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New service optimizes the indoor temperature around the clock

Published: December 8, 2022, 10:14 p.mHeating costs normally account for 30–40 percent of a property’s ongoing operating costs. With Riksbyggen’s intelligent service Heat optimization 24/7, condominium associations and apartment buildings can reduce their heat consumption by up to 20 percent. As a bonus, the indoor climate becomes more even.Read more about Heating optimization 24/7The Värmeoptimization 24/7 system collects data, such as indoor and outdoor temperature, whether it will be cloudy, sunny or windy and how hot or cold it will be in the coming hours. – Through a model with machine learning that we have developed predicts the system if it will be too cold with current settings in a few hours and then the temperature setting will be raised. If it gets too hot, it is lowered, explains Jonas Holmberg, energy engineer at Riksbyggen.

Learn with the help of AI

Using AI, artificial intelligence, the service learns how the building reacts to heat changes in temperature and uses weather forecasts to maintain a more even indoor temperature, resulting in lower energy use.Jonas Holmberg, on the right, is an energy engineer at Riksbyggen.Jonas Holmberg, on the right, is an energy engineer at Riksbyggen. And for the association, it’s actually not as complicated as it sounds. The only thing that is required in the property is a secure internet connection and that a small wireless temperature sensor has been placed in at least half of the property’s apartments. – The model makes a prediction of how it will turn out. The sensors detect the indoor temperature, and the AI ​​adjusts the settings once an hour, so we quickly notice what happens to the building when adjustments are made, explains Jonas Holmberg. – If it gets a lot colder when we lower the heating curve, it is corrected for the next hour, even 0.03 degree error and it autocorrects itself. The system enters as an energy engineer. Things that we previously adjusted manually once a year, the system now does once an hour.

The idea came during a hackathon

The idea for Värmeoptimizing 24/7 came during a hackathon, i.e. a meeting where programmers gather to be inspired by each other and come up with new solutions. It was a competition about “the digital operations engineer”, where the question was how buildings can be energy optimized and become part of the sustainable future. – Several universities participated and competed in a computer game-like setup. I sat in to show how a building works, and when I happened to say to my boss “How hard can it be?” he said “Why don’t you try it yourself?” says Jonas Holmberg. – So me and the programmer Helena worked together: I showed how buildings work, she developed an AI model of how they can be controlled.

Tested in 2021

The system was tested for the first time in a real building in March 2021, then with only a first function that alone provided a saving of 18 percent. Since then, several functions have been built on, and in November 2021 the Heating Optimization 24/7 project could be started in earnest. – The first function was whether the heating system should be on or off at certain times. Then we added how hot the elements should be when the system is running, then how hot the supply air should be. We have a long list of functions we can add now that we have the base, says Jonas Holmberg. He continues with an example: – Now we are working on a collaboration with a district heating plant. On Monday mornings when everyone wakes up and goes to shower, the district heating plants have problems supplying enough heat. But we know that the temperature in the houses will rise from the free heat that the showers generate, and this means that we can turn off the heat in the buildings so that the district heating plants do not have to activate their reserves of oil burners and the like.

“This is good for the environment”

Officially, Riksbyggen says that you can get up to 20 percent savings with Värmeoptimization 24/7, but in buildings that have worked very poorly in the past, Jonas Holmberg has seen savings of up to 40 percent. The housing rights association Landskronahus 1 has during the autumn as the first house in Scania installed Heat optimization 24/7. They haven’t been running long enough yet to be able to see statistics. But Jonas Holmberg feels the peace. – This is good for the environment, the indoor climate and of course also the wallet.Read more about Heating optimization 24/7The article is produced by Brand Studio in collaboration with Riksbyggen and not an article by Dagens industri

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