Smart Spaces

An intelligent smart home solution for vacation homes

Author: Niels Ernst, Sales Director Northern Europe
Issue 07-2024: read all articles online read as pdf

The realization of the energy transition is a key political and social issue in many countries. Also in the Netherlands, companies and institutions are facing the challenge of reducing energy consumption or replacing the use of gas with all-electric or sustainable energy sources. Smart building automation is particularly in demand, also for vacation homes or recreation parks with accommodation facilities. Jeroen van de Vorst, Co-owner at SmartStay B.V., has developed an intelligent and increasingly popular solution using EnOcean technology and sourcing products from Rutronik, a global distributor of EnOcean. 

Managing energy consumption and costs through smart resort automation

Anyone who meets Jeroen is quickly fascinated. Dedicated, full of energy and a go-getter. A creative product developer and energy expert, who developed a sustainable ‘smart home’ solution for campers around seven years ago. He recognized the potential of smart resort automation for vacation homes, especially for operators of recreation parks with accommodation facilities. To develop a specific ‘smart heating’ concept, he asked himself key questions about reducing energy consumption in a vacation home. How can the use of electricity and heating be better controlled? For example, if the door is left open or a guest will move into the accommodation in a few hours? This led to key questions regarding the energy management of the entire vacation home complex.

“I wanted to know how the energy demand develops when all guests visit the washroom at almost the same time in the morning. And how can energy consumption be better controlled without the resort owner having to buy expensive additional capacity,” explains Jeroen. And a closer look at the numerous energy sources showed that the demand for energy is immense. The use of charging stations for electric cars, the use of heating and boilers as well as the use of lighting, kitchen, TV, sauna, jacuzzi and more. “The analysis showed that the three main energy sources are the charging stations for electric cars, boilers, and heating. Therefore, a solution was needed to control these three and all other energy sources effectively and efficiently. In a way that guests do not feel any restrictions when using them and no energy is consumed when they are not used,” says Jeroen.

Battery-free EnOcean motion sensor in use in a lodge at De Nollen vacation park in Callantsoog, Netherlands.

All technology bundled in one smart solution

With Smart Stay, he developed a smart management system for recreation park operators to reduce energy consumption and manage the transition from gas to electricity, avoiding investments in additional energy sources or labor. Implemented in ten lodges at De Nollen vacation park in Callantsoog, Netherlands, a key feature is the ‘warm welcome’ connected to the booking system. This automatically turns on heating and the boiler two to four hours before guests arrive, ensuring a cozy atmosphere, and switches to ‘away mode’ two hours after departure. To optimize energy use, Jeroen utilized wireless, battery-free EMDC activity and motion sensors from EnOcean, including two window and door sensors, two temperature/humidity sensors, and seven PTM switches per house.

Dashboard provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of energy consumption

This ingenious use has a positive effect in many respects. If they no longer register any human activity within an hour, the temperature is automatically regulated. If the window is open – intentionally or unintentionally – the air conditioning is automatically switched off. Furthermore, the air humidity is also constantly recorded by sensors so that the temperature in the house and in rooms can be controlled in an energy-optimized manner. “The system can be tailored specifically to the infrastructure of any recreation parks with accommodation facilities. All data is ultimately recorded using a ‘dynamic energy control system’ and transferred to a cloud. This allows the operator of the vacation homes to retrieve current data and initiate necessary energy control measures early on. He also has an immediate overview of where any faults occur,” summarizes van de Vorst.

Insights about energy consumption at a glance.

He got valuable support from Rutronik, a global distributor of EnOcean technology. “We are delighted to support Jeroen and develop a successful partnership. The decision in favour of EnOcean was a conscious one. Our sensors are easy to install and use and do not require a battery change. The Bluetooth® switch module of the PTM series, with its high radio transmission power, is suitable for innovative energy harvesting and energy-efficient lighting control in buildings,” says Antonio Clemente, Account Manager of Rutronik in the Netherlands.

Battery-free activity and motion sensors from the EnOcean EMDC family generate added value for smart building automation.

An investment that always pays off

With SmartStay, Jeroen together with his business partners in SmartStay B.V. has developed a smart energy management system. It makes life easier for both guests and vacation home operators. Guests can use all energy-related facilities whenever they want. The resort owners optimizes energy management. Depending on the occupancy of the recreation park, they reduce energy consumption by up to 60 percent at peak times. Furthermore, thanks to the sophisticated building automation system, the operator avoids additional investment in more labor and in more energy-generating equipment due to higher energy requirements and can therefore better manage the energy transition. The use of EnOcean’s battery-free activity and motion sensors provides numerous value contributions in this regard. They are also helpful in regards to safety, for example in the event of smoke, fire or break-ins.

Endless possibilities with smart resort solution

The possibilities with the Smart Resort solution seems endless. For example, the complete power grid management system can be operated in entire recreational parks with 100’s of vacation homes. There is also plenty of potential for the use of sensors, for example door contacts, charging stations, lighting, refrigerators, solar panels, etc. can all be connected. Basically, anything that is powered by electricity can be networked. One further aspect should also not go unmentioned. The extensive use of solar panels in the recreation parks with accommodation facilities. As the use of sustainable energy sources is linked to the current energy price development in the Netherlands, the payback from the energy provider also increases with rising energy production and negative energy prices in combination with smart management.

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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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