”Our biggest aha moment was the saving of DKK 120,000 a year.
Even without using Capital Expenditures – and only by adjusting the existing systems based on data.”
“It begins with DTU (Technical University of Denmark) requesting a school for a project regarding energy efficiency in the Smart Cities Accelerator program”, says Louis Jacobi, energy manager at the Children and Youth Administration (BUF) in the City of Copenhagen.
He continues: “We have Tagensbo school, which is an older school, but which has since been renovated and rebuilt in 2011. It is very representative of the schools in the municipality. DTU comes with these smart IoT sensors and then we start monitoring and collecting data.”
We decide to look at the district heating – or actually at the cooling of the return water. This is because there can be saved a lot of money. After the easy installation of sensors, minute data begins to flow in quickly. Via online dashboards, the BUF energy team and DTU can see the status at the school.
“We keep an eye on the cooling, but also on the flow temperature – we often see that it is too high in relation to the outside temperature,” says Louis.
“For us in the BUF energy team, it is about operating the buildings as inexpensive as possible without compromising on the indoor climate. The money should preferably be spent on the students – not on operations.”
Poor cooling means that the district heating plant must either send more heating water into circulation or raise the temperature of the water if there is to be enough heat for everyone. Both provide greater energy consumption – Either because the pumps that sends the water around in the system need more electricity to pump more water out, or because a greater heat loss occurs in the pipe network and the heating system when the temperature is raised.
“With all the new sub-measurement points, we are approaching real energy management. This provides value,” explains Louis.
And value was provided. Specifically, just around DKK 120,000 a year in savings on the heating bill. And to be noted, without expensive investments, only adjustments of the inhouse systems were made.
“For us in the BUF energy team, it is about operating the buildings as inexpensive as possible without compromising on the indoor climate. The money should preferably be spent on the students – not on operations. We would like to hit 21 degrees in the classrooms all year round, but it can be difficult when we have no secondary measurement points “, says Louis – and continues:
“Today we have buildings that are over-ventilated, simply because they are too hot. Ventilation and heat are running and working against each other, but we cannot adjust based on main meter data alone. Imagine if we had sub-measuring points out in the heating strings and in the ventilation system with connected alarms. See that would be real energy management,” says Louis with dreamy eyes.
The 11 partners in Smart Cities Accelerator+ are supported by the EU program: Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerak. By the autumn of 2022, the partners must develop scalable models and methods to avoid peak periods in electricity and heat production and to make energy consumption in buildings as efficient as possible.
One of the four main areas within the Smart Cities Accelerator program is ‘Data-driven tools to ensure a holistic, energy-efficient and indoor climate-optimal building renovation’ and here ReMonis IoT sensors and cloud solution have been used at Tagensbo school in the City of Copenhagen.
Louis Jacobi graduated within energy technology from the Copenhagen Business Academy in 2017. He then studied be an energy manager in 2019. Louis has been employed as Energy Manager in Copenhagen Municipality’s Children and Youth Administration (BUF) since 2019.
Tagensbo School is originally from 1938. The premises have been modernized, and the existing gymnasiums have been converted into leisure centres and specialist rooms. A large extension houses a new school and administration building as well as a large multi-purpose hall, which also serves as a culture house for the district outside the school’s opening hours.