Dunderon’s smart, digital solution regulates the energy balance of buildings by measuring and analyzing the indoor climate continously. The technology can reduce energy consumption by 35 percent, without exchanging the heating system.
“There is still a generation of plumbers out there that know how to operate and optimize old heating systems properly. Their know-how saves energy, benefits the environment and makes tenants happy – but when they retire, much of their skills are lost. They are replaced by new heating technicians, of course, but the younger generation is trained and schooled for a more digital environment and want to work with automated systems. We believe that digitalization is a key factor for more efficient energy consumption, but the technology has to be smart and user-friendly”, says Robert Kviberg, CTO at Dunderon AB.
Adjusting the energy input
”The buildings constructed today are energy efficient, with thick walls and roofs that keep the heat inside. That is a good thing, but there are some caveats; the energy-smart construction doesn’t do much good if the windows have to be opened to vent excess heat as soon as the spring sun starts to shine”.
Dunderon specializes in controlling the indoor heat flows in realtime. The company has developed an ecosystem of digital solutions with AI algorithms that regulate a building’s energy balance. The technology is built with standard components, but the core of the system is the software that monitors indoor temperature and communicates with a cloud service in realtime.
”Our digital solution DyCon monitors the indoor temperature and keeps it very stable. The system is very responsive and can turn the building’s heating system from full power to zero in ten minutes. Traditionally, heating systems control temperature with the outdoor temperature as the starting point, but the DyCon Optimizer looks at the indoor climate instead. Thanks to that, the technology is able to handle a climate-adaptive building shell with optimized operating conditions and efficient use of the input energy”, Robert Kviberg says.
”One clear advantage is that the heating systems (which may be very old in some properties) do not have to be replaced or modified to use this solution. No investments are needed, the property owner just pays for the service and the savings from the system provides instant profit. We basically just assume control over the pumps and shunts. Our system can reduce energy consumption by up to 35 percent”.
”A building has both supplied and disposed of energy in the form of heat. The supplied energy comes in part from the heating system, but also from sources that are difficult to control: the people in the apartments and their activities, solar radiation through the windows, and heat from household appliances and electronics. Some of the heat energy dissipates through ventilation systems, doors, windows and ceilings, but in order to keep a certain indoor temperature, the input and output of the energy must be balanced. We have come up with a fully automatic and self-learning solution that controls the liquid-based heating system. You could refer to is as an artificial intelligence”, Robert says.
”DyCon can be considered as a plumber or heat technician at service 24/7, always making sure that the indoor climate is optimized for the tenants’ wellbeing. Just as a plumber learns and remembers how to optimize a certain property’s heating by experience, DyCon analyzes and learns which practices work best, calibrating the heating system for optimal performance. If the property owner makes adjustments to the plumbing or heating systems, DyCon notices and adapts. If a problem arises, DyCon sends an error message and suggests relevant counter-measures”.
”Our system does not rely on weather data or forecasts. The DyCon Optimizer measures indoor temperature with a network of wireless temperature sensors distributed in the apartments. The information is transmitted to a cloud-based service where the data is interpreted and analyzed. The service quickly adjusts flow volumes and forward temperature. The property owner can access and monitor the system through a web-based interface.”
A new way to regulate real estate heating
Flens Bostads AB recently completed a comparative evaluation of DyCon. Two properties with the technology installed were studied, with two similar buildings as a reference point. The properties were constructed in the middle of the 1960s, with additional insulation added in the 1980s. In a three month period, the DyCon properties used 32 percent less energy for heating on average compared to the reference properties. The indoor temperature was very stable, with a standard deviation of 0.13 °C. The installation payed off in three months.
”Traditionally, investing in new equipment has mattered more in this sector. The tide is turning, and real estate companies are now becoming more interested in subscribing to services. Dunderon has recognized this, and DyCon is offered as a service. The system is not merely an improvement of existing technology; it is a new way to perform heating regulation for buildings. Why measure something on the outside when it is the indoor climate we want to regulate?”, Robert Kviberg says.
The article was published in January 2018.