The company Ngenic has developed a thermostat and a mobile app that not only will revolutionize the indoor climate. In the long term the company also wants to challenge the old energy system together together with the energy industry, with new technology and smart algorithms.
– We all need to rethink and redirect the energy supply, says Björn Berg, business developer and chairman of energy company Ngenic. If half of all houses with water-based, electrically powered heating systems were connected into a modern control system like ours, the energy gained would correspond to the power we get from a 1.5-reactor at Forsmark. Today these energy gains are lost.
In four years the company went from idea to the November 2014 launch of a commercial thermostat that several hundred customers have installed and are paying for. The product Ngenic Tune is a mobile app and a simple, additional system that is connected to the property's existing heating system. It saves energy and money and provides a more stable indoor climate.
– Tune is the first commercial control system, which is designed for water heating systems that are common in Scandinavian and Northern European households, says Björn Berg.
– We spent a lot of effort to understand the market initially, says Björn Berg. Often, new technology companies come up with great ideas. The ideas themselves are rarely the challenge, but to reach the market and customers. If the customers buy the product, the impact can be a quick success.
And so it was for Ngenic. Three civil engineers, Olle Lindblom, Einar Persson and Fredrik Fernlund from Uppsala University, contacted the company coach Björn Berg and his colleague Anders Nygren in 2010 with an idea. The idea was about how to obtain a stable thermal comfort in the home through smart, self-learning algorithms. These algorithms would be in the cloud, a mobile app, and three physical boxes, boxes which communicate with the cloud, the environment and the heat pump.
– You could say that we engage in "EcoDrive" of the heat pump system through our product, says Björn.
According to Björn Berg many of the systems that supply our house with warmth, regardless of age, are based on a technology from the 50s. And even though a lot has happened in engineering and construction since then, many of our houses still have an uneven indoor climate.
– It's like driving a car and looking down into the ground, he says.
Björn says that more than half of the customers who connect to the Tune-system save more than 10 percent on their heating bill, and that they had customers who reduced the bill by over 20 percent.
The reception of Ngenic Tune from the energy companies, the press and consumers have been very warm, to say the least. But Björn and his colleagues just see Tune as the first of several services in a portfolio that will revolutionize energy use and the energy system.
Ngenic Tune is a system for heating based on advanced algorithms. The product consists of a mobile app and the three physical components: the internal sensor that detects sunlight and interior temperature, a gateway that connects the system to the network and a control box for heat that you connect to the heat pump. Ngenic Tune is currently the only commercially available control system designed for water based heating systems. The smart algorithms take into account the weather, the electricity spot prices, and the building's thermal dynamics.
Ngenic has just completed the first contract outside of Sweden, a cooperation agreement with Poland's largest energy company Tauron.
Article written by: Suzanna Nilson