Can smart controls improve system efficiency?

Can smart controls improve system efficiency?

Gavin Edwards, Training Manager for Navien UK, discusses the importance of smart controls and explores how Navien’s ON AI technology can help improve system efficiency and convenience for installers and homeowners 

Homeowners have become accustomed to the wealth of benefits that come with owning smart systems. From smart plugs to light switches, we can control our homes at the touch of a button, and in the case of smart thermostats like Navien’s Smart Plus Controller, these can ultimately improve comfort and reduce energy consumption.  

Not only this, but smart thermostats allow multiple users to manage the control system while the main user is away – something that is particularly useful for people with elderly relatives or landlords with short-term lets. 

Compatible with Navien’s NCB ON Combi Crossover gas boilers, having advanced control over their systems gives homeowners improved energy efficiencies – increasing the boiler’s ErP+ rating up to ‘A+’* when connected to Navien’s Smart Plus Control Pack which provides control for up to three heating zones.  

Zone control delivers the very latest in home comfort as it allows individual spaces to be heated to a specific temperature, at different times of day, meaning that everyone’s personal preferences can be met. This is ideal for customers with families or in multigenerational homes. 

Self-learning capabilities
In addition to its zoning capabilities, the Smart Plus Controller houses a Smart Forecast and Geofencing tool, both of which ensure that the boiler only uses energy when needed. Smart Forecast harnesses data from OpenWeatherMap to respond intuitively to the current local weather conditions to ensure the home remains at a comfortable temperature, without user interaction.  

Its Geofencing capability allows users to switch the boiler on or off, purely based on their proximity from their home which can be set up to a maximum of 5km – a particularly useful feature when returning home from work. 

When used with Navien’s NCB500 and NCB700 ON Combi Crossover boilers, Navien’s all-new Smart Plus ON AI controller, which features AI technology, uses Intelligent Mode to pre-heat domestic hot water (DHW). Based on cumulative usage patterns, Intelligent Mode learns the homeowner’s behaviours, and determines when to and when not to pre-heat the water, saving energy, cost and water usage. 

ON AI features firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) capable of updating the boiler’s built-in AI technology wirelessly to provide the homeowners with a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) report, to give them an analysis of their heating and hot water usage.  

Crucially, ON AI grows with the homeowner. It learns their routines so that they don’t have to, bringing ease and comfort to their everyday lives.  

Smart maintenance
As well as creating convenient and energy-efficient routines, AI is now helping to remotely monitor boiler health and even identify faults before the homeowner experiences a breakdown.  

Through continuous real-time data monitoring, ON AI is able to monitor the health of the boiler and will notify the homeowner if something isn’t quite right. The App also allows homeowners to run Smart Diagnostics to receive information about potential faults which can be shared with their installer, allowing them to collect any parts required for repair, and helping installers achieve a first-time fix. 

After servicing, the technology enables installers to run a medium check of the appliance which checks the boiler’s components individually to give a live status update.  

Currently, Navien’s future technology Multikit can be plugged into an appliance and used with the Multikit app to monitor the boiler’s status and data. With Bluetooth built-in, installers can get all of the data delivered wirelessly to the app and pass on live information.  

Navien has designed the new technology to work in conjunction with its ON range of Combi Crossover boilers, including the NCB500 ON and NCB700 ON. The boiler range features technology to maximise the recirculation of domestic hot water (DHW) to reduce delays in hot water delivery, helping homeowners save energy, water and money. 

*The Navien NCB500 ON boiler with three Smart Plus controls and the NCB700 ON with one Smart Plus control has an overall rating of ErP A+ (98%) 

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