Project news
Modifier 29 November 2021
by City of Växjö

Digital Twins of schools in Växjö accelerates the innovation of Smart Heating Systems.

Digital Twins of schools in Växjö accelerates the innovation of Smart Heating Systems.
Växjö Municipality has procured an innovations partnership with WINNIIO AB to create AI-driven self-learning buildings, focusing on Smart Heating Systems. The new solution is set up to optimize the flow of energy down to each radiator, ensuring an efficient heating distribution and reducing CO2 emissions for buildings.

The solution for Smarter Buildings and Smart Heating systems that Växjö strives for are important because energy use in buildings across Europe accounts for about 40% of total energy use. Since the rate of new construction is relatively low (approx. 1-2% / year), the result is that approx. 80% of the existing buildings by 2050 will be those we use today. That is why innovation in existing properties is extremely important to save energy and to reach the climate goals. 

Contextually Smart Buildings

With that in mind, 300+ wireless mesh sensors and 100+ actuators are now being installed in the selected pilot schools. Enabling the real estate owner to collect data from these types of sensors:

  • CO2
  • Temp/humidity
  • Occupancy
  • Doors, windows, open or closed
  • Return temperature from the radiators
     

The actuators have been sourced from a vendor in Sweden, IMI, and the intelligence comes from an open-source software-stack from Conectric, a Californian-based wireless mesh company. Together a new product has been created in the last 4 months, allowing the real estate owner to control all radiators remotely. Manually first, but then the system will learn from how it is being used and move closer to a self-learning adaptive system. 

The combination of understanding what has happened, what will happen and to troubleshoot remotely will save time, and money for the real estate owner. And provide faster feedback loops between the users and the owners. 

Digital Twin Approach

As the utilization rate of the schools is high Monday-Friday, and since the access to the physical premises is limited for innovators, the digital twin approach has been very valuable in the development of the solution. It provides an arena where different actors can understand the reality and innovate together. 

The Digital Twins have been invaluable to share knowledge across domains for the ongoing development phase, having created this solution in 6 months during the height of the Covid pandemic. This is a joint effort between Sweden, the US, combining open-source technologies, and creating a truly modular, hardware-software separated, intelligent control system for smart heating systems. 

You are welcome to contact us for more information and follow the Diaccess-project in Växjö.

Nicolas Waern, Winniio (the procured innovator for the solution): ceo@winniio.io
Bruno Birgersson, Vöfab (municipality company controlling the buildings): Bruno.Birgersson@vofab.se
Stefan Olsson, Goda Hus (association for energy-efficient buildings in southern Sweden): stefan.olsson@godahus.se

Author: Erika Bernstone erika.bernstone@foretagsfabriken.se

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