Energy saving

The smart thermostat

A smart thermostat, if it can be defined as such, it is the one able to adapt to the habits of the home in which it is installed and to self-regulate to ensure the best conditions of thermo-hygrometric comfort and of energy consumption. The intelligent thermostat autonomously checks the atmospheric conditions, the brightness given by the sun, the presence of people in the house and adjusts the systems, including blinds and shutters, looking for the best conditions.

Society has developed such a system Zero Computing who made it the first thermostat for the intelligent management of heating and cooling integrated into KNX home automation systems, world standard of home automation. A prototype equipped with all the hardware components is currently under construction and will be able to integrate the normal operating mechanism of domestic thermostats with the sensors made available by home automation system, but also with the weather information obtained through an internet connection.

How does the smart thermostat work? The smart thermostat is able to program the heating and cooling systems taking into account three factors:

  1. current and forecast weather conditions, thanks to internet services for local weather;
  2. the temperature programming, thanks to a self-learning mechanism of the times of use in the house: the system learns by itself the time bands in which the house is occupied based on the presence sensors connected to the KNX bus (programming can be forced manually protecting some time bands or deciding to switch off in others);
  3. the variation of the times required to bring the house to temperature, based on an algorithm that takes into account historical data on the heating / cooling speed under the same external conditions (thanks to self-learning), the energy class of the house and its thermal inertia and external temperature obtained from sensors and predicted by meteorological forecasts.

Surprising the mechanisms of the smart thermostat for the energy saving. The heating and cooling switch off automatically, if the sensors do not detect anyone in the house after a programmable time interval, dynamically varying the programming set manually or calculated based on self-learning, without violating the protected start-up or shutdown.

Furthermore, in the presence of roller shutters or automated shading systems (internal or external blinds), the system offers the possibility to increase or decrease solar radiation inside the house (by increasing or decreasing the temperature), based on an external brightness sensor, to help heating or cooling and always respecting configurable time bands (for example, it is not planned to raise the shutters automatically at night ).

The smart thermostat learns by itself. It is possible to start using the system without prior configuration, taking advantage of the fact that the system adapts to the habits of the inhabitants of the house: the system will adapt the domotic behavior of the devices to their habits while maintaining a comfortable temperature. Only the calibration of the configuration parameters is foreseen, as well as through the KNX configuration software (ETS4, normally used by KNX system installers) also through a control panel.

Once the prototype has been developed, our goal is to present it to KNX component manufacturers to create, in partnership, a discrete component that can be installed in the normal racks used by KNX components. - explains Fabio Confalonieri, founding partner of Zero Computing -. In a second phase, the functionality will no longer be implemented in a PC connected to the system via an interface, but directly from a KNX component installed within the perimeter of the bus. After development, therefore, testing and sales will be extended through partner installers. In the third phase, the presentation of KNX components to the main producers of KNX components is foreseen ".