Save energy by using smart heating and lighting controls
Intelligent energy management systems can help homeowners to save significant amounts of energy without even touching their building fabric — and without sacrificing on comfort. That’s according to Niall Walsh of Dublin-based home automation experts KNX Tech.
“KNX will save you energy without ever touching your building fabric. If you have a passive or low energy house, it will help you go even lower again,” said Walsh.
KNX is a building control standard for intelligent buildings that enables the integration of a range of heating, lighting, security, audio and many other systems through one interface.
Walsh pointed to a University of Bremen study that examined the energy consumption of two nearly identical classrooms — one fitted with the KNX energy controls and the other without. The study looked at two classrooms at the Centre for Information and Media Technology (ZIMT) in Bremen, which was constructed in 2002.
In terms of heating, one of the classrooms was equipped with standard thermostats, and the other one was equipped with KNX controls. The KNX-controlled room was installed with window switches, valves on the heaters, a room temperature control system, and a heating meter with M-Bus interface and M-Bus-KNX-Gateway.
The heating behaviour of both rooms was almost identical with regards to temperature and timing. The KNX-controlled room used up to 50% less energy compared to the room with the standard installation, while even having a slightly higher (0.3C) average temperature. The energy savings were most pronounced in the colder months.
The study also found that KNX could reduce lighting energy use by up to 50%. The KNX room was equipped with presence sensors, two light sensors (for two groups of luminaires) and dimming actuators. It consumed approximately 35 kWh per day at the beginning of November, while the room without KNX controls used almost 70 kWh.