Simulation based control for energy efficiency operation and maintenance

Project Summary

SmartBlocks is a Distributed Ledger & Smart Contract Framework that offers a set of software services that allows independent entities (energy services companies (ESCOs), Building Owners, Utility providers, energy traders) to leverage the concept of Smart Contracts and Blockchain technology to create a trusted and verifiable ledger of energy transactions. The SmartBlocks solution consists of the integration of three key innovations (smart blocks):

BlockMeter: incorporates secure connector modules that are deployed in a building to interface with existing electricity meters (via appropriate communications protocols). The connector provides a secure interface to capture the data (actual energy usage and in some cases energy generated) needed to evaluate actual energy performance. BlockMeter enhances the concept of a smart meter that allows connectivity to energy data, with added intelligence in order to learn and predict the energy demand for a specific site using thermal and electrical historical data. BlockMeter abstracts the underlying complexity of buildings systems and converts the physical energy usage to a digital asset (energy demand) for processing within the blockchain.

BlockContracts: provides Blockchain services to securely manage energy transactions between the relevant stakeholders. Each Blockchain instance consists of a secure communications backbone (Event Hub) and API to enable reliable transmission of block data utilising the Blockchain. The Blockchain services manage the distributed ledger through a peer-to-peer protocol. The execution of the smart contract is done by the smart contract manager that invokes the specified rules, the smart contract manager can also incorporate access to secure business networks to access relevant inputs required to execute the contract (e.g. market price).

BlockServices: As the administration of a Blockchain is not the responsibility of a sole entity, member services are required to enable registration and to monitor the reputation of each party in the Blockchain through a web based portal known as BlockPortal. Typically a Blockchain developer will write the smart contracts, and client-side applications will invoke the smart contracts. SmartBlocks provides templates and management tools to auto generate the smart contracts. In essence the parties involved will agree a set of rules (e.g. energy saving targets, renewable energy utilisation, cost) that is translated to a digital smart contract and deployed across the blockchain network. This constitutes the business logic in terms of how energy is used, distributed, purchased and audited.

A key benefit of the SmartBlocks prototype is it can gather energy data from multiple buildings, with a variety of different energy management systems, into one central portal. This is a huge benefit for a large campus, such as CIT, as it will save the energy manager time and effort when pulling together energy details and monitoring key performance indicators.

Nimbus Role


Nimbus devised a set of software services that allow independent entities (ESCOs, Building Owners, utility providers, energy traders) to leverage the concept of smart contracts and Blockchain technology to create a trusted and verifiable ledger of energy transactions. An integrated prototype for the SmartBlocks system was developed to support the demonstration and evaluation of this Blockchain approach for continuous energy auditing. Senior researcher, Dr Kritchai Witheephanich focused on the development and implementation of the energy forecasting component, to enable prediction of energy demand on-site using thermal and electrical historical data as well as prediction of the onsite renewable energy generation capacity. The SmartBlocks prototype was administered through a web-based portal. This portal provides authorised access to view and manage the SmartBlocks component and visualise current blocks, batches and transactions.


Funding Body

This project has received funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland under their RD&D Programme.

Project Start Date: 01 August 2013

Duration: 48 months


For more Information:

Click here to go to the  website.