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Driving down energy consumption with Bluetooth enabled Smart Home thermostats

Driving down energy consumption with Bluetooth enabled Smart Home thermostats

According to data from the European Commission, heating and cooling in buildings accounts for half of the EU’s energy consumption. Governments around the world are evaluating how best to reduce CO2 emissions, with approaches including government grants for energy-efficient refurbishment of buildings. However, with 35% of the EU’s buildings older than 50 years, and 75% of that stock considered energy inefficient, other approaches are required to complement energy consumption reduction. For those in rented accommodation or unable to finance extensive refurbishment even with a grant, Smart Home solutions could help to deliver energy savings at a lower cost and minimal effort.

Most homes are fitted with liquid or gas filled thermostats that are set once and then largely forgotten until the room is considered too cold or warm. With many households unoccupied during the day while the family is out at school, college or work, this set-and-forget solution results in the premises being heated unnecessarily for many hours every day. Electronic thermostats that can be retro-fitted to radiators offer a solution, but are often located in an inaccessible location, and need to be configured individually. With the advances in low-power wireless technologies, there are now several choices for wirelessly enabling such products to form them into a networked mesh of Smart Home products.

The wireless technology Bluetooth and its Low Energy features forms an ideal basis for the networked Smart Home. Smartphones, the natural home of an app to control and monitor Smart Home products, already feature the latest Bluetooth technology and can connect to such devices without the need for a gateway or complex installation. Existing electronic thermostat solutions, including their plastic housing, can be upgraded to form a wireless mesh of thermostats that can be comfortably configured and monitored from the comfort of a modern smartphone.

Devices such as the TC35678, featuring an Arm® Cortex®-M0 processor, can be customized to leverage the integrated Bluetooth software stack and radio, while implementing the user input and output expected of an electronic thermostat. To demonstrate such capabilities, this Bluetooth solution has been coupled with a TC78H650FNG motor driver in a reference design, built into an existing electronic thermostat solution. From this starting point, the implementation of a Smart Home thermostat is significantly simplified.

To find out more about how these technologies can be used to develop the core of Smart Home solutions, take a look at our latest whitepaper:

Click here to find out more about how Bluetooth Thermostats are keeping energy bills under control

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