INX, a provider of smart building and energy technologies for OEMs and facility engineers, has launched a smart energy management system it says could significantly reduce associated costs and climate impact heating buildings.
The inxware-energy platform, which is presented at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, improves the financial and environmental efficiency of heating and hot water systems by using modeling and calculation methods to identify the best times to heat the water.
It takes into account each customer’s energy consumption and a range of supply factors, and automatically optimizes the timing of heating and storage temperatures based on usage patterns and when energy is least expensive and most abundant.
The system can be integrated into OEM heating products or supplied as a stand-alone electronic product for use in commercial, industrial and domestic heating systems. The system configures itself automatically based on user requirements and system settings, requiring only an initial selection of all hourly usage rates or other differential rate energy such as solar PV.
The company says information from pilot deployments indicates that the system can reduce grid electricity consumption significantly more than fixed timers when solar PV is available. Hot water costs can be reduced by more than 80% in summer and typically up to 40% on winter days by minimizing unnecessary tank reheating.
“Many people on hourly energy tariffs are already benefiting from time-lagged electricity consumption by running their dishwasher or washing machine overnight when electricity is cheaper,” said Dr. Pierre Drezet, director of INX.
“INX takes this concept to the next level, allowing commercial facilities, housing associations or homeowners to automatically maximize financial and carbon savings by reserving storage capacity when energy is cheapest and also when more renewable energy is available.
“The carbon intensity of power generation can fluctuate by a factor of five on weekly time scales and dramatically within a given day. This variation is accurately predicted in many countries alongside the consumption factors of customers and drives up wholesale costs.
“We believe there is potential to achieve significant cost savings and potentially halve the carbon intensity of thermal energy consumption by shifting the time when it is taken from the grid.”
Chris Dymond, director of Unfolding and Sheffield Digital, the city’s digital industries association, commented: “Dr Drezet’s vision of today’s energy realities and INX’s ability to implement technologies to enabling jet lag by using cheap and available hot water storage is a great example of how smart thinking and smart technologies combine to benefit consumers and businesses.