Brno Hackathon Produces Prototype of Energy Communities App
The winning team from Slovakia will receive CZK 300,000 from E.ON for the further development of the app. Photo credit: E.ON Česká republika, s.r.o.
Brno, Oct 26 (BD) – The first energy hackathon under the patronage of E.ON and the distribution company EG.D, a member of the E.ON Group, which took place from 21-23 October in Brno’s Impact Hub, has concluded with a prototype of a new app to facilitate the functioning of energy communities.
Over 48 hours, five groups competed to produce a prototype. Two expert juries—one composed of energy professionals and the other of potential customers—finally chose the submission from the Slovak team TBD, which will now receive CZK 300,000 from E.ON and EG.D to finalise the project. The application could go live next year.
“The winning team has done the best job,” said Denisa Bajánková, project manager at EG.D. “Their prototype contains an innovation that not only meets current legislative and technical requirements, but above all, was the most desirable according to the customer jury. Meeting the customer’s needs was ultimately the deciding factor in selecting the winner. The final prototype was really focused and thought out from the user’s point of view.”
According to the brief, the competitors had to create a prototype of a web application to calculate an economic model for a community of unit owners (COOP) and a financial and energy overview and plan. 21 people from different sectors competed against each other. The winning group, TBD from Košice, Slovakia, consisted of Erik Starec, Magdaléna Majorošová, Patrik Buliak, Kristian Le and Peter Gontkovič.
“We built on the combination of skills needed, ranging from knowledge of energy and distribution, to business, to experience in analysis and software development,” said Erik Starec, a developer from the TBD team. “We slept approximately eight hours over two nights, but thanks to the quality facilities and friendly team, we didn’t experience any crisis moments.”
The winning app, named “PV Calculation,” will provide an insight into the feasibility of energy investments conducted under the joint venture utility (JVU) model, and a forecast of a system’s payback based on the input parameters of the photovoltaic plant under consideration and the consumption of the individual consumption points of the JVU. The app will help managers of JVUs to decide whether it is worthwhile for them to set up an energy community based on the calculated economic and energy indicators, and if so, will advise on the size of the power plant and battery energy storage.
The second part of the application is designed to collect relevant data in one place for use by representatives of the JVUs. It will give them an overview of the energy flows within the energy community, which they will also see expressed in economic value to motivate consumers to save energy.
“We will now focus on validating the prototype with customers,” added Bajánková. “While we got some feedback directly from the hackathon, we want to test everything in more detail with customers and define which features will bring them real added value. We will adjust the prototype accordingly. The app could go live next year.”
“It was certainly challenging to come up with a brief, to unify the idea of the result or the style of evaluation,” said Ondřej Durkáč, coordinator of the event and manager of Impact Hub. “It took months of preparation, research, questions, and meetings, but the result was really worth it. The hackathon worked, it is a useful model for solving various problems or services that E.ON and EG.D need.”