Research & Development

As part of our mission to be a platform for innovation, Noventa is supporting research projects spearheaded by renowned professors and universities.

Research & Development

As part of our mission to be a platform for innovation, Noventa is supporting research projects spearheaded by renowned professors and universities.
Feasibility Study of Cloud Based Smart Dual Fuel Switching System (SDFSS) for Hybrid Residential HVAC System

HVAC systems are the largest energy consumers in residential buildings in Canada. Regardless of the type of fuel that is being used for space conditioning, the energy demand is increasing in the Canadian residential sector. Meanwhile, a combination of our cold climate condition and poor HVAC control is contributing to higher energy consumption and the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. A proper HVAC demand management system could play a prominent role in managing the energy network systems and taking a major step towards sustainable housing.

In order to allow residential houses to fully participate in such an integrated energy system, the research group at Ryerson University has developed a novel residential HVAC demand management control system (SDFSS) that offers excellent potential saving in the HVAC system energy cost and associated GHG emission, while maximizing the effectiveness of existing energy infrastructure. The proposed SDFSS controller, through its innovative algorithm and cloud platform, considers weather condition and forecast, building thermal demand and HVAC system capabilities to determine the optimal working condition and then command how the system must be scheduled. The SDFSS provides an affordable solution for buildings to better manage their energy consumption and associated costs.

Five primary goals were carefully considered in developing the SDFSS system:

  1. Supporting the ageing utilities and electrical networks: Residential HVAC systems are currently controlled by underdeveloped and poor controllers. Such a trend has increased strain on the ageing electrical grid/ infrastructure and associated environmental impact, particularly during the peak demand periods.
  2. Sustainability in residential housing and protecting the environment: Running residential HVAC systems by current underdeveloped controllers results in significant GHG emission from residential houses’ and utilities’ sides.
  3. Affordability and saving on energy cost: The developed smart residential HVAC control system (SDFSS) could offer a user-friendly cost saving opportunity to homeowners and building managers.
  4. Flexibility with the type of fuel used as a primary and secondary source of energy for HVAC systems (electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil). The SDFSS control system finds the optimal switching points based on provided data (fuel cost, GHG emission factors, etc.) of each fuel and then runs the algorithm to govern the components of the HVAC system.
  5. Simplicity and ease of installation. The SDFSS control system is designed to be implemented without any extra added sensor or meter, and can be directly integrated into the thermostat.

To this point, a beta-version of the control board has been developed. It is currently under field-test to identify possible challenges and communication errors between various equipment and mechanical systems.