Smart controls are the future of heating and cooling management


Tony Nielsen, UK markeng manager at Panasonic, explores smart control technology and the potenal to maximise building operaonal eciency and energy management

ith around 65 per cent of UK office space and 30 per cent of UK retail space now air- conditioned and

continuing to grow, end users are looking at ways to improve energy efficiency.

A study by BRE* has analysed the recommendations of air conditioning inspection reports, prepared for end- users, which focuses on improving controls and maintenance. The European Commission recently stated: “the heating and cooling of buildings and industry equates to half the energy consumption of the EU.”** Therefore, the utilisation of smart controls in reducing energy consumption is of primary importance.

IOT connected control

With the ‘Internet of Things’ boom in recent years, the use of technology and the Internet has been heavily integrated into our lives and daily routines. Thanks to advances in Internet connectivity, the capabilities of smart devices is increasing all the time with significant implications for commercial and retail end-users.

By providing useful data over the web to remote PCs, tablets and smartphones, it is now possible to access and collate data from heating and cooling systems remotely. This data can be stored in the cloud and made readily available for collation and analysis to improve energy management. The increased accessibility of the system can improve maintenance and repair regimes, as well as helping end-users reduce their costs and energy consumption.

As a global innovator in heating and cooling solutions, Panasonic aims to lead the market with products that connect with smart devices and enable building owners and managers

to utilise their energy usage and minimise overall consumption. Take Panasonic’s latest Aquarea Smart Cloud management systems as an example. Simplicity and clarity are key factors in giving end-users a clear understanding of how their system is operating. With an intuitive interface (similar to that of popular apps) the AC and Aquarea Smart Cloud management system provides a familiar feel making it easier, faster and more user-friendly when compared to traditional controls.

Better remote access

Historically, control functionality has also been an issue for heating and cooling systems. Scheduling timers have proven difficult for end-users to operate and adjust because of the way they have been set up and programmed. Typically, they are also only accessible from a fixed point in the space or via a central PC in the building as part of a broader BMS solution.

uBy providing useful data over the web to remote PCs, tablets and smartphones, it is now possible to access and collate data from HVAC systems remotely

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A reoccurring issue was the inability to maintain constant control of the heating and cooling system. Panasonic’s AC and Aquarea Smart Cloud management system allows users to take control of multiple premises in real-time, from a single connected device, anywhere in the world. Unlike other air-conditioning control options, the Aquarea Smart Cloud allows users to set holiday timers, weekly timers with different instructions for the separate zones as well as checking the system for faults. The system enables users to program a heating and cooling schedule that meets their exact requirements and can then be conveniently accessed and calibrated from any secure remote device. Using this technology, a detailed breakdown of the system’s energy consumption can be accessed on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. This can help end-users compare space utilisation and adjust the system to turn off during quiet periods. They can also control several different

installations at once with a single dedicated interface, saving time and simplifying logistics across multiple sites. Remote access will also support maintenance professionals. Maintenance teams can be engaged in predictive fine-tuning which keeps the heating and cooling system operating at its optimum level for longer. This minimises the likelihood of a system break-down by anticipating maintenance and means a lengthier lifespan for the system. Maintenance professionals will also be able to respond more quickly to faults and issues, keeping the end user completely satisfied with their heating and hot water systems.

These developments have special significance for business critical applications; including data centres and server rooms. Using Panasonic’s AC and Aquarea Smart Cloud management system, cooling performance can be precisely monitored to eliminate the risk of downtime. As a result, the

management of maintenance regimes becomes more efficient.

The future

We are only beginning to see what is possible with innovative heating and cooling control. Throughout 2019 and beyond, the industry is set to see new services added to this type of cloud- based control system making them even more attractive to building end- users. The ultimate aim is to provide end-users with a comfortable, simple, productive heating and cooling solution with minimal impact to the environment. Breakthrough innovations such as the Panasonic AC and Aquarea Smart Cloud management system are examples of the steps being taken towards reaching this aim.


* ** press-release_IP-16-307_en.htm


uRemote access will also support maintenance professionals, helping management of maintenance regimes become more ecient

Using this

technology, a detailed breakdown of the system’s energy consumpon can be accessed on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis

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