How Can We Heat Homes in a Smarter Way?

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27th February, 2019

For those living in colder climes, keeping the house warm in winter is a priority, and a challenge. If done inefficiently, both carbon emissions and energy bills can skyrocket. At Mitsubishi Electric, our Air to Water Heat Pump System offers a unique and efficient solution for heating homes. And we’re making it smarter with an energy-saving algorithm.

The ATW Heat Pump System: Designed for Comfort and Sustainability

As a leading air conditioning system manufacturer that has long strived to provide comfort in a sustainable manner, we ensure that our products are at the forefront of energy efficiency. The Air to Water (ATW) Heat Pump System, which has been installed in homes across Europe and in other regions, exemplifies our expertise in providing innovative solutions that deliver both comfort and efficiency.

Our ATW Heat Pump System is markedly more efficient than traditional boiler systems that use electricity, gas or oil. With conventional boiler systems, one kilowatt of input energy yields less than one kilowatt of output energy or heat. Our system, on the other hand, uses a heat pump that can produce two to five times more heat in a hot water boiler by absorbing heat from outdoor air.

Recognizing the importance of understanding local conditions, we set up a test facility in Scotland—which is well known for its biting winds in winter—that evaluates Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) residential systems. It is in Scotland where our ATW Heat Pump System is developed and manufactured for people in Europe.

Our Algorithm Makes a Smart Solution Even Smarter

While the ATW Heat Pump System alone is more efficient and cost- effective than conventional systems, we asked ourselves how we could make it smarter, too. Our researchers found that thermal characteristics vary greatly in each building depending on the degree of insulation. In response to this, they developed an algorithm that studies the unique thermal characteristics in each residence so heat is distributed more evenly.

This Energy-saving Algorithm for ATW Heat Pump System learns the temperature of the hot water in the tank, the temperature set by the thermostat, the various room temperatures, and the outside temperature. Using that data, the algorithm determines the optimal hot water temperature to send to radiators in each room to match the thermostat setting. When the thermostat setting is changed, the algorithm’s responsiveness helps narrow the temperature gap when the set temperature is reached, which in turn reduces unnecessary heat pump operation. All of this translates into fewer carbon emissions and more consistent temperatures in each room, which means more indoor comfort when it’s cold outside.

Smarter Technology Helps Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals is embedded in our management philosophy at Mitsubishi Electric and we strive to realize both "sustainability" and "safety, security and comfort" in our business activities. We believe one way to address Goal 7 ("Affordable and Clean Energy") and Goal 13 ("Climate Action") is to make our existing products even smarter.

Our Energy-Saving Algorithm for ATW Heat Pump System does just that—it takes a renewable solution and makes it even more energy efficient. As a result, people can stay toasty warm in their homes while reducing their carbon footprint.

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