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Tynax ~ Patent Library

Patent for Sale:

Efficient & Targeted Heating Operating System    

Comprises a valve actuator similar to a thermostatic radiator valve fitted to every radiator. The valve actuator monitors the room temperature and communicates this back to the main controller.

Overview

The heating operating system comprises a valve actuator similar to a thermostatic radiator valve fitted to every radiator. The valve actuator monitors the room temperature and communicates this back to the main controller via radio signals.

The controller, (which replaces the conventional time-clock or programmer) manages the system ‘network’ by running a time temperature profile for each radiator (as defined by the user). It also collates temperature data from every room and utilizes it to modify its energy efficiency algorithms.

The controller interfaces to the boiler system via radio signals to relays. Additionally, by working with a boiler manufacturer, it would also be possible for the system to communicate with the boiler to enable the boiler to operate more often in its high efficiency condensing mode.

The system also has a remote control which can be used in much the same way as a TV remote control, to setup or change settings on the fly, and because it communicates via radio it can be used in any room. The valve that has been designed is physically the same as existing valves, in order to ease replacement and also create a degree of standardization. It enables the system to be retro-fitted to an existing system. The major difference is that the patented technology is opened and closed via electronic control. It is also capable of two-way radio communication to relay information and commands.

Once it is installed, a central heating system will have one of patented system valves per radiator with each having a unique software address which is used to communicate with a central controller via radio signals. Within each valve there is a temperature sensor that relays room temperature information back to the central controller via the valve circuitry. Completing the ensemble is a thermostat which would generally be sited away from the valve at a convenient point in the room to monitor the temperature more accurately. This would allow the user to remotely control basic operations of the valve such as switching it on and off, or altering the required temperature of the room. This is a unique feature of this system – there are existing products on the market that enable temperatures to be controlled in zones e.g. upstairs and downstairs, but none that enable control to be maintained on a room by room basis.

The whole system receives power from a 12v DC supply and communicates via radio signals which allows for ease and flexibility of installation. This means installation would require some electrical wiring by a qualified electrician to provide power to the valves and thermostats. Existing wireless systems use battery power, but this is seen as a negative for the user as it creates a constant need to check for batteries requiring replacement.

The key to the system’s success is the fact that it devolves the concept of ‘central’ heating by enabling the temperature in each room to be independently controlled. The main benefit of this type of control is that the system can be set up to only heat the rooms that are being used or occupied. The seller estimates the potential savings in heating bills to be vast (approximately 40-80%), without any of the usual drawbacks of lowering the room temperature, i.e. no loss of comfort for the user and the inconvenience of manually adjusting valves on a room by room basis to achieve the desired profile for radiator use for the end user.

Currently, all but the best system on the market involves the use of thermostatic radiator valves. Although these valves can be regulated individually, it is unrealistic to think that a consumer would constantly manually adjust these valves every few hours dependent on room usage and occupancy. This system performs that very operation automatically. The overall heating cycle is controlled via a central controller that is easy to program and also boasts an extremely intuitive interface. The user programs the system by menu driven questions which are merely answered and scrolled through - similar to a mobile phone and importantly easy to use.

The system also has various specification levels that are software selectable. This allows the product to be subject to ongoing updates. The other key benefit is that the product is suitable for both new installations and for retrofitting to existing installations – the system’s radiator valve has been designed to be able to directly replace valves on existing systems.

The ease of programming the central controller belies its power. The software is incredibly powerful and calculates optimum times to open valves in order to achieve maximum efficiency and accuracy in the overall heating of the dwelling. The system also has the ability to learn heating characteristics of each individual zone or room, then, through a combination of, time of the year, previous data and forecast algorithms, it can maximize the use of local climate conditions in order to achieve the requested temperature at the designated time using the minimum amount of energy. This feature is unique to this system and provides a huge differentiator in the market place, even compared to the top system on the market.

On top of this, the system could also be linked to a personal computer and could be programmed via a graphical interface from the home or via a network such as the internet. Once the data is in the computer it creates the ability to interrogate the data. There will also be the option to communicate and control the system via the phone network.

Primary Application of the Technology

Central heating market - new or retro-fit

Comments on Deal Structure, Potential Terms and Restrictions

The designer of this system is seeking to partner with a major player in the central heating market to complete the development and testing of this system and bring the product to the market place.