Elementary school in Milevsko

Take a look at the implementation of the solution in a primary school in Milevsko.

Elementary school in Milevsko

The elementary school has long been trying to address the issue of savings. The main operating commodities used by the school are electricity, gas, and water. The school is connected to two electricity consumption points - the school and the school canteen. Natural gas is used for heating, and water consumption is also significant, both in terms of ensuring the operation of sanitary facilities and in the school canteen for food preparation and dishwashing.

Everything Starts with Measurement

However, to be able to search for and discover savings, it is necessary to precisely measure the aforementioned commodities, obtain information about their consumption over time, identify critical points in the school from the perspective of heating, and last but not least, compare everything with meteorological conditions throughout the calendar year.

Setting and Regulating

The next most important step, once we can and have measured the given commodities, is the ability to influence, set, and regulate them.

In the first step of implementation, measuring sensors were installed on electricity meters, gas meters, and water meters. Thus, from the outset, we could see how consumption occurs, which can be monitored at various time intervals of interest to the school - hourly, daily, monthly. There is also the possibility to export data into clear tables and charts.

Example of a gas consumption chart (yellow for m3, orange for kWh) for March 2023.

The next step was the implementation of a comprehensive thermal energy consumption control system. In 2021, the school's gas boiler room underwent reconstruction - two new Buderus 300kW boilers were installed, and components were already used during the implementation, which laid the groundwork for deploying the FLOWBOX control system.

Implementation of the Solution

The implementation and deployment of the FLOWBOX system were addressed in the summer of 2022. The system consists of a hardware part, which is formed by its own measuring sensor (located in all the rooms we want to regulate - classrooms, after-school clubs, gymnasiums, etc.), capable of measuring temperature, CO2, and humidity. This sensor is connected to adjustable thermostatic heads on radiators in the rooms, allowing its control according to the temperature we require in the room.

All sensors are connected via a bus to a computer network to be controlled. All connections between components are made by cable. A great advantage is that, of course, we can manually set the individual temperature in each room, but we can also set several modes for the entire school. We set a schedule for how we want the heating to operate during the days of the week, and name the given mode. We activate these set modes using one control button for all the school's rooms.

In our case, the following modes have proven successful:

  • Operation– normal operation - heating in the morning, during the day, reduction at night
  • Winter– in case of higher frosts, we activate a mode that heats more frequently and to a higher temperature
  • Reduction – set maintenance temperature in the rooms 15 degrees Celsius, holidays, short vacations
  • Holidays – set temperature of 12 degrees Celsius – activation outside the heating season

The given hardware is controlled using the FLOWBOX software program with data stored in the cloud.

The system integrates not only the aforementioned option but also other functions that are easily controllable from a clear toolbar, which contains these components:

  • School camera system – if the school has its own camera system, it can be integrated into the system
  • Floorplan – maps of the school, rooms, for a quick view of temperatures, set temperatures, humidity, and CO2 in individual school rooms
  • Energy – consumptions
  • Sensors
  • Thermostats
  • Weather conditions
  • Boiler room

Energy Savings

We have been using the FLOWBOX system for one heating season. The priority of the system's deployment was the ability to actively detect and influence the consumption of individual commodities, i.e., to save operational resources. This fact is documented by the following comparative chart - gas consumption in the months of 2020 - 2023. The chart shows that in 2020-2021 the old boiler room was still in operation (blue series), 2021-2022 shows improvement with the deployment of new boilers (orange series) and 2022-2023 (grey series) is already regulated using the FLOWBOX system.

Of course, there are numerous factors that could affect this consumption, but from our perspective, we are satisfied because we can actively influence the thermal comfort in the school, all within the norms set by the sanitary regulations. Moreover, we are already prepared for the new requirements that are being introduced for schools, namely the mandatory measurement of CO2 levels.

We can monitor uncontrollable withdrawals - quick detection of accidents, leaks, or water bursts, it is possible to monitor consumptions by the hour and thus identify potential "energy hogs". Another advantage we value is the fact that if we come across possible improvements or additions during the system's operation, we have full support from FLOWBOX programmers, which enhances the system's perfection. We would be pleased if we could present the system to other interested parties from schools and institutions.

Author: Elementary School Milevsko

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