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USING THE INTERNET OF THINGS TO DYNAMICALLY CONTROL A HEATING SYSTEM

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245165D
Publication Date: 2016-Feb-16
Document File: 3 page(s) / 75K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

USING THE INTERNET OF THINGS TO DYNAMICALLY CONTROL A HEATING SYSTEM.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 37% of the total text.

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USING THE INTERNET OF THINGS TO DYNAMICALLY CONTROL A HEATING SYSTEM

Traditional central heating systems and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems (HVACs) are manual, in the sense that the user has to specifically set the desired heating temperature. Moreover, maintaining the desired room temperature is difficult as dynamics within each room are constantly changing; heat is lost when doors or windows are opened and leaks if insulation is poor; human beings, electronic devices, home equipment such as ovens, and machine in data centres all generate heat which contributes to the overall temperature of a room. All of these factors make maintaining the desired temperature a difficult task, and can contribute to energy inefficiency. This means that a central heating system might be using more energy than necessary to keep a room at the desired temperature. Furthermore, similar inefficiencies can occur when trying to cool a room, an issue in data centres.

    Research by Nest, an established home automation company, claims that reducing a home thermostat by 1°C can reduce energy bills by up to 12%.

    It is well known that electronic devices consume electricity to generate power and output heat as a by-product of operation. Typically the more electricity a device consumes, the more heat it generates. Modern devices can generate large quantities of heat, hence the need for heatsinks and cooling systems within computers. Components in laptop computers, mobile phones and tablet computers are designed and built to be very compact in order to save space, but as a result make heat generation higher. Additionally, heat output is high in data centres where servers are densely distributed.

    With the recent growth of the technology industry and the proliferation of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more people are using mobile or electronic devices in the home. Furthermore, there has been a growth in instrumented home appliances such as ovens and kettles. All of these devices use electricity and generate heat which contributes to the temperature of a room.

However, there are no central heating systems or devices on the market

which take advantage of the heat contributions from electronic devices in the home. Articles at http://www.gizmag.com/mit-research-harness-waste-heat/13404/ and http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/07/harvesting-energy-from-devices/ talk about recycling waste heat to generate electricity, but do not mention using this information to intelligently adjust room temperature or automatically control a central heating system. Most importantly, neither article mentions querying and using the heat output data of networked electronic devices in a heating system.

    British Gas' Hive is an example of a device that allows a user to control central heating using mobile devices remotely, but is still "dumb" in the sense that a user simply sets the temperature they want, but room dynamics change; this lea...