AirEx – Smart ventilation control to balance energy efficiency with air-exchange

AirEx is a novel smart home technology that helps reducing the home’s heat demand, without compromising moisture build-up and subsequently damp and indoor air quality. AirEx uses smart sensors to monitor and analyse environmental conditions while its cloud-based algorithms determine the vent state to automatically regulate airflow. It uses AI to predict occupants’ behaviour and weather patterns for more efficient airflow optimisation. Via improved thermal efficiency of the building fabric, the system can reduce heating energy bills by 15%, which means 2-3 years payback. AirEx’s key customers are Social Housing Associations who have the mandate to improve the energy efficiency of their building stock.

Within the scope of Agile IoT project, we had the opportunity to develop standard APIs using Agile IoT to interact to our product, AirEx and make it therefore more agnostic with regards to integration with third party connected devices and infrastructure. During this project the key component we utilised is ‘Connectivity and Communication Protocols’, where we managed to extend this component via implementing agile-rfm69 protocol to communicate using HopeRF RFM69 module.

We found that the communications component has a reasonable API and there is existing support for a number of useful technologies. For example, it provides a useful outline for integrating BLE sensors within Linux. During this Agile IoT project we have successfully developed communication protocols with Bluetooth-enabled low energy temperature and humidity sensors, which is a significant step in our development considering the increased need for connected devices.

One of the main benefits of using Agile IoT was that it did not require much effort for actual deployment: once the system is working, deploying new devices via resin.io requires minimal effort, since new devices will pull down the appropriate images automatically.

Furthermore, the use of Agile IoT does not require much memory: containers use limited RAM, some as little as 20MB and hence it works very efficiently on a Raspberry Pi. Nor did we experience any processor issues with using Agile IoT on Raspberry Pi 3 or even on Pi Zero.

The critical requirements are stability of the platform, extensibility and the ability to update remotely – all of which have been successfully managed using Agile IoT.

In the future we are keen to continue to use Agile-BLE in order to integrate additional sensors. In addition, once the Agile hub becomes LoRaWAN-enabled we will be very keen to explore the possibility of using Agile hub.

Our Software Lead is presenting some of the key outcomes of the project via this IoT Webinar:

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This other video demos AirEx on AGILE:

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– AirEx

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Posted in Open Calls, Technologies and tagged , , .

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