Following the successful application of Chalmor’s TouchStat heating controllers, the University of Manchester has implemented an additional phase of heating control to optimise energy consumption in residential accommodation..
The TouchStat controllers are being used to fine tune the heating control at the University’s conference centre hotel and student accommodation. The facility comprises three centres offering facilities for delegates from five to 1,500, with accommodation being provided throughout the year via purpose built hotel rooms.
The University already takes advantage of the control capabilities of a building management system (BMS), but was looking to further improve heating control in the intermittently used hotel bedrooms without compromising comfort.
On most days, the hotel rooms are unoccupied for most of the day, when the delegates are in conference, but there is also a need to ensure they are comfortable whenever they are in their rooms. Prior to introducing the TouchStat controllers, this was achieved by leaving the heating on in case any delegates returned to their rooms unexpectedly.
In order to enhance the levels of control, many of the rooms have now been fitted with a TouchStat controller, interfaced between the BMS and the 500W electric room heaters in each room. The BMS maintains control over the heating’s on/off periods but with the TouchStat fine-tuning the heat supply via a two stage-heating programme.
With many of the conferences scheduled for an early start, the BMS has been programmed to switch on the electric heating in time to provide full heat (around 210C) to the rooms between 6:00 – 7:00 a.m., after which heating is available throughout the day at a setback temperature of around 130C. At 4:00 pm the room temperature is once again boosted to full heat for one hour during which delegates can be expected to return to their rooms, reverting to setback until the heating is switched off in the early hours.
It is during the ‘setback’ periods that the room occupier takes control of the heat output via the TouchStat. With a single touch of the thermostat the room receives a boost of heat for one hour that can be repeated as often as needed. The system has proved to be easy to use and full guidance is provided in the guest literature in each room. Just as importantly, it provides guests with control of their own room temperature while providing efficient control of energy.
Automatic & Manual Control
With the installation, Chalmor is proving the benefits of blending manual and automatic control in intermittently used rooms. “The standard approach in such areas is to install an occupancy sensor that raises the heating level from setback to full heat when it detects that the room is occupied,” said Steven Henry, Managing Director of Chalmor Limited. “At the University we have applied a valuable lesson learned from our lighting controls and incorporated it within their heating programme”.
Following the success of the first phase of the TouchStat programme, the University is now rolling the same principle out to other accommodation in the conference complex and for student accommodation.
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