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Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions

Case Study

The Comfortable and Energy-Efficient Canteen

How to Find The Right Air Conditioning Settings for Commercial Buildings

Introduction and Challenge

two people sitting at a table with a laptop and a coffee

How can we manage the temperature in large rooms that are shared by many people? In large spaces like offices or canteens, there are often discussions and complaints about a lack of comfort and the wrong indoor temperature. While one person will complain that the room is too hot, another will say that the air conditioning temperature setting is too low. Another widespread problem related to air conditioning systems is their high energy consumption. This is especially relevant in tropical regions. Robert Bosch Southeast Asia pursued and evaluated the potential for a new air conditioning control system that would provide a solution for both problems.

Approach

two hands hold a Cross Domain Development Kit XDK

Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions (BCDS) serves the new market for the Internet of Things (IoT) offering compact electronic devices, comprehensive software and end-to-end solutions in many fields of application. BCDS introduced the IoT Cross Domain Development Kit (XDK) in 2016 to simplify IoT prototyping. The XDK contains numerous microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors from Bosch Sensortech and Akustica, both fully owned subsidiaries of Robert Bosch GmbH. These subsidiaries specialize in MEMS sensors and microphone solutions, which make new products smarter and more useful for customers. The XDK provides the basis for various new product ideas in the field of IoT, such as the new temperature monitoring and feedback tool which is now being rolled out and tested by Bosch Southeast Asia.

Use Case

Thermal comfort affects everyone working in a big building. Scientific studies show that people who feel comfortable are more productive at work. Therefore, every company that wants to be successful should first work to make its employees comfortable.

In tropical cities like Singapore, air conditioning systems are mostly set to a low temperature of around 23 degrees Celsius. As a result, energy costs are very high.

A research team from Bosch Southeast Asia worked with Bosch Software Innovations to install the new solution in the canteen of Bosch Southeast Asia headquarters to demonstrate increased user comfort and energy efficiency in commercial buildings. XDKs are installed on each table in the canteen to serve as a feedback tool for canteen users where they can regulate ceiling fan settings (10 fans in total) and the temperature by a vote of “too hot” or “too cold”. The fans cool the room selectively so that the temperature in the canteen can be increased. Energy is saved when the air conditioning system works less. At the same time, canteen users feel more comfortable because they have greater control. The XDKs measure the room temperature as well as acting as a feedback tool.

The Role of Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions

As an innovative company, Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions can draw on extensive sensors and software solutions experience. By combining our expertise with partners from different business entities, for example, from Bosch Sensortec and Akustica, we enable new value propositions and new ways of value creation. The XDK provides both features used by the current scenario: temperature monitoring and user feedback. Canteen users can thus experience XDK as part of a solution that improves comfort and affects their well-being. Canteen users feel a direct improvement in comfort when they push a button on the XDK, either due to a higher air speed from the installed fans or from temperature changes. The developers were able to use the XDK to measure and optimize the environment and improve thermal comfort. Ease of use, small size, functional expandability and online technical support for the XDK made it possible to start the demo and prove the concept immediately.

Another Bosch product was also used for this project. In collaboration with Bosch Software Innovations the Bosch IoT Cloud was used to process the feedback and temperature data. The Bosch IoT Cloud is hosted in a dedicated data center near Stuttgart. It helps IoT developers accelerate their IoT projects, improve time-to-market for new IoT solutions, and profit from integrated security mechanisms, lower complexity, and costs. The Bosch IoT Cloud comprises a large portfolio of ready-to-use cloud services.

The XDK sensors send feedback from canteen users into the Bosch IoT Cloud. From there, control of the ceiling fans and the temperature (via thermostat) is regulated by algorithms to achieve increased user comfort. As well as the cloud and services (Bosch IoT Suite), Bosch Software Innovations also contributed their expertise in advanced software solutions to this project. This perfectly complemented the research team’s expertise in air conditioning and thermal comfort. Bosch know-how, solutions and cross-divisional collaboration were combined in this project to find a solution for a local, typically tropical problem.

Solutions and Benefits

 Cross Domain Development Kit XDK on a transparent background

The fans’ cooling effect makes it possible to raise the room temperature and use less power and energy for cooling. At the same time, controlling fan speed and temperature with their feedback makes users feel more comfortable.

The estimated energy cost savings due to the additional cooling effects at a room temperature of 26 degrees Celsius are around 3,300 SGD per year. The expected annual reduction in CO2 at a canteen temperature of 26.0 degrees Celsius is around 7,200 kg.

This use case shows how the XDK can contribute to a significant change in building management. The solution can inspire others to use XDK for similar solutions to improve building operation worldwide.

Conclusion

This showcase of thermal comfort and energy efficiency in commercial buildings demonstrates the far-reaching areas of application for XDK. The results can be transferred from this canteen use case to other use cases involving office buildings and production facilities. The Cross Domain Development Kit from Bosch provides a tailored software package for similar use cases. BCDS offers individual options for mass production and series engineering of many products. As an IoT expert, BCDS is the right partner for sensor-based IoT projects. We increase comfort, security and productivity by enabling new business models for global markets, improving everyday life.

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The Comfortable and Energy-Efficient Canteen

How to Find The Right Air Conditioning Settings for Commercial Buildings

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Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH