Intelligent HVAC System based on IoT Smart Building Technology

Project type: Web and Mobile Application

Business area: Architecture and Planning

Business Overview

Climate change and global warming is a reality we all live in. According to The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the temperature will rise from 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of the next century. We have to find a way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions or disastrous consequences may condemn the future of our planet.  It leads to the emergence of commercial geothermal systems all over the world. One of these companies approached us to come up with a software development solution most suitable for its needs.

The client product is a Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) system designed to control the temperature inside the building. Geothermal energy uses the heat below the earth’s surface to warm up and cool homes, businesses, schools and whole towns with a viable source of free and clean energy. А geothermal system can provide users with ongoing and cost-effective heating and cooling, by utilizing the coherent underground temperature.

The objective is to achieve the maximum possible energy saving. To do so, the client uses the simulation algorithm, which predicts the HVAC system’s optimal parameters based on the provided system configuration. The predicted data is compared against real-time data and the system is adjusted to achieve optimal energy consumption.

Challenge

Our client had only a few months until the release and we wanted to make a high-quality and multifunctional output even on such short notice. Of course, there were some challenges during the development process, as any team could face.

Firstly the project’s type had required enhanced security. Ensuring proper monitoring was very important to prevent any setbacks which can appear in such heating and cooling systems. Also, we needed to build a virtual system that corresponds to the physical one. And it was not an easy task due to the lack of access to the main Unix OS and equipment.

 

Equally significant, was to create a credible UI/UX interface for both the technical staff and general users. To ensure a user-friendly frontend to work with live data as sheets, the system’s work status, graphs with reports and performance forecast.  The client already had a website, so the main requirement was to do the design in the site’s style and use its visual elements (the appearance of the buttons, fields, style of icons, the font).

The first step to reducing greenhouse emissions is to start using the available HVAC system. So the thought of what we can do by creating a useful service and thereby helping a lot of people to save the planet was utterly inspiring.

Solution

Firstly the team developed an ASP.NET MVC web application from scratch and integrated it with a simplified simulation algorithm created by the Client team. This application is responsible for starting the simulation of HVAC and user management for sales representatives. It allows them to calculate the profitability for each client and make a proposal.

The second project is a system for scheduling simulation and data acquisition which reads HVAC system sensors’ data, together with Real-Time Control configuring HVAC system sensors’ parameters.

 

The third project is a single-user ASP.NET core web application that provides an interface for configuring all parts of the entire system and consists of end-user and admin user parts. The end-user is allowed to preview system parameters’ history and predictions calculated based on the current system’s conditions. The admin is authorized to configure the application and system’s parameters.

With regards to design, the team considered the client’s vision combined with creativity. In order to make the UI more attractive and up-to-date, we added light gradients and an optional color to diversify the overall design. We stuck to the original style of the icons but updated the drawing itself. A big piece of work has been done on the UX side – the structure and flow of many pages were changed in order to make easy navigation and user interaction with the application.

Outcome

The team managed to release the project on time. Now the client has a consistently working product that is highly configurable and provides the full functionality for the users.  

Multiple services may be deployed to different machines with different OS. Optimization service may be provided as a Cloud service for those clients who have access to the Internet and those who haven’t.

By using this developed service, the client’s company controls and successfully optimizes two-million square feet of buildings by upgrading schools, hospitals, office and manufacturing buildings, military bases, municipal buildings. This allows to minimize equipment runtime with maximized energy savings and helps to save the environment.

To protect the ecosystem, we need to employ renewable, cleaner resources. The statistics and the thermometer don’t lie. Climate change isn’t just global warming. It’s a global warning.

Team: 1 Project Manager, 1 Business Analyst, 1 .Net Developer, 0.5 QA specialist, 1 iOS Developer, UI/UX designer, Markup specialist

Tech: NET, .NET Core, ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, ASP.NET MVC 5, ASP.NET MVC Core, WCF, Entity Framework, MySQL, knockout.js, Angular 2, AWS.