The heating system of the future
Boilers and burners play a key role in providing heating and hot water for commercial buildings, as well as being a critical component of industrial process applications. However, managing sequencing and varying operating modes can present complex challenges.
Therefore, Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are often used in heat applications to improve efficiency and lower operating costs.
Although first introduced in the 1960’s, PLC systems have evolved rapidly over the years to offer improved features such as greater programming flexibility, smaller sized units and integrated wireless operation.
With PLCs continuing to develop at a rapid pace, and being combined with technology such as The Internet of Things (IoT), Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and Augmented Reality (AR), we take a look at what a ‘heating system of the future’ could look like…
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT is the collective term for equipment, gadgets and components that produce data whilst connected to the internet and share this data with other devices (or humans) in real-time.
Increasingly many domestic, commercial and industrial components are connected via the internet or closed ‘intranet’. Systems such as Genius Hub can replace traditional heating control devices such as thermostats and radiator valves via a wireless connection, gathering data and saving energy in the process.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
RFID is the use of radio waves to identify, track and interact with information stored on a tag. An RFID tag can be assigned to items in a wide range of applications including retail supply chains and banking such as contactless payment cards.
For heating, a typical application is on the production of components for HVAC equipment. The tag stores the history of the job materials and equipment in addition to spare part numbers, maintenance and troubleshooting information.
Augmented Reality (AR) is the integration of visual based graphics over real-world data.
AR, in conjunction with RFID, can be used to superimpose boiler plant components over a live camera image on a tablet or smartphone. By touching any superimposed graphic, more detailed information can be displayed such as part identification, service history, troubleshooting and much more.
Benefits of new technology
By using cutting-edge technology, we can eliminate many of the system components of a typical PLC system and instead collect physical data and send commands over the internet, significantly reducing wiring and equipment.
The technology also makes human interface operation much easier as programmers can be in a remote location to access secure data on IOT connected devices.
Looking to the future
New technology offered by PLC systems combined with other advanced technologies provides a great opportunity for commercial and industrial applications to improve efficiency, flexibility and reliability.
Technologies such as the ones described are set to dramatically change the face of our industry and EOGB is proud to be at the leading edge of this new revolution in the heating sector.