powered mobile devices (e.g. portable multimedia players), sensor networks, as well as medical imaging, automotive and radar systems.

A typical application of the second focus is a Smart Energy Grid. A Smart Grid evolves when an ICT infrastructure integrates advanced sensing technologies, control methods and integrated communications into an existing grid. Such Smart Grids are needed to meet the growing demand for renewable energy. Intelligent and flexible grid infrastructure help to integrate and control smart generation, smart appliances, storage appliances and smart buildings. In order to realize Smart Grids efficient ICT is needed, including efficient processing platforms, efficient wireless communication, efficient control algorithms and efficient programming methods.

Triana, three steps
Model of a house

Research agenda, scientific goals

The research in the Centre for GreenICT evolves around two topics: efficiency of ICT and using ICT to improve the efficiency of Smart Energy Grids. Next to ICT, in both topics modelling and (on-line) optimization play an important role. The following scientific challenges are defined:

Energy-efficient processing platforms and efficient control software:

The challenge is to minimize energy consumption in ICT systems. For this line of research new intelligent efficient real-time (on-line) scheduling, planning and control software plus related efficient processing platforms (MPSoCs), storage and communication infrastructures need to be developed.

Smart control systems for flexible energy networks:

The generation of energy on a small scale and in a decentralized manner results in increasingly complex energy supply networks. This trend is creating huge challenges on various levels ranging from controlling the energy infrastructure to awareness of users of that infrastructure. Amongst others we need to develop: modelling and simulating tools for complex networks, visualisation techniques, agent and algorithmic game approaches for controlling energy supply and demand behaviour, smart control systems which guarantee correctness and safety. All this has to lead to stable reliable and efficient energy transmission and distribution networks.

Resilience in smart grids:

As the electricity grid serves as the backbone for our society, the uptime of the electricity grid needs to be very high. However, due to the growth of electricity demand and the penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources, electric power systems face more and more stress conditions especially in distribution networks. System stress situations arise particularly in special situations e.g. due to fast changing weather conditions (more or less wind/sun), the temporarily lack of available generation capacity, or sudden severe increase in system peak loads. Resilience in smart grids allows a smart grid to become self-healing by automatically avoiding or mitigating power outages, power quality problems, and service disruptions. To create this resilience in smart grids is a challenging task and asks for new approaches as much more devices have to be taken into account as in classical grids.

Dependable communication networks for smart grids:

In view of the vital role of the availability of energy for our social and economic processes, a highly reliable ICT network is needed for controlling smart grids. High-dependability networks, operating across physical network domains (e.g. radio, fibre, copper cables), need to be conceived, with multi-domain fault detection and –recovery mechanisms.

The focus for the coming years within the centre will be on energy-autonomous systems. This includes autonomous ICT systems, as well as autonomous energy related systems.

Core researchers

Computer Architecture for Embedded Systems (CAES)  
Prof. dr. Gerard Smit - coordinator
Prof. dr. Marco Bekooij - energy-efficient embedded systems

Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Programming (DMMP)  
Prof. dr. Johann Hurink - combinatorial optimization, scheduling, smart grids
Dr. Gerhard Post - combinatorial optimization, heuristics

Design and Analysis of Communication Systems (DACS)  
Prof. dr. Boudewijn Haverkort - resilient communication networks
Dr. Anne Remke - resilient communication networks

Pervasive Systems (PS)
Prof. dr. Paul Havinga - sensor networks, wireless communication

Philosophy (Phil)  
Prof. dr. Philip Brey - phylosophy and ethics

Cognitive Psychology & Ergonomics (CPE)  
Prof. dr. Willem Verwey - user interaction and participation