Brian O Regan

Tyndall National Institute · International Energy Research Centre
· MEngSc - IT in AEC | BSc Computer Science
Research items
Brian is head of the Energy Informatics Group (EIG), whose primary aim is to deliver intuitive transparent software applications that contribute to the digitalisation of the energy sector, and promote the use of software in efficient management of energy processes. Additionally, EIG aims to contribute to strategic energy research and the role software and systems can play in their development and operation.
Current institution
Tyndall National Institute
International Energy Research Centre
Current position
Group Lead
Skills and Expertise
Sep 2015 - Aug 2016
University College Cork
Sep 2011 - May 2015
University College Cork
Computer Science
Followers (22)View all
University of Galway
Akita University
Sapienza University of Rome
Tyndall National Institute
Tyndall National Institute
Following (42)View all
Aalto University
Mihajlo Pupin Institute
University of Galway
International Energy Research Centre
Politecnico di Milano
Projects (4)
Energy Auditing / Measurement & Verification
IEA EBC Annex 70 – Building Energy Epidemiology
EnerPort - Blockchain Energy Trading
Electricity sector is transiting through a major infrastructural change where several new business models are being developed. One of the key challenges faced by these new business models is the mutual benefits for consumers (or prosumers) and suppliers of trading in the distribution network. This project aims to develop peer-to-peer energy trade models to support energy trade among microgrids and will answer the questions around how to ensure a consistent supply of energy, how to secure the transaction and how the revenue is distributed. It will address the key challenges around hardware and software requirements and protocols, as well as issues around markets, regulations and policy. Partners: International Energy Research Centre (IERC) National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) Systemlink mSemicon Verbatm
Research Items (15)
Solar and wind energy technologies, due to their nature of weather dependency, have been recognized as not the complete solution for the renewable energy transition. Creating a solution for the short fall is empirical if we are to remove the dependency on fossil fuels and reach net zero targets. The production of hydrogen, biogas and other gases can be produced sustainably, which can also allow for the utilization of waste materials or the ability to store energy and allow a greater positive impact on our environment. However, production of these gases is not always as transparent or environmentally friendly as perceived, so with the aid of certification and blockchain, we can create a system that can guarantee their environmentally positive origin, and ultimately help assist the transition to a greener future. This paper explores the varying production methods, with consideration to their environmental impact, and the implications of the use of certificates and blockchain to monitor production, trade and usage.
The project BIM4EEB aims also to develop digital tools to support the design, procurement, installation, post-renovation operation, user feedback and profiling of building automation systems for HVAC. This helps supporting decision making, interaction with tenants and owners during the design, construction, and post-renovation operation phases. The development of the tools will be underpinned by a sound methodological approach. Work will include considerations of interoperability with Smart City technology of automation systems for HVAC. Specific objectives will be related to the development of the following software tools: A software component supporting the automatic generation of the layout for control systems emphasising on user preferences and including constraint checking of BAC-topologies against selected building codes. Data and information stored in BIM models are used to generate the initial recommendations and constraints and to deliver the final installation instructions. A software component allowing the seamless specification and evaluation of user comfort and systems performance. The underpinning information model will merge data sources from BIM (dimensional data) and BAC (factual data). An energy-refurbishment assessment tool, for bridging the gap between commercial simulators and the BIM management system. A user-profiling component allowing to compare expectations of tenants and owners regarding comfort and systems’ performance against monitored parameters. The results of this software component can be used in the pre- and post-renovation phases to update the content of BIM systems and thus to improve their accuracy and to reduce efforts for data acquisition and verification.
Smarter approaches to data processing are essential to realise the potential benefits of the exponential growth in energy data in homes from a variety of sources, such as smart metres, sensors and other devices. Machine learning encompasses several techniques to process and visualise data. Each technique is specifically suited to certain data types and problems, whether it be supervised, unsupervised or reinforcement learning. These techniques can be applied to increase the efficient use of energy within a home, enable better and more accurate home owner decision-making and help contribute to greener building stock. This chapter presents the state of the art in this area and looks forward to potential new uses for machine learning in renewable energy data.
Today, the development of decentralized energy management systems has accelerated due to the daily growth of renewable energy technologies and communications infrastructure. At the distribution system level, this approach has manifested itself with the emergence of the local energy market. In fact, the local energy market is becoming a new operating model to control local generation units. This paper describes the general architecture and the set of elements to be used for implementing a blockchain-based local energy market within a transactive management platform. After an overview of internet of things (IoT) communication technologies and the existing central-authority based applications, the general structure and elements of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks are reviewed. Next, the concepts of blockchain-based technologies and the required specifications for different building layers are outlined based on the very limited relevant literature available. The concepts and requirements are investigated to provide practical insights to design trading platforms.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Transactive Energy (TE) and Community Self-Consumption (CSC) are exciting energy generation and use models, offering several opportunities for prosumers, micro-grids and services to the grid; however, they require numerous components to function efficiently. Various hardware devices are required to transmit data and control the generation and consumption equipment, whereas software is needed to use the gathered information to monitor and manage the hardware and energy trading. Data can be gathered from a variety of origins from within the grid and external sources; however, these data must be well-structured and consistent to be useful. This paper sets out to gather information regarding the hardware, software and data from the several archetypes available, focusing on existing projects and trials in these areas to see what the most-common hardware, software and data components are. The result presents a concise overview of the hardware, software and data-related topics and structures within the P2P, TE and CSC energy generation and use models.
