Efficiently heating a building, and especially an educational institutions with many lecture rooms that are only partly used, is a real challenge to minimise energy consumption while maintaining a sufficient comfort for users.
The demonstrator developed by ESTA Belfort is a connected thermostatic valve. Groups of students work on two aspects:
A first multi-disciplinary group of 4th years students with engineering or digital specialisations optimises and equips a mechanical prototype with sensors and a connexion interface with a digital management application. The prototype is based on an Arduino Wi-Fi board and different types of mechanical actuators (DC motors, stepper motors, servo motors). This whole system is powered by a battery. The main mission is to extend the system autonomy by searching different energy sources (network, solar, thermal, etc.) as well as on reducing the overall consumption through an efficient energy management.
Students with digital specialisation from the group work on the distribution and reception of information via the local WiFi network, and on the development of an application to make the information visible, and to finally control the room’s temperature. Students study all possible variants and formalize them to understand the different criteria and to choose one parameter or another: reactivity, precision, autonomy… All collected data constitute a knowledge database for further work.
A second group of 4th years students with digital specialisation develops the specification for a digital management system allowing ESTA staff to manage the heating of the building. Future digital students will encode the management application to make the whole system operational.