Imagine we don't know anything about room thermostats and we design one from the beginning. Would we end up to the thermostats we use now?
Suppose we live in an apartment with the classic hot water heating system and radiators and we get a heating bill (based on usage hours or calories) every month.
Suppose we don’t have a thermostat in our apartment and, we imagine how the ideal automatic thermostat should be.
Our primary goal would be to keep us warm with the minimum cost. Yes I believe that would be it.
Let’s say that our comfort is the speed of a car, then the thermostat would be the throttle. Ok nice it is quite a similar situation. So when we want to increase the speed of the car (room temperature), we press a little bit the throttle. A little bit or full throttle? When the thermostat is on it looks like a full throttle, the radiators will be in the highest available temperature (from the central heating) and they will be like this until the room reach the desirable temperature, and FOR SOME TIME AFTER THIS, even if we don’t need this. It looks ok, but for sure we don’t drive this way, and for sure it looks annoying the fact that the radiators will be in their maximum temperature even when the room temperature is achieved !
Eureka!!! The thermostat should control not only the room temperature (speed of the car) but also the temperature of the radiators (throttle). So depending how cold is the house and/or other factors like outside temperature, to switch on heating until the radiators reach a certain temperature, which will deliver to the room the exact energy that really needs, to maintain the comfort level (temperature).
We have developed such a low cost thermostat which uses the latest technology (microprocessors, wireless sensors) and senses the environment not only by its temperature but also by the rate that the temperature of the radiators changes, and it is called CALORIC.
Caloric also has a simple real time consumption indication, so to keep the users aware of the cost of their comfort and provoke them to more economical thermostat settings and energy saving behavior.
Category of the action
Building efficiency: Physical Action
What actions do you propose?
Those days, one can find quite a few thermostats which advertise efficiency, high technology, wifi network connection e.t.c. but no such a solution could ever reach the root of the challenge for efficient heating or cooling control.
The tele-controlling of an appliance whether this appliance is the tv or the thermostat and whether it is made through the tv control or through a wi-fi internet connection is not a “smart” procedure. A smart tv would choose the channel you like to watch by itself, the same way a smart thermostat should control your heating/cooling system by itself. If it needs that you always tell it what to do then it is not a really smart thermostat.
Moreover the thermostat should clearly, with the most apparent way , to inform the users about their consumption for the heating or cooling. It is like you go in a restaurant and you order from a menu without prices. Of course when you see the prices you will be more careful of what you are ordering and you will try to get the most of your order. In an apartment with a thermostat with a real time consumption indication, all other things equal, the chances is that this apartment will consume less energy to achieve the same result.
Finally the house or the apartment has an energy state momentum. It can not be heated up instantly and it can not be cooled instantly. But it needs some energy at certain moments to keep this momentum. A thermostat like Caloric , provide the energy that is needed when it is needed with high precision (controls the power/temperature of the radiators). No programmable thermostat can achieve this no matter if you can program your thermostat through internet from your mobile phone e.t.c.
What I want to say is that we have the technology but we haven’t direct it to the correct point. Internet of things for tele controlling the house appliances from the mobile phone it is really nice but not very smart and efficient.
We should change out attitude towards the “smart” definition of a procedure and if possible do a step back, in order to reinitiate the use of technology in favor of energy efficiency.
We always check the fuels in our car , why don’t we check the fuel our heating has consumed? We try to drive economically and even we choose a car that consumes less fuels, why don’t we do the same with our heating system.
And it isn’t that expensive, the cost of Caloric can be paid back from the reduction of the heating bill, within two or three months, not to mention the reduction in the pollution inside the areas we live (smoke in the city and not outside where the big power plant is).
It is a shame that we have all this technology available and not use it right at the point, for the good of our pocket but most of all for the good of our planet.
Who will take these actions?
Of course the first key actor is ourselves, but sometimes either we are too busy or we don’t know what is all about and we fail to keep up the changes or to understand the problem. As a result everybody is complaining about the price of the fuels but no one offers a solution.
The heating installers and the technicians should lead the way and offer alternatives to the consumer.
It is a common knowledge among or the heating installers that a weather compensation system installed in the central heating could bring massive reduction in fuel consumption especially in areas with milder winters. THIS IS A FACT.
But it is not widely used because either because it was too complicated or too expensive.
Caloric do more or less the same in every apartment, it is easy to use , easy to install and cost effective.
Heating installers and technicians are now in the position to offer a new way in heating control.
Where will these actions be taken?
Caloric can reduce the fuels consumed by a wet heating or cooling system, keeping the comfort level high, anywhere in the world.
Where it would be even more efficient is in climates where the winter and summer are more mild, and ironic but true, these are the places where they consume more fuels. Places with strong winters usually are better equipped and they tend to care more about their consumption because it is really big.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
There are hundreds of thousands apartments where the Caloric could be installed. This could lead to a massive reduction in the fuels consumed for heating and/or cooling.
We are not in a place to calculate the emissions that will be reduced.
What are other key benefits?
Increased comfort. Because the Caloric thermostat is never switched off, it provides the space with little injections of energy when it is needed 24 hours round. So the rooms never lose their energy momentum and the comfort increases.
Cost reduction. Controlling the temperature of the radiators (like the central heating weather compensation systems do for the burner) Caloric reduces dramatically the fuel consumed for the same result (comfort level).
User awareness. When the users realize that they can see their consumption on the display of their thermostat they tend to acquire more climate friendly habits than before. They realize that the right way of controlling the heating is not to switch it off and on (from their mobile phones etc) , but let the thermostat automatically decide.
Climate friendly. The reduction of the fuels not only reduce the cost of heating, but reduce pollution (smoke) from inside rural territories and generally reduce the greenhouse gases emissions.
What are the proposal’s costs?
The cost of the Caloric is the average cost of a thermostat. It doesn’t need any special installation and it is very simple to substitute the existing thermostats.
We are not in a place to establish a certain timeline.