Since the buildings and construction sector is one of the main areas responsible for energy consumption and emissions, focusing on their refurbishment and promoting actions in this direction will be helpful to achieve an EU Agenda objective of making Europe climate-neutral by 2050. One step towards the renovation action is the exploitation of digital tools into a BIM framework. The scope of the research contained in this paper is to improve the management of information throughout the different stages of the renovation process, allowing an interoperable exchange of data among the involved stakeholders; the development of an innovative BIM-based toolkit is the answer to the research question. The research and results obtained related with the development of an interoperable BIM-based toolkit for efficient renovation in buildings in the framework of the European research project BIM4EEB. Specifically, the developed BIM management system allows the exchange of the data among the different tools, using open interoperable formats (as IFC) and linked data, in a Common Data Environment, to be used by the different stakeholders. Additionally, the developed tools allow the stakeholders to manage different stages of the renovation process, facilitating efficiencies in terms of time reduction and improving the resulting quality. The validity of each tool with respect to existing practices is demonstrated here, and the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed tools are described in the workflow detailing issues such as interoperability, collaboration, integration of different solutions, and time consuming existing survey processes.
Effective and efficient building renovations require significant data management and analysis. The ability to store, analyse, and display this data in a user-friendly way can play an important role in easing the process. The tools developed by authors of this paper during their work in the BIM4EEB research project are contained in three distinct intuitive applications that will allow users to (a) find recommended positions for HVAC, lighting, and other devices; (b) analyse data from sensors, energy bills, and other sources (weather for example); and (c) manage the data that they have on the above and create new data sets that they can share with other tools.
On October 29th the workshop corresponding to the mid-term conference of BIM4EEB (Acronym of BIM Based Toolkit for Efficient rEnovation in Buildings, Horizon Project under grant agreement N. 820660 ) project was held during the Sustainable Places 2020 event. The main focus of the workshop was a general introduction of the project combined with vertical insights on the single tools that have been developed or are still in development. BIM4EEB grows from simple consideration: according to a BPIE analysis on EPC data, about 97% of building stock, currently not in A level, must be upgraded to achieve 2030 decarbonization objectives. As the biggest energy consumers, buildings consume about 40% of energy and they are responsible for 36% of CO2—they are strategic in order to reach the set of environmental goals and subjected to renovation and refurbishment during their lifecycle according to a specific schedule. Refurbishment becomes the crucial point of sustainability not only in construction but also in the environment in general for the coming years. The BIM4EEB project focuses on implementing a complete BIM (Building Information Modelling)-based toolkit to be adopted in the renovation of existing residential buildings to make the flow of information efficient, to enhance communication and data transfer decreasing intervention working time while improving building performances, quality, and comfort for inhabitants. The platform that controls all the tools developed for the best performance of renovation is BIMMS (Acronym of Building Information Modelling Management System platform), namely a management system linked to an operational and multifunctional toolkit for different AEC stakeholders, offering tools for increasing the adoption of BIM in renovation businesses based on an interoperable flow of information. During the workshop, six development tools have been explored in addition to the BIM Management System: BIM4EEB Fast Mapping of Buildings Toolkit, BIM4EEB BIMeaser tool, BIM4EEB BIM4Occupants tool, BIM4EEB Auteras tool, BIM4EEB BIMcpd tool, and BIM4EEB BIMPlanner tool
Smart Grids (SGs) are at the forefront of the renewable resources transformative change for power generation. Due to its decentralised energy generation approach and potential reduction of the cost of power, its relevance for the energy sector is insurmountable. However, new business models and processes are necessary, and they come with integration, implementation, and operation-specific challenges. This work offers a broad analysis of SG’ main architectural aspects concerning security issues, integration bottlenecks and standardisation shortcomings in the development of an efficient platform for local energy (generation and storage) surplus trading. Through a multi-layered smart grid architecture description, this work develops an in-depth depiction of the interoperability between these layers (from top business layer passing through information and communications layers, and down to generation and storage layers). Therefore, this paper encompasses a comprehensive framework to address central smart grids design aspects and suggests a path to integrate the smart grid components into a cohesive and manageable trading platform. Finally, this work demonstrates how the proposed framework can be applied to real market study cases to highlight its solutions, provide a critical evaluation of potential implementation pitfalls, and identify opportunities for further stateof-the-art research.