The CTU University Center for Energy Efficient Buildings is developing a prototype of the IQ-pump control element for pump one-pipe heating systems and is planning its pilot deployment in a real building.
It is an intelligent micropump mounted on each heating element in the system, which can determine the flow through the heating element, control it precisely and, based on the measured temperatures, determine the heat output delivered to the room. The main advantage is the use of a virtual flow sensor instead of a flow meter as such. In addition to controlling the heat output, it is also possible to diagnose the efficiency of the heating element or measure the heat consumption without using a flow meter. In a single-pipe pump system, these elements are arranged in series one behind the other.
In the first phase of the project, a testbed representing a heating system that can be switched between one-pipe and two-pipe variants was designed and built. The testbed is fitted with sensors enabling the measurement of the physical quantities required for the validation of the determination of the flow rate and the determination of the parameters of the pump and fittings depending on the temperature and physical properties of the heat-carrying medium. It is controlled using Matlab/Simulink through the UPI Rapid Prototyping Platform developed by us.
In the second phase of the project, the design of the double T-branch, which ensures hydraulic separation, and the pump seat with thermometers was underway. The design has undergone many iterations as well as the used pump drive with electronics. In the third phase, the algorithms of the virtual flow and heat output sensors are designed. The maximum deviation of the virtual flow sensor is now 25 l/h. An interesting feature is the currently developed working fluid detection algorithm also only from the operating data of the micropump. The technology is protected by two patents.
The Hydronics 4.0 project is co-financed with the state support of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the Theta Program.