Real Time Power Monitoring at Six Olympic Landmarks
In a slick data-sharing exercise, six Olympic lanmarks are put under the microscope. This visualisation fosters rich data analysis against temperature, opening hours, daylight hours and rainfall.
Built by energy company EDF, Power the Games Live gives insights into how each building asset has its own characteristics and energy needs. Each needs to be run by skilled operators, and data trends can obviously help them make management decisions.
Users can examine power use over days, weeks, months and year against four different parameters relevant to these diverse venues including the main Olympic stadium. While the daily energy use on any one might not mean a lot to the casual observer, zooming out to a longer timescale on any of these facilities quickly shows the challenges faced by an energy manager. Here’s two examples of unique energy profiles from the super-modern aquatics centre and the 118-year old Tower Bridge.
This screen grab of the Aquatics Centre over the year shows how much running an event pushes up energy use. The infographic explains they need to keep the pool area at 28 degrees C and 60% humidity but the stands need to be cooler than this for spectator comfort. Natural ventilation during a big event helps do this efficiently and effectively blocking off the stand ‘wings’ saves power when there isn’t an Olympic-sized crowd.
Having a look at just a day of bridge operation shows how the power use spikes every time it lifts. The second picture below is a screen grab from the Green Buildings Alive Pulse visualisation where the daytime produces a solid and predictable block of power use in office buildings determined primarily by weather conditions.
Zooming out to a week shows that the century-old Tower Bridge has a daily pattern that is the opposite of a commercial office tower in Sydney; overall consumption is higher at night due to lighting. The data desginers have annotated when the bridge went ‘lights out’ for Earth Hour in March and where it has been showing light displays during the Olympics. Looking at the year view, however, seems to show some correlation with temperatures, a particularly cold spell lines up with a high peak for power in February, but perhaps this is just also the time of the year when nights are longest?
Measurable efficiency gains were made when the night-lights were upgraded to low-energy models, no doubt triggered and then verified by data collation. It would be interesting to see if the operators are looking into their motor efficiencies next.
The other venues wired up to the data visualisation are the Olympic Stadium, temporary 12,000 seat Basketball Arena, Velodrome (which requires three different indoor temperatures inside for best cycling performance), and the London Eye.
If you are interested in data visualisations generally, the Olympics has generated a few. Some examples are Visualising Data’s use of graphs to visualise the trends in speed increase in about 15 track events. The most spectacular is a 3D animation of all the 100m men’s record breakers in a single race, by the New York Times data-driven journalism team.
We’re always keen to see and potentially collaborate with others looking into energy data visualisation, and action research.
Sustainable Cities Collective