HVAC At Your Service

The third text in the series of posts on domotics, prepared by The Centre for Architecture Belgrade in cooperation with Cubo Control company from Belgrade, deals with air conditioning, heating and cooling with application of contemporary domotics systems. If you missed some of the previous posts, you may find them here

Air temperature, humidity and the velocity of air flow are the key parameters that define the level of comfort and the degree of pleasantness. The automatic systems that generate artificial climate conditions in our homes and offices have evolved immensely during the past decades forming two distinct groups. Building automation is a term that refers to a distributed system applied to the building as a whole. It is a well established field deeply rooted in the tradition of large building and hotel automation with robust solutions. On the other hand, home automation or domotic solution usually applies to a single appartment or house, but their flexible structure enables them to be applied to entire buildings.

The field of HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) is responsible for generating the first impression that an individual makes when entering a condo, house or business space. The first thing that we are going to feel – whether it is hot or cold, if the air is stuffy or fresh, the level of humidity – that is exactly the output of the system that we are about to discuss.

Waking up in a pleasantly heated apartment, with the bathroom temperature slightly higher than in the rest of the flat or coming home on a snowy day to find your driveway cleared and dry. Returning home after a hot summer day and the feeling of the cool, fresh air inside. Having the heating or air conditioning turned off automatically and letting the fresh air fill the space if the weather is nice. Instant malfunction warning if something is wrong with a radiator or the air conditioner, by email or a text message: These are just some of the possibilities of a well-designed HVAC system.

Let us discuss the principal characteristics of the systems:

HVAC systems can be divided into groups of parameters that can be controlled:

Heating/Cooling – controls only the temperature;

Thermal ventilation – controls the temperature and the flow (speed) of air;

Air conditioning – controls and maintains certain values of three variables – temperature, air flow and humidity.

It is clear that the efficiency of controlling each of the parameters depends mainly on the design of the system, but also on the quality and the type of the controller itself. Additionally, each HVAC solution entails certain issues that have to be addressed – how to visually fit the system into the interior and not disrupt the architect’s vision, how to make the investment pay off (which is much easier if it is part of a bigger automation system), with the maximum reduction of costs and respect of the designed solutions.

Temperature monitoring has to be followed by the thermodynamic space modeling and has to take into account thermal inertia, to provide relatively simple algorithms of timed control in cases of longer absences from the space, as well as the possibility of remote control.

Still, the main advantages of including the HVAC system into the home automation solutions, like the comfort, and can be fully appreciated only when the monitoring of the energy consumption is taken into account. Such systems provide constant cost control, enable significant savings and are the best and the most efficient way to prevent failures of the system.

BUS technology systems (especially KNX systems) enable a very simple activation and monitoring of all the parameters and the application of different regulation algorithms – it is enough to install smart meters that are able to communicate with the KNX protocol and actuators that will perform the given commands sent to the HVAC system. Such intelligent systems can control the floor and wall heating, heat pumps, floor and ceiling fan coil systems and boilers, with optimal performances that meet different criteria – comfort, energy savings and reduced pollution.

The authors of the text are Radiša Jovanović, PhD. and Marko Aleksendrić, PhD.  They are experienced mechanical engineers, whose field of expertise covers programming and design work, through intertwining of various technologijes.  

Cubo Control is an engineering and programming studio that loves technology, automatics, Italian design, but also programming of computers and other devices: from window shades to mobile phones, from basement temperature to ship engines. It is founded with the idea to provide a unified offer of high-quality solutions at affordable prices in the field of contemporary automatics, especially domotics and industrial automatization, through careful selection of high-class equipment and affirmation of state-of-the-art concepts of comfort and energy efficiency.


Air conditioning, Cubo Control, Domotics, Energy efficiency, Heating, HVAC, Interior design, Smart homes, Ventilation

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