The Actility Blog

How to control energy processes at home with LoRaWAN

Smart energy for the smart home

Fulfill domestic energy needs

Welcome to Oud-Heverlee in the Flemish Brabant region, home of 10 000 people. This Demo 1 shows how storage can change the way to fulfill domestic energy needs. In a first phase, Actility was able to take control of the heating of the house by applying a dynamic pricing model based on the Belgian energy market (belpex) prices.

“For more than a month, we managed to cut the total energy cost for the heat pump while taking the control boundaries such as comfort temperature into account.” 

A high-tech heat pump

A high-tech Danfoss heat pump (soil grid/water) was installed in a house as a central heating unit and for providing domestic hot water. The heat pump provides heat for floor heating circuits that use the heat capacity of the concrete of the building. The Danfoss heat pump can be controlled and monitored via a standard ModBus interface. Our Belgian IoT integration partner Smartlog helped us a great deal by providing a ModBus to LoRaWan converter.

“Building on our experience in connecting industrial assets with LoRaWAN, we were happy to provide Actility with a ModBus – LoRaWAN device as well as a cloud platform to control the heat pump.”  Lise Vandeborne, SmartLog

heat pump
The heat pump is connected via a Modbus LoRaWAN converter and becomes a smart grid device

ModBus LoRaWAN converter

The ModBus integration of the heat pump shows the potential of connecting a device after it is built. The heat pump is connected via a ModBus LoRaWAN converter and instantly transforms the heat pump in a smart-grid connected device. The manufacturing cost of this device is largely covered by the gains of additional services of the heat pump after connecting to the cloud.

Self-consumption model

Building on this first success, we decided to extend this dynamic pricing and self-consumption (limiting the energy exchanged with the grid of a house or the complete neighborhood) models to a whole neighborhood ie 12 houses. This is the goal of the Demo 2 in Oud-Heverlee in the coming months.

This concrete example shows how beneficial it is to optimize residential electricity consumption today in a single house. We are now integrating the whole neighborhood into our optimization what will likely lead to even better results! 

What is LoRa and LoRaWAN white paper techniical overview, benfits and use cases

Learn more about the LoRaWAN technology by downloading the Actility “What is LoRaWAN” white paper