The smart home that helps you manage energy consumption.
Technology is a great enabler for the modern homeowner. In recent years affordable tech solutions have allowed for the development of energy efficiency solutions that interact closely with the smart home. This is the story of how our colleague, Niels Thomsen, transformed his house with the help of Fen Technology, our new product development company.
Back in 2006, when the smart home was in its infancy, Niels started a project to improve the energy efficiency and smartness of his house. As the lead technologist for a design services company. Niels decided to employ Fen’s expertise to develop a sustainable solution, right down to creating custom hardware and software.
First off, he developed a simple feature that lowers the temperature of the water flowing to the radiators as outdoor temperatures rise, saving around 15% on the gas bill. Since then, control of underfloor heating with automatic compensation for the heating delay has been added. Now, the system also automatically shuts down the heating in spring and restarts it in autumn for maximum comfort and energy saving.
The house is voice controlled through Alexa, Amazon’s voice-enabled platform. This allows the family to control the room temperature simply by saying “Alexa, set the thermostat to 22 degrees”. A smart-phone app allows remote control of the heating too, making sure the house is heated when returning from work, etc.
Niels then talked to his Fen colleagues and they thought they could take developments even further.
The company installed solar panels on the roof to provide additional energy savings. In terms of electricity (in combination with a battery stored in the garage), the house is now about 70% self-sufficient.
This includes the charging of an electric vehicle!
The next stage is to add an automatic service to bring together the cost of electricity and the availability of power in the solar panels and battery, to automatically decide when to charge the car and by how much. A command like “make sure the car has enough charge for 200 miles on Friday” should be possible soon.
Fen engineers pride themselves on their ‘tech geek’ approach and experience the benefits first-hand which ultimately helps improve customers lives. It is this consumer-orientated attitude and the Fen engineers’ technical capabilities that make Fen Technology the perfect company for innovative Hardware and Software solutions.