Energy Efficiency in Retirement Homes - Modern Building Technology | Special Edition 2012 | Advertisement Special Publication

Intelligent heating control technology the key to success

The highly topical subject of energy efficiency is not only occupying our politicians, but also all economic sectors. Particularly affected by this issue, due to the aging of the population and rising energy costs, is the assisted living industry, whose goal is to provide an optimal level of comfort for residents, but which struggles to control costs.

A French old people's home in Saumur, named after Saint Jeanne Delanoue, recognized this problem long ago when it decided to install thermocyclic individual room control. The results after just under two years are clear: user-oriented energy distribution and intelligent control allow considerable savings and an ROI of less than two years despite the old building. In a retirement home, one thing counts above all: the residents should feel as comfortable as possible. And with older people, this depends very much on the temperature. It must never be too cold, so heating is usually provided, and if it gets too warm, the window is simply opened. Structures set up for assisted living thus have to contend with very high heating costs. But this does not have to be the case.

The Jeanne Delanoue Home for the Elderly consists of two buildings: an old convent, which mainly houses recreation rooms, and a new building, which houses the residents' rooms. The extensive renovation work has preserved the charm of the old building with its wide stone walls, large windows and wide corridors - complex conditions for efficient heating management. As a result, the 21 installed radiators alone are not enough to control the temperature optimally, and so the comfort level leaves a lot to be desired due to significant temperature fluctuations because of, for example, changing sun, shadows and window openings. In addition, energy is wasted and often heated out of the window, which significantly increases the structure's energy expenses.

The GDF Suez study

A study conducted by GDF Suez in 2011 on the retirement home property proves high energy savings and ROI in less than two years.

Excerpt GDF Suez study 2011
Investment 7,040 € incl. VAT
Operation: Gas consumption per heating period

Heating period Energy consumption UDD kWh/UDD ratio Corrected consumption/2008 until 2009
2008 to 2009 1.372.788 2.381 576,56
2009 until 1010 1.252.205 2.319 539,98 1.337.041

Ener­gie­er­spar­nis: 154.078 kWh
Gas­durch­schnitts­preis Juni 2010 bis Mai 2011: 47,78 € inkl. MwSt./MWh
Erspar­nis: 7.361 € inkl. MwSt. → ROI < 2 Jahre

Intelligent control saves time and money

When the management of the retirement home sought advice from their gas supplier, GDF Suez, they were advised to use the intelligent individual room control from ThermoZYKLUS. Thus, thermocyclic control was added to the existing heating system - simply and efficiently. In contrast to conventional single-room control systems, the THZ control system is capable of learning. For example, it immediately detects window openings and automatically shuts off the heating to avoid heating out the window. Heat inputs are also recognized on the spot - such as solar radiation, human heat, energy from computers or other machines - and they are included in its calculations. This means that less heating is required, in that only exactly the amount of energy is used that is actually needed to reach the specified temperature. In addition, installation is simple and quick. No additional regulation is necessary, the system learns independently and requires no technical intervention in the future.

The installed system at a glance: 100 % wireless
  • 21 centrally controlled wireless SF actuators mounted on the radiators instead of thermostatic valves: no change of set temperature or opening/closing of radiators possible by residents, 100% control.
  • 3 wireless RF room devices that transmit temperature information to the ZE central unit in real time
  • 1 ZE central unit, head of the system, which permanently processes the incoming data and anticipates the needs of the different rooms, and controls the actuators via radio (868 MHz, EU standard).
  • 2 FV radio amplifiers to amplify the radio signals and adapt optimally to the conditions (corridors over 100 m long, wide stone walls)
  • 1 PC program THZ Analysis to control and optimize the quality of the radio signals.

In the retirement home, the comfort of the residents is important above all, but cost control is also a significant issue. Thanks to the installed 100% wireless version of the thermocyclic single room control, no change of setpoint temperatures or opening of radiators is possible anywhere else than from the central management point: thus, residents cannot decide independently about additional heating and energy expenses are better controlled. Both GDF Suez and the management of the Jeanne Delanoue retirement home are enthusiastic about the THZ solution. "The thermocyclic control system brings energy savings to the customer while guaranteeing the comfort of the residents. We will continue to specify it to our customers," the French market leader says of the project in retrospect. The management, on the other hand, is pleased with optimal conditions and cost reductions.

Project data

Project: Home for the elderly Jeanne Delanoue

Client and user: Jeanne Delanoue retirement home

Realization period: 2009

most important goals of modernization: energy cost reduction and user-friendly energy distribution, simple installation and operation

wich­tigste Ergeb­nisse: hohe Ener­gie­er­spar­nis, ROI < 2 Jahre

TGA systems used: Individual room control system ThermoZYKLUS (radio version)

Services and suppliers: ThermoZYKLUS GmbH & Co. KG, Gauting

Remarks: optimal heating phases, energy efficiency, revolutionary control method, centralized management.

