Digital innovations are changing the way the world works – both today and tomorrow. In particular, IoT solutions offer many opportunities for sustainable development.
The Swiss start-up CLEVERON has seized this opportunity, and its new IoT solution kills two birds with one stone: the system optimises the energy balance of buildings with radiators while also ensuring optimal air quality in the rooms. The solution is used primarily in public buildings, for example in schools. CLEVERON’s idea taps into two of Swisscom’s concerns: using IoT to protect the climate and promoting children’s education. That’s why Swisscom began supporting the young start-up with a partnership this year.
CLEVERON’s plug-and-play solution consists of three elements: a thermostat on the radiators, a sensor in the room and an online control platform. The “Thermo” thermostat replaces the old radiator valves and automatically controls the heating. The “Sense” sensor is a small box that is placed in the room and continuously measures temperature, humidity and air quality. The sensor is connected to the “CLEVERON Webapp” control platform via wifi and sends air data to it on a continuous basis. Based on this data, the app controls the radiators via the thermostat and sets the optimal level of heating.
The system doesn’t just react to current air conditions in real time. Various criteria influence how the radiators heat a room. For example, the presence of people: the sensor can tell if anyone is in the room. If no one is present for an extended period of time, the radiators automatically lower the temperature. However, in order to avoid anyone coming in to a cold room, the system can also be combined with an occupancy plan. At a school, for example, you input which rooms are occupied when, and the system plans heating periods accordingly. The system itself calculates the optimum target temperature, taking into account current weather data.
CLEVERON therefore automatically ensures that radiators only heat a room when it’s being used, and only as much as necessary. Users reduce their energy consumption by up to a third, significantly reducing heating costs and CO2 emissions. CLEVERON shares one of Swisscom’s key sustainability goals: using digital innovations and IoT solutions to protect the climate.
The start-up wants to use the technology where it can achieve the greatest impact. Buildings account for around a quarter of Switzerland’s CO2 emissions, mainly due to fossil fuel-powered heating. CLEVERON therefore deliberately aims its technology at older properties with radiators. Among these, the developers see public buildings as having the greatest potential, as these are often heated by fossil fuels.
And CLEVERON can achieve twice the benefit in school buildings: heating needs in schools can be planned easily because the use of space is scheduled, and pupils also benefit from the second CLEVERON function: air monitoring.
According to a study conducted by the Federal Office of Public Health, children are breathing poor-quality air in two-thirds of Swiss school buildings. A lack of oxygen in the air has a direct impact on concentration and limits children’s ability to learn. CLEVERON’s sensors continuously measure the air in the room and set off an alarm when ventilation is required. Like a traffic light, the sensor shows a green, yellow or red light to indicate the air quality. This function is doubly useful in the context of the coronavirus, because the distribution of viruses in the room can be better controlled and users are reminded to ventilate regularly.
An internet connection is a prerequisite for the use of CLEVERON in schools. Swisscom has been promoting technical and digital infrastructure in schools for almost 20 years, investing in the education of children in Switzerland. With the “Schools on the Net” project, Swisscom has already connected some 6,000 schools to the internet – free of charge. Since then, it has also developed a comprehensive range of media literacy resources for children and media education resources for parents and teaching staff. Swisscom therefore particularly welcomes the fact that CLEVERON is using IoT technology not only to help protect the climate, but also to improve the learning atmosphere in Swiss schools thanks to air quality measurement.
Swisscom and CLEVERON are delighted about their partnership, which allows them to work together to invest in education and contribute to climate protection.
Alte Tiefenaustrasse 6
Postfach, CH-3050 Bern
Tel. +41 58 221 98 04
Contributing to sustainability
CLEVERON is making an effective contribution towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
SDG 11: More sustainable management of buildings, increased wellbeing.
SGD 13: Lower CO2 emissions thanks to reduced consumption of energy and resources.