Helsinki – Heat Demand Response

Smart heating management systems play an important role in reducing the energy consumption in Helsinki’s building stock. Different systems were piloted in a residential apartment building in Merihaka (the smart heating solution of the energy management provider Salusfin) and an office building in Viikki Environment House (the smart heating solution of the Finnish start-up Fourdeg).

The purpose of heat demand response is to reduce the need for heat during peak consumption hours and enable greater system-level flexibility. Generally, the peak production that follows peak consumption is more expensive than the basic production due to more expensive energy sources, fuels and energy procurement.

Merihaka - Retrofitting Project & Smart Heating

In Merihaka, a coastal residential area in central Helsinki, the installation of smart controls for the management of apartment level heat demand was the key to the retrofitting measure. The primary target area consists of 12 residential condominium buildings: 1,323 flats, 115,955 total sqm with 71,450 living sqm.

In the area, a total number of 167 apartments were equipped with the Salusfin Oy system that includes smart thermostats connected to the district heating through Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based intelligence to load the balance of the network. Energy savings can range from 10 % to 25 % depending on the user’s activity and motivation.

Vikki Environment House - Smart Demand Response System & Renewable Energy Storage

Viikki Environment House is a high-performance office building in Helsinki. Part of the energy consumed in the building is produced on-site: the solar panels placed on the façade and roof cover 572 m² and produce 20 % of the energy consumption along with four wind turbines. The energy needed for heating water and interior spaces is provided by Helsinki’s district heating network. The cooling is supplied through a cost-free borehole water system that consists of 25 boreholes, each 250 m deep and making 95 % of the cooling energy renewable.

There is a building automation system that manages the building’s indoor conditions (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning). Another control system, including electricity storage, manages electricity production and use. The storage is connected to other building energy loads to enable better optimisation and provide the nearby public e-car charger with solar energy.

During mySMARTLife project, these systems have been adapted with an extra layer of intelligent control. The offices have been equipped with smart heating control that enables heating the rooms according to their use and piloting of a heat demand response service. In addition, modifications to the existing building automation systems have been made to render the energy saving systems easier to manage and monitor.

If you want to read more about the benefits, lessons learned, and facts and figures please see here.