Open Source Plumbing Controller
This project developed an open-source controller for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Thermal Integration Ltd
Summary: impacts and findings
This project developed an open-source controller for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The controller can carry out a wide variety of roles, and be built on and adapted by others. This allows HVAC systems to be upgraded to open control, and will improve monitoring and learning, enhance efficiency, and reduce running costs and carbon emissions.
Project aims and approach
The project team’s aim was to deliver an open controls architecture that is capable of running any HVAC application, licence-free, forever.
To demonstrate examples of how the system may be applied, the team focused on three main applications:
- a buffer store controller for applications from simple heater control through to boiler or heat pump sequencing
- monitoring and controls for heating interface units (HIUs) in heat networks
- monitoring and control of fan coils.
Applications are being demonstrated and refined using field trials, installing controllers to both monitor and improve the efficiency of real-world systems. Trials include the Barbican, the Excel Centre, Morden Hall and Thamesway Housing in London, and at the Swansea University Solar Heat Energy Demonstrator – the first installation in the UK of a heat network driven by CO2 heat pumps.
Thermal Integration Ltd.
June 2022 to March 2023
Achievements and barriers
The project successfully developed a prototype of an open-source plumbing controller which can connect to almost all HVAC sensors/devices and provides an open-source software environment for control and communications.
The controls developed enabled the company to deliver a next generation of hot water HIU, achieving exemplary performance and reliability, along with remote commissioning and alarming.
All advances made during the project are recorded on a newly created wiki site, which stores media and reference material, while regulated source code has been made available via GitHub.
Thermal Integration will continue to develop its prototype to incorporate it into its product offerings. At the same time it is working to establish a thriving community centred around the use of data and open source control to achieve net zero.