Controlling Electric Heater Energy Consumption
Do you look after or manage a building with multiple electric heaters?
On many new build Apartments, Flats, Student living blocks and managed residential developments, its commonplace that electric heaters/radiators will have been installed, as the developer/consultant will often specify these type systems as they are much lower cost to both purchase and install, requiring just a local fused spur power supply.
The alternative is a wet system with the much higher cost of installing a central boiler house and associated piped hot water systems - fed to each room/apartment etc via HIU's - Heat Interface Units.
However on the down side, if you manage a building with many hundred electric heaters, It's well acknowledged that electric heaters/radiators are the most expensive to operate. In fact with the current high price of electricity, the bills can be exceptionally high, and is totally based on the local KW/h price available.
So who pays when the heating is left on?
Because of the variances in muti occupancy, many of these electric heaters are often left switched on, even if the occupant isn't actually there, meaning that they are heating an empty room, which of course has to be paid by someone. Typically, in managed buildings - such as student housing its paid by the University.
Despite frequent reminders via the student hub, units contimue to be left on thereby consuming electricity. Fortunately there is a solution which can be installed to low cost and allows for the management to take control but without affecting the room occupants.
Controlling existing Heaters
The EnviroLogik Electric Heater Controllers works with both new and existing electric heating. If you have older electric heaters with only manual time and/or temperature controls on them, and subsequently they are often left on when the room is empty, EnviroLogik have the solution for you.
We can lock out the local control on the heaters themselves and replace this with an easy to understand and an easy to read LoraWan RF room thermostat on a wall in the room.
Individual Heaters will have a special electric relay switch installed adjacent to the heaters fused spur. They can also be controlled via the management dashboard.
Our system becomes the master controller and overrides all other controls, be it the integral thermostat on the heater or anything after the fused spur.
So, our system can control any electrical type of unit by all of the following parameters all that can be set to whatever parameter you want;
So let’s take temperature;
Our master control can be set at the required set point, so if we set the maximum temperature to 24deg when the area is below the set point power will be restored to the unit, when the area gets to the set point of 24 degrees it will turn the power supply off, no matter how high the integral heater thermostat is set at.
So if a person comes into their room and turns the heater thermostat to 30 degrees the unit will come on and run until it gets to our set point of 24 degrees then turn off until the temperature decreases below 24. We can also set a frost protection of a lower set point to turn the unit on.
The heater can also be controlled by occupancy in the room
If the light is on
If we want to set a working period say between 7am and 10am then 4pm to 10pm.
Any combination of control parameters can be set.
You may want to set a combination of parameters so the heater can only be enabled if
A/ it is in the set time program B/ if it is within the set temperature range C/ if there is occupancy If all of the above are within the set parameters the heater will become enabled to be used.
All of the control of your existing heaters can now be managed from a computer or the smartphone app, with no requirement to change the heaters themselves
Consumption and ROI
Consumption On a University site with 800 x 1.5KW electric electric heaters with an assumed energy usage of 6 hours/day and used for 4 days/week & 40 Weeks/Year (average student Uni Daily attendance) and a price of 0.27p/kwh will cost £2.43 per heater per day, multiplied by 800 = £1,944 per day, and £311,040 per annum
800 rads x 1.5Kw = 1200Kw
1200Kw x 6 Hours x 4 Days x 40 Weeks =1152000Kw
1152000Kw x 0.27p = £311,040 annual energy consumption
On existing student sites we have found that 35% is the average where heaters are left switched on in empty rooms. That costs the University £108,864 in wasted energy.
ROI Assuming a supply and installation of 800 of our Smart IoT Electric Heater Controllers including monitoring totalling £207,929 means a payback of just 2 years.
The principle is the same no matter whether this is student accommodation, hotel or an apartment building.
Installation to each heater takes around 20-30 minutes depending on fused spur type. A Simple LoRaWAN RF wall thermostat connects to the heater(s) and takes control of the system. The management and user dashboard can be customised to suit the site and application.
You can read more about this on our dedicated webpage https://www.enviro-logik.co.uk/electricheatercontrol