The School of Science provides a range of core competences relevant to energy. These include materials research on nano and micro level, functional materials for energy, device and computational science,systems and models, risk analysis, innovation and technology management, business management, information technology, complex networks, energy markets etc. The School has 3 chairs in Energy Science providing undergraduate and graduate level education, but in large, energy-related research is found at all departments of the School of Science.
We have two major collaborative and multidisciplinary research platforms are in operation:
The energy consumption and emissions from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equals globally to whole air traffic and will grow fast in the coming years driven by major life-style changes from ICT-based social media.
The energy needed to accomplish the fundamental computing and networking tasks is just a few percentage of what ICT system use in real life, meaning that most of the energy in ICT is wasted. The main underlying reason of the inefficiency stems from the behavior of individuals, suboptimal systems, service, and protocol designs and implementations, but also due to overall poor energy design of ICT infrastructures. Furthermore, these systems are generally unable neither to integrate optimally with energy systems nor to minimize environmental impacts.
The overarching goal of the Green-ICT research project within the Aalto University Energy Science Initiative (ESCI) is to find innovative techno-socioeconomic solutions to bridge social media and energy efficiency, which could lead to a major energy and environmental impact. This will require to cover the whole innovation chain from the theory of basic ICT to social behavior of users, business models and linking to energy systems.
The research program will first address the origins and characteristics of the energy consumption of the whole end-to-end ICT chain ranging from client end devices to large scale data centers. Then, the team will design and develop mechanisms to allow the different components of the chain to share energy-related information between each other which enables cooperative distributed optimization of the end-to-end energy efficiency. The term end-to-end energy efficiency refers here not only to the energy consumption of the different components of ICT systems, but also to the dynamic availability and quality of energy. The optimization process needs to involve a range of different stakeholders and creating new business models to enable energy efficiency to emerge as part of the business. Affective components difficult to frame and valuate, yet at the core of human society, such as artistic, cultural, and social heritage assets, should also be brought into the equation. One important objective will be to demonstrate that cooperative optimization mechanisms, instead of locally optimizing the behaviour of a specific subsystem, can dramatically improve the overall energy efficiency of ICT and to understand the consequent implications for value creation and business models.
The novelty of our research program compared to previous Green ICT projects is the end-to-end system approach which encompasses a diversity of stakeholder experiences, ICT system components and technologies, energy availability and quality, and the business dimension, not to forget the user communities with their distinct tangible and intangible capital.
The project is run by a multi-disciplinary team from School of Science and School of Arts, Design and Architecture:
Prof. Antti Ylä-Jääski, project coordinator and Prof. Jukka K. Nurminen, Department of Computer Science and Engineering (SCI); Prof. Keijo Heljanko, Department of Information and Computer Science (SCI);Prof. Peter Lund, Department of Applied Physics, School of Science; Prof. Karlos Artto and Dr. Pertti Aaltonen, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management (SCI); Prof. Lily Díaz, Department of Media (ARTS); Prof. Ahti Salo, Department of Mathematics and System Analysis (SCI)
Energy production processes creates harsh conditions to materials used in different
energy systems. The associated process environmens is often characterized by
high temperature, strong corrosion, radiation exposure, etc. Understanding the
degradation mechanisms of materials and finding solutions to extend their life-time
is of high importance for future power production.
The overarching goal of this ESCI-initiative is to understand the oxidation processes
of metals which are often the based material in energy production systems. The
research approach extends over the whole innovation chain from fundamentals
(surface and computational sciences) to characterization (nanomicroscopy, defect
spectroscopy) and application to energy devices (fission, fusion, fuel cells, solar
Coordinator of this ESCI-platform is professor Filip Tuomisto (Department of
Applied Physics). Collaboration between seven professors (5 applied physics, 1
computational engineering, 1 chemical engineering).