Many environmental issues such as global warming and air pollution occur due to energy consumption. What do you imagine with the term “energy system”? You might imagine renewable energy (solar PV, wind, etc.), green buildings, district heating and cooling systems. These constitute our energy system but energy system is a wider concept which involves various components: social activity and resulting energy demand, energy supply to meet energy demand, and environmental emissions. As the population in cities rising globally, it is desirable not only to reduce our energy demand but also optimize energy demand in coordination with energy supply system so as to minimize environmental emissions.
The laboratory named “Urban Energy System” is probably the only one in Japan. We analyze, simulate, evaluate and optimize energy demand in detail focusing on how and for what purpose energy is used (i.e. end-use) at city/regional-scale. Specifically, we conduct research listed below to pursue a sustainable urban energy system.
The laboratory is promoting interdisciplinary research in the area of building environmental engineering, system engineering, technical thermodynamics, electrical engineering and urban planning etc. This interdisciplinary education and research inculcates broad understanding of diverse field related to the building and energy system studies which enable graduates to contribute in the variety of sectors like academia, government, energy, construction and manufacturing industries etc.
The energy-demand side is vitally important while performing an analysis of our energy system. The main themes of the urban energy system laboratory are the urban energy metabolism, evaluation of heat system performance, modeling and management of energy demand, and active utilization of energy demand in smart grids.