Intelligent control strategies for efficient operation of residential as well as commercial buildings regarding energy demand become more and more important as buildings are responsible for a high amount of global energy consumption. Colibri (French for “hummingbird”) is an open source software project that aims at providing an agile and flexible building energy management. Colibri extensively uses semantically enriched information about the building (e.g. structure, physical characteristics), its building automation systems (e.g. sensors, actuators, and controllers), other energy-consuming equipment and devices (e.g. lighting system), and surrounding systems (e.g. smart grid agents, weather service providers). This information that is represented by means of common Semantic Web technologies (e.g. OWL, RDF, RDFS, and RIF) is part of the Colibri semantic core. The Colibri optimization component uses this information to identify appropriate control strategies in consideration of all relevant internal and external influences. Building automation systems as link to the physical processes are utilized to implement the elaborated measures within the building. For this purpose, connectors for different building automation technologies (e.g. KNX, EnOcean) are developed as separate Colibri integration components. In summary, Colibri is placed at the interface of emerging smart grids, building automation systems, and the Semantic Web in order to enable energy-efficient and dynamic management of buildings.
Colibri project was launched in 2016 by the Automation Systems Group at TU Wien. The development of this smart building energy management system is, amongst others, intended to act as proof-of-concept prototype within several research projects.