Debeli Rtic in Slovenia selects ComfortClick’s KNX automation solution
The energy self-sustainable apartment complex of Debeli Rtic includes 10 apartment units, concierge's office common swimming pool and lawn with helipad. All centrally managed with a Sledgehammer Controller.
ComfortClick was contacted by the Anakarn apartments project team at the end of 2015 to implement building automation system with special focus on energy management in the apartment complex with 10 apartments, concierge’s office, wine cellar and swimming pool. The apartment complex is located in the coastal region of Slovenia and as such has high solar incidence and good wind power density. Therefore the project goal was to have a fully automated, self-sustainable building compound which would be using only the energy generated by itself through photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbine.
The focus was on energy management, with a goal to having a fully automated, self-sustainable building compound which would only use the energy generated through photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbine. The project required the integration of a large number of different systems and devices. KNX was to be used for lights, shades, air-conditioning (AC), heating, water leakage sensors, movement sensors, a weather station, wind direction, energy consumption monitoring, and the swimming pool engine room. Other functions to be included were an alarm system from DSC, an electric car charging station, IP cameras, a photovoltaic system with devices from SMA, an IP intercom, an audio system from Olive, Sony TVs and an elevator. Control was to be via a tailor-made graphical user interface, with apartment complex pictures as backgrounds.
ComfortClick decided to use its rack controller - Sledgehammer, which is powerful enough to handle a project this size and can integrate all the above mentioned systems. One of the project specifications was also to provide a tailor made graphical user interface with apartment complex pictures as backgrounds.
It's all about energy management
One of the main focal points of the project was energy management. The building complex aimed to be independent of the power grid and furthermore to sell some of the produced electricity back to distributors. The energy self-sustainably was achieved by implementing a combination of solar panels, wind turbines and efficient energy storage system together with advanced monitoring and automation solution. The latter was provided by ComfortClick. The power generated during the day is stored in batteries and used during the night when energy consumption is lower. Efficient switching between the use of energy from the solar panels/wind turbine and the batteries is one of the tasks which are handled by ComfortClick building automation software platform bOS. The platform also enables monitoring of generated and consumed energy, reviewing of the past data for any selected period with the export feature for further analysis. The user can check the levels of stored energy at any time. In addition, the system sends automatic notifications (push notifications, SMS, email), if the pre-set thresholds of stored and/or generated electricity are exceeded.
Part of the energy efficiency goal was also to optimize energy consumption as much as possible. Each apartment unit consumption is monitored separately and in case of increased consumption automatic notifications are sent out. Since apartments are offered as vacation rentals it was important that apartment automation minimized energy consumption when the apartments are empty. Even if the guests just leave for the day and come back in the evening all non-essentials electrical appliances and lights are turned off and the heating/AC is reduced.
Efficiency on every level
Investors wanted to optimize not only energy costs, but also personnel costs. By having the central overview of the whole system, automatic notifications and alerts with the main daily tasks automated, investors were able to save labour costs of one additional employee that would be otherwise needed for technical maintenance of the apartment complex. Concierge has access to individual apartments unit's user profiles, which enables him to change all the settings in the apartment units (e.g. increase air conditioning), what is especially useful for guests that are not tech savvies or have special needs.
Even if the concierge is not at the location he can still communicate with the guest via the IP intercom system. When a guest rings the bell on the outdoor IP video intercom unit a call is received on the wall touch panels. If nobody answers the call for 30 seconds, the call is transferred to concierge’s mobile phone. The concierge can talk to the guest via his mobile phone and also open both the main entrance and the doors to the individual apartment unit.
- KNX was used for lights, shades, AC, heating, water leakage sensors, movement sensors, weather station, wind direction, energy consumption monitoring, swimming pool engine room
- DSC alarm system integration
- Video surveillance (Axis cameras) integration
- IP intercom
- KWL outdoor lighting integration
- Dimplex heating pump integration
- Photovoltaic system with SMA devices – Sunny Boy and Sunny Island with electricity generation monitoring
- Apartment units electricity consumption monitoring
- Electric cars charging monitoring (KNX and Modbus technologies)
- 2N Helios IP Intercom system integration
- Swimming pool engine room integration (swimming pool water measurements: pH, Redox, temperature; water pumps automation, swimming pool cover automation, water pipes pressure monitoring)
- Elevator controlling through Modbus
- Integration of robot lawn mower