We developed an integral platform to house the competitions which make up the Endesa Energy Challenges, an initiative to generate novel ideas for the future of energy
The electric company Endesa has embraced open innovation as a means of generating new solutions for the current challenges of the energy sector. Endesa has launched the Endesa Energy Challenges(EEC) platform, which aims to discover innovative proposals for the energy sector through, for example, international competitions in the form of hackathons and datathons and innovation programs like Team A.
The global scale of the competitions, the use of big data gathered by smartmeters, and the need to achieve an agile communication medium between participants and jury members for project evaluations necessitated the best possible technological support.
The design of the EEC platform followed the usual steps of Opinno´s methodology. We analyzed and evaluated the needs of the project as well as the client´s specific requirements. Later, we developed our proposal for all of the relevant project streams: User Experience (UX), product, testing and final version. In parallel, we enlisted Amazon Web Services as a partner to offer a cloud computing service for big data competitions.
"The project required an integral solution because it needed to resolve several different challenges with different characteristics. That forced us to evaluate each option against the target objectives without undermining the overall results," our CTO, Jose Zerpa, explains.
The result was a multifunction and multilingual platform designed to be easily scaled-up. This was one of the mandatory requirements of the project in order to easily accommodate both participants by the hundreds and future competitions with new challenges. "The system had to grow and easily adopt scale-up measures to avoid errors that could hinder the progress of the competitions", Zerpa, who lead the web development, explains.
From there, Opinno opted for an API interface based solution, to provide an agile access point for the data generated by Endesa´s smart meters with the highest security standards. This allowed us to develop a safe format for sharing the data, which had been anonymized previously, from the smart meters which Endesa had recently installed for live services. "Achieving a scalable system was not just a question of maintenance; it was also a question of functionality. Operating datasets as large as Endesa´s forced us to identify the best visualization and modelling tools", he continues.
We were successful thanks to our facet as technological consultants. Offering a space for interaction where participants can not only develop their projects but also receive feedback from the judges involved both programming and communications tools. In this case, we turned to Cisco´s WebEx for videoconferencing capabilities, Bitbucket to allow the participants to store their code, and the communication tool Slack, one of the top ten emerging technologies of 2016, according to our partner, MIT Technology Review.
"Our job is not only to offer a comprehensive solution, but also to introduce the client to technologies or service that they were not aware of or did not use," Zerpa adds. "It is another way of demonstrating that we are on the cutting edge. We look for the best possible options to use and we integrate them into our own, in-house development."