HOT | COOL NO. 4/2012 - Interface, Users and Utilities

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By Lea Holtze, journalist at Brunata BRUNATA FROM BASEMENT TO ATTIC AND ON THE PC

TO MEASURE IS TO KNOW The question is why such meter data is important? When the act concerning individual heating metering was passed in Denmark in 1995, it resulted in a significant reduction within a few years of the heat consumption in the social housing where heat cost allocators were installed. The same homes with the same residence suddenly used 10-40 % less heat than before, quite simply because the residents became aware of their actual consumption. They acquired knowledge they did not previously have and translated this knowledge into action. There is focus everywhere on reduction of the nation’s energy consumption. In this connection, all links in the supply chain are scrutinised. District heating plants adjust their heating systems, improve the pipelines, reduce heat loss by better insulation and control supply and return temperatures to ensure the most effective exploitation of the hot water. However, Hans Henrik Finne claims that the Danes also have to change their energy habits if the energy consumption is to be significantly reduced. In other words, the improvements must happen at flat level. That is why Brunata does not merely collect data, but also shares knowledge. USER-FRIENDLY KNOWLEDGE SHARING ”We make it possible to show janitors and individual residents how much heating they have used, where and when via our web- based programme WebMon and thus illustrate consumption patterns. Although the district heating plant can state how much energy has been consumed by the individual flat or housing unit, it cannot specify how much has been consumed in the individual rooms as we can. That puts us in an optimal position to provide the residents with a good and accurate decision basis for good energy behaviour,” explains Hans Henrik Finne.

In a housing association basement, Brunata’s district heating unit OpTherma converts district heating water into hot water in the radiators. The radiators in the flats throughout the building are fitted with one of the most sophisticated heat cost allocators in the world, and up in the attic, the company’s gateway continuously transmits data, which can be presented as consumption information on the residents’ PCs. On this basic, they can obtain qualified input on the consumption pattern in their behaviour. After descending winding staircases and walking down narrow corridors to the basement of the housing complex, you get to the district heating unit Brunata OpThema, which is designed to be easily transported and precisely adjusted to the individual customer’s specific operational and building conditions. From here, hot water flows through the housing complex and disperses warmth via the flat radiators to the residents, while consumption data are carefully registered by some of the most precise heat cost allocators in the world. In this way, the district heating unit acts as a link between district heating plant and consumer – from the entry of the pipe into the building and beyond. SOPHISTICATED KNOWLEDGE GATHERING However, Brunata’s service does not end with district heating units and heat cost allocators, but continues right through to the calculation of the heating consumption and its transmission to the residents via their consumption invoice and the web-based programme WebMon. However, it all starts with the meters. The first thermo-electronic radiator meters for calculating the Danes’ heating consumption were developed more than 90 years ago. Today, the measuringmethods have naturally become much more sophisticated. Modern meters are electronic and

able to register consumption data at short intervals, collect them systematically and pass them on via radio transmitters. ”Our heat cost allocators first register the heat source – does the heat come from the supplier or from other heat sources in the room? Then they accurately calculate the amount of heating coming from the supplier, so that the residents only pay for the energy consumed, even if they have access to other heat sources such as a computer, a wood-burning stove or an electric heater. This is completely unique,” says Brunata Sales Director Hans Henrik Finne.

Remote reading with Brunata Optuna H


Brunata Futura Signal +

Brunata Futura Hygro +

Cold water meter Hot water meter




Brunata Optuna H

Brunata server

User access

Consumption billing

Consumption report



OpTherma Substations


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