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Innovia GeoTech

Cence Power Case Study

Innovia GeoTech

At A Glance

Low-Voltage DC Power distribution, industrial data acquisition and controls (dry contact and 0-10V analog outputs, and digital and analog inputs), Digital Twin Software, Cloud BACnet based automation system, Wireless RF mesh network for IoT devices
Versatec ground source heat pump, Belimo actuated fluid valves, Grundfos Magna variable flow pumps, Belimo flow meters, OMEGA thermistors and thermistor strings (temperature sensors)
Cence LV, the Cence App
Innovia GeoTech in partnership with Ryerson University
Waterloo North Hydro Building: Eby Rush Transformer Station, Waterloo, Ontario
January 2021
CapEx: roughly 50%, OpEx: roughly 15%

Innovia GeoTech

About the Client

Innovia GeoTech is electrifying thermal energy; they're on a mission to reduce the need to burn fuel for heating and cooling. Not only does this increase a building's sustainability, and reduce operating costs, it also supports the development of a sustainable world.

  • Innovia GeoTech is an innovative geothermal heating and cooling company that implements eco-friendly systems into new and existing infrastructure in Toronto and Southern Ontario.
  • Their heating and cooling systems produce zero greenhouse gas emissions and protect the soil and ecological systems in place.
  • Innovia GeoTech's client, Waterloo North Hydro, needed to optimize their HVAC system for their Eby Rush Transformer Station. That's where Cence came in.

Andrew Lee, the President of Innovia GeoTech, had this to say about Innovia's experience with Cence

"The team at Cence has been great to work with and have been quick to respond to our questions. We've been using the [Cence] products and interface for over 6-months now and have been happy with the flexibility and control it's enabled us to operate our system." - Andrew Lee, President, Innovia GEO Corp.
Innovia GeoTech

The Challenge

The major goal of Cence Power’s project with Innovia GeoTech was to integrate complete control over their client’s geothermal HVAC system, and data collected through sensors into a single cloud platform. This would be done with the goal of optimizing the energy efficiency of Waterloo North Hydro’s new ground source (geothermal) heat pump system. In short, Innovia GeoTech partnered with Cence to implement a monitoring and control system for their client’s equipment. 

The project guidelines were as follows: 
  • Have the ability to be remotely monitored and controlled on one cloud-based platform
  • Integrate HVAC equipment, such as the ground source heat pump, with cloud controls
  • Remotely communicate with BACnet devices
  • Integrate various sensors to automate the operation of the geothermal system
  • Have the ability to remotely calculate and optimize the COP (coefficient of performance)

This was a particularly interesting project because geothermal systems have great potential to “electrify” heating and cooling systems in buildings, which broadens the scope of potential energy efficient solutions in buildings.

The Solution

After analyzing the key problems, we determined that the Cence IoT solution (including BACnet cloud control, sensors, and the Cence App) would be the key to achieving Innovia GeoTech's goals.

The Cence system is inherently compatible with BACnet, and automatically fulfills this component of the client’s request. As a solution to their other major challenge (that they could have complete control of the system through the cloud), we implemented the Cence App (digital twin software) and wireless sensors.

Specifically, the technology and Cence products we deployed were: 
Icon of robot with a face representing digital twin software
Icon of wireless sensor
Icon of data transfer to and from a cloud representing cloud controlled HVAC
Icon for wireless mesh network
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The complete solution provided to Innovia GeoTech, allows for cloud-based control over all components of the geothermal system, as well as gathers sensor data and insights into a single, unified platform. The platform, the Cence app, includes an interactive digital twin, which is what allows this data to be intuitively accessed, understood, and used to optimize equipment.

The devices connected to the Cence system include: 
Icon of a heat pump
Icon of a fluid valve
Icon of a thermistor
Icon of a fan representing variable speed HVAC
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By integrating these devices and systems with various wireless sensors (including IEQ and IAQ sensors), and our digital twin software/BAS (integrated into the app), we enabled Innovia GeoTech's client to monitor, control and automate their HVAC and geothermal systems based on real-time sensor data. Ultimately, this allows the Eby Rush Transformer Station to optimize energy consumption, as well as equipment performance.

Deployment Photos

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The Results

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Intuitive control with digital twin software

The cloud app is optimized for use with BACnet, and is also an intuitive app with a user friendly interface. The Cence App includes digital twin software that produces a digital floorplan or layout of a physical space or system. This way, data, system insights and controls are now all available together on a single, intuitive, cloud-based platform. Now the client's systems can be automated to save energy.

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A fully integrated system

Successful integration of various components of the geothermal system, including the ground source heat pump, ground temperature