An information of ThermoZYKLUS GmbH & Co. KG, Gauting
Published in: Modern Building Technology | Special Issue 2012 | Advertising Special Publication
A recurring theme in retirement homes where heating is a major expense, reducing consumption is an economic necessity. However, in these establishments catering to a fragile public, lowering consumption temperatures cannot be the only solution. At the Jeanne Delanoue conference, the solution ThermoZYKLUS is prescribed to generate economies without compromising the comfort of the occupants.
30 % d'économies au bout d'un an

La congrégation "Jeanne Delanoue ", maison de retraite située à Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent, près de Saumur, accueille une soixantaine de résidents d'une moyenne d'âge de 75/80 ans.

Heating has always been a real problem for this establishment, both in terms of costs, temperature control and inconvenience management, as the buildings have often been run down.

Conseillées par leur fournisseur en gaz, GDF SUEZ, les sœurs ont alors adopté le système de régulation de chauffage auto adaptatif THERMOZYKLUS.

Balance after one year: 30% of economies validated by a study conducted by GDF SUEZ.

Piloter intelligemment le chauffage est la clé du succès

The data are complex. The Jeanne Delanoue religious conference center is made up of an ensemble of 2 buildings supplied by the same gas boiler, regulated by 2 manual lines and an external probe:

  • une partie neuve, la "maison de retraite ",
  • une partie ancienne (bâtiment historique en pierre de taille), "le cloître", occupée de manière aléatoire par les résidents qui s'y promènent. It forms a square, glazed over its entire interior and composed of long couloirs of more than 100 meters in length for some, and 3 meters in height below the ceiling. A volume difficult to manage for the 21 radiators in place, to which must be added other problems such as the alternation of ventilation, the specific needs of each resident (due to the inadvertent opening of the windows) and also the preservation of the heritage and its constraints, ...

ThermoZYKLUS tient compte des apports ou déperditions d'énergie (ouvertures de portes ou fenêtres, ensoleillement, utilisation d'appareils ménagers, présence humaine...), et des énergies accumulées dans une pièce (inertie du système de chauffage). Microprocessors collect, process and store the data and consequently establish the heating and cooling periods.

Modular, the THZ system adapts to every application. For the building, THERMOZYKLUS has installed a THZ system without cable in collaboration with ALTHECIA, its local partner. This solution without any cabling meets all the constraints of the building (open masonry that cannot be penetrated, length of the zones to be monitored). ThermoZYKLUS a juste installé des corps adaptés sur les radiators, jusqu'alquest uniquely équipés de têtes manuales, puis proposé sa vanne sans fil de radiateur SF à visser simplement sur le corps du radiateur, soit un temps de pose record !

The temperature is regulated by just 0.5°C via the ambient probe without an RF filter to be placed in the items to be checked, all controlled by the ZE central unit located at the center of the building for optimum reception despite the difficult configuration of the rooms. The staff then regulated the desired temperatures and programmed a specific time schedule per item. It is the automation of their installation that has led to both economy and tranquillity with the temperatures being kept low, all in a very simple installation.

The adaptability of the heating system and the micro-variations regulation technique, in addition to ensuring exceptional thermal comfort, have made it possible to realize 30% more energy savings compared to the previous situation, even though the building is not yet fully equipped. These figures were validated by Jeanne Delanoue, GDF SUEZ's commercial manager at the religious conference, during an analysis with her client of the consumption rates.

The balance sheet was drawn up after a season of chauffeuring, including from October 2009 to May 2010, and was adjusted in accordance with the frost duration of the two seasons to ensure a fair comparison.

Extrait de l'étude : Consommation de gaz par saison de chauffe :
Season de chauffe consommation DJU Ratio kWh/DJU Consommation corrigé / 2008-2009
2008 - 2009 1 372 788 2381 576,56
2009 - 2010 1 252 205 2319 539,98 1 337 041

Soit une économie en énergie de 84 836 kWh, qui se traduit par une économie financière de 3 857 €TTC, le prix moyen sur la période de juillet 2009 à juin 2010 étant de 45,47 €TTC / MWh.

La durée de retour sur investissement est donc de moins deux ans(1,83 ans), puisque l'investissement de départ était de 7 040 €TTC.

For GDF SUEZ, "this solution really allows the client to make energy savings while maintaining the comfort of the people accommodated", plus the work is carried out in a complementarity of technology appreciated by THERMOZYKLUS . " THERMOZYKLUS was very present during the implementation of the solution, very close to the client. It was very pleasant to work with them".
Descriptif de l'installation :
  • 21 moteurs de vanne sans fil SF onté montés en lieu et place des robinets. They are centralized and prevent any modification of the commands by the users or the opening and closing of the radiators.
  • 3 sondes d'ambiance sans fil RF transmettent les informations de température à la centrale ZE via les 2 récepteurs/émetteurs FE.
  • A central ZE, at the heart of the system, constantly monitors the information received and detects any fluctuations in each zone. It monitors the radiators' electrical signals in real time via a radio link (868 Mhz, European standard).
  • 2 radio amplifiers FV have been integrated in order to enhance the radio/communication signal without a filter and to cope with the long lengths of the zones (+100m) and the height of the pier.

The measurement logic enabled us to check the radio's efficiency every second and optimize this same radio reception. The installation was even quicker as it was a 100% wireless version, a point that was greatly appreciated by both our customers and GDF SUEZ.

An information of ThermoZYKLUS GmbH & Co. KG, Gauting
Published in: Modern Building Technology | Special Issue 2012 | Advertising Special Publication