Smart Building

Historic town hall energy-efficient thanks to wireless solution

Author: Claudio Rebolini, Managing Director, Thermokon Sensor Technology S.r.l.
Issue 01-2021: read all articles online read as pdf

The retrofit of the “Municipio di Forli” in the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna combines centuries-old tradition with state-of-the-art technology. For this purpose, the system integrator Casadei & Pellizzarro relied on the EasySens® wireless radio system from Thermokon. The aim was to combine the efficient use of heating energy and high comfort with the preservation of the historic building.

What were the specific challenges for this project?

The centralized heating distribution of the previous automation system resulted in temperature imbalances inside the building that led to overheating in certain rooms with a significant waste of energy. The biggest challenge was to provide efficiency and comfort to a historic building without having to fundamentally rewire it. A choice was quickly made in favor of the comprehensive EnOcean-based solution from Thermokon.

Which system requirements were important?

To make the historic building management system efficient, it was essential to create a system capable of independently controlling the temperature in each individual room and supplying energy only to those rooms where the required setpoint temperature was not reached. The new automation system also had to be able to stop water circulation when all rooms were within their dedicated temperature corridors. The technicians therefore opted for a wireless system based on reliable and energy harvesting technology from EnOcean.

Thermokon Historic town hall now energy-efficient thanks to wireless solution

The SR06 LCD is an energy-harvesting solar-powered wireless thermostat to control room temperature and lighting.

The features and performance of EasySens persuaded the project managers: As a wireless system based on EnOcean technology, it enables fast installation and commissioning. In combination with the wireless SAB+ valve actuator for the radiators, networking with the building automation system is also extremely simple. No conventional batteries are needed, which means that installation is not only environmentally friendly, but also maintenance-free. This also applies to the SR06 LCD room control units deployed. What particularly spoke in the client’s favor was the possibility of convenient climate and lighting control in the rooms.

One of the greatest advantages, especially in historic buildings, is the elimination of (re)wiring. For system integrators, the quick installation of components with the possibility of pre-programming has also proven to be of great benefit. From the operator’s point of view, the EnOcean technology and the resulting reduction in maintenance and increase in energy-savings brought a high degree of satisfaction.

How was the system layout in this project structured?

The approximately 150 radiators were equipped with the wireless SAB+ valve actuator, and central radio receivers were installed in the corridors that enable communication with the central heating system.

Thermokon Historic town hall now energy-efficient thanks to wireless solution

The SAB+ wireless valve actuator is also energy-harvesting through temperature differences and balances the room temperature individually in each room.

In addition, a comfort scheduler and a standardized setpoint temperature were implemented. All units were programmed and commissioned before installation on site. The installation time for the battery-free SAB+ valve actuator was therefore the same as for a manual thermostatic valve actuator – with a significant difference: Time and costs for wiring could be avoided completely. Due to the plug-and-play principle, the installation of thermostats and receivers was also extremely quick.

What are the experiences so far?

The system integrator and the end client are both highly satisfied. The valve actuators enable optimal climate control and drastically reduce energy consumption. Aided by the building management system, the time-based temperature control also has a noticeably positive effect on the energy consumption. From a comfort point of view, all employees have the possibility of adjusting the room temperature individually.

About Perpetuum

Perpetuum is EnOcean's customer magazine focusing on solutions and products for energy harvesting technology. The technology delivers the data for the Internet of Things in a resource-saving, self-powered and maintenance-free way. In doing so, it enables the smart use of buildings, cities and industrial plants. In the categories Internet of Things, Smart Building, Smart Lighting and Smart Home the EnOcean's partners in particular have their say highlighting their expertise.

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