The historic Harbour House sandstone building (Image 1) located in Derry City, was built in 1882, and was originally used as the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioner’s Headquarters. The building is now owned by Derry City and Strabane District Council and is used as office space for democratic services administration within the council.
The building is heated with natural gas and although there is some level of thermostatic control of heating within the building, the heating costs are in the region of £8,000 per annum. An energy audit carried out in November 2018 highlighted inefficient control of heating zones and increased thermal energy use. The issue for council was how it could improve heating control within the building without disrupting the building fabric.
Existing Radiator Controls
TRV - Thermostatic Radiator Valve used within the Harbour House Building. (Image 2) BMS control screen located in the basement of an adjacent building. Settings can be adjusted but there is no graphical representation of the building zones and rooms within this system at this control point. (Image 3)
Derry City and Strabane Council have worked with Heatboss to come up with an innovative wireless enabled smart heating system that suits the individual requirements of this building.
Heatboss is an innovative technology that tackles the issues with conventional heating controls – for example, in Harbour House, the current control strategy typically heats areas not in use, and has one target temperature with the same on/off times for multiple rooms. Such control systems encourage overheating which was originally highlighted during the 2018 energy audit.
Heatboss wireless devices and web applications enable room level control of heating, which is accessible securely and remotely from any web enabled device. This enables better efficiency, comfort and control of heating large buildings. Ultimately, this leads to a significant reduction in energy consumption with reported energy savings of approximately 30% in other historic buildings. Heatboss is very sympathetic to the needs of heritage buildings such as Harbour House – the retrofit installation process and the wireless nature of the product ensures that the building fabric is never disturbed.
The Harbour House solution uses the existing zone valves and maximises their effectiveness by requesting heat in each zone as and when required to the target temperature of the zone which accurately reflects how the building is used. This can be easily and remotely adjusted by a web app rather than manual adjustment or changes to the BMS which is currently located in another building adjacent to Harbour House.
The Wireless Repeater replaces the existing thermostatic radiator valve. This enables independent control of each zone. (Image 4)
The hub monitors and manages all the wireless communications throughout the building and links all the devices together. The hub is linked to the cloud so that all the heating can be managed securely from any web enabled device. (Image 5)
The Thermostat monitors ambient temperature and relative humidity levels and communicates data wirelessly back to the hub. (Image 6)
The zone controller controls central heating and hot water by controlling the boiler zones. It can integrate with an existing Building Management System. It turns the boiler / zone off when all rooms are at their target temperatures and on again when rooms demand it. (Image 7)
The Web App allows designated and trained users to monitor and control the buildings heat from anywhere. Users can easily schedule each zone and room’s on and off times and target temperatures. (Image 8)
The council expect to have the system installed and commissioned early 2021. The energy usage will then be monitored and analysed using the ‘Wattics’ system – a cloud based real time energy management programme.