We are pleased to announce our new white paper, entitled: ‘A digital revolution in the built environment? Flexibility, comfort and new business models for heat pumps’, which explores digitalisation, flexibility and comfort in the built environment, with Heat4Cool presented as a case study. The aim of this paper is to shed more light onto the positive impact that digitalisation is having on heat pumps, providing an overview of the effects of digitalisation on the heating and cooling sector. Technological development must also be supported legislatively in order to maximize the uptake and to encourage innovation, and so the paper provides an overview of how the legislative landscape currently stands in the European Union.

Digitalisation brings many opportunities for the building sector to increase their uptake of renewable energy and reduce their carbon footprint. This is as a result of the increased smartness of buildings, with technologies such as connected smart objects (the Internet of things), which not only help optimize and reduce energy consumption, but also allows the consumer to have a more hands-on relationship with their energy consumption, as opposed to with a traditional heating control, as well as saving money on their energy bills.

Heat4Cool is used as a case study to illustrate the ideas discussed in the paper in a real-life situation. In particular the SCI-BEMS, which is a communication gateway which collects information from sensing and thermostatic devices wirelessly, recording data such as indoor temperature and humidity, occupancy, luminance, as well as preferred thermostatic setpoints and operation schedules. These technologies allow the occupants to save money on their bills and have higher degrees of comfort, fully benefitting from the advantages of digitalisation.

The European Commission’s current emphasis on decarbonisation and green issues provides a broadly supportive atmosphere for the digitalisation of heating and cooling, as is explored throughout the white paper. However, what is also highlighted is the need for action from policy makers in order to ensure that we reap the benefits of the digital revolution. Policy makers must work together with innovators and industry to solve some of the challenges emerging, such as data protection issues and cyber security, as these are the only actors who can effectively solve these issues and encourage the widespread use of digital solutions.

If you would like to find out more about digitalisation in the heating and cooling sector, read our paper here:

Read the White Paper.