Thinking smart heating?
Fix the basics first
Nowadays one cannot neglect the rise of smart technology. This is also a trend in Heating system controls. The smart products and solutions provide the buildings’ occupants with modern tools that will help them achieve a higher level of comfort as well as reduction of their energy consumption. So it seems at least.
To truly gain comfort and reduce energy consumption it is important to fix the basics of any (smart or not) controlled heating system. In Europe about 80-90% of residential buildings are not, or improper hydronic balanced. As the recent study “Is Europe ready for smart building revolution?” by the Building Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) shows, one of the five main pillars to positively answer this questions is the need for proper dynamic and self-learning control systems.
In more detail the report states; “Buildings are smart when optimizing the interplay between individualized consumer settings and physical energy flows e.g. in heating, cooling and ventilation systems. For example, automatic hydronic balancing of fluid distribution in water-based heating or cooling systems or self-learning thermostats can ensure intended indoor climate at an optimal energy efficiency and minimal operating cost.”
To achieve automatic hydronic balanced water distribution in two-pipe radiator heating systems within multi-family buildings, Danfoss among others utilizes the Optimal 2 Tool. Building owners, housing associations or occupants can use it to determine if their heating system is running efficiently. In case it’s not, the tool reveals in a few simple steps how this can be improved. As soon as the system is equipped with automatic balancing valves in the risers and radiator design flows are correctly commissioned, the system will significantly improve on energy efficiency performance and at the same time avoids typical heating complaints as rushing sounds and uneven heating.
Several projects, especially in the Scandinavian region, have been implemented successfully. The overall result show energy savings up to 20%, better comfort and more satisfied tenants. With the hydronic balance well in place, the occupants can further improve things by looking into smart heating control solutions, for example those offered by Danfoss such as Danfoss Link.