Systems and Buildings Integrated into Towns and Territories: SITE

On the scale of an urban area (by 2050, two-thirds of humanity will live in cities), the building must be seen as an active node in the energy system: a producer of energy, connected to the power grid, interacting on a neighborhood scale, subject to a poorly understood microclimate and inhabited by occupants whose behavior is also poorly understood.

This theme focuses on the study and optimization of the performance of buildings or groups of buildings in their environment, with a resolutely global approach. Interactions between buildings via energy networks can be studied right down to the territorial level. The specificities linked to the spatio-temporal scales considered will be taken into account in terms of input data, modeling, experimental characterization and performance to be optimized.

Scientific orientations

With regard to energy production, we are working on the development of "improved" solar cadastral tools that take into account the specific features of the urban environment and its full extent.


Modeling solar potential on PV power plants (Diva for Rhino4Diva - G2Solaire project)



In addition to efforts to assess production potential (thermal and electrical), we need to improve the match between supply and demand. To address this issue, urban energy networks enable local sources of renewable energy to be pooled on a massive scale, drawing on the abundance of resources and needs in a given area, with a view to collective self-consumption. Particular attention is paid to the development of low-temperature urban heating networks (IVth generation networks), enabling the massive integration of renewable and recovered energy sources ( OREBE projects supported by the AURA region and RETHINE financed byADEME).

In this way, buildings will potentially become prosumers (producers/consumers), helping to satisfy needs through decentralized production. Bi-directional substations, which can then make the most of these local production capacities, are an area of development that will contribute to the energy efficiency of the area connected to the grid. The intermittent nature of renewable energies requires the inclusion of energy storage solutions to manage the time lag between production and demand. This challenge has led to a strong demand for multi-criteria decision-support tools (energy, environmental, economic, etc.) for players in the field, to help them make a well-informed commitment to this energy transition. Integrating and sizing these different technologies requires a dynamic systems approach, based on exergy analysis to characterize the qualities of the energies involved (thermal, electrical, etc.), for rational use of energy in a given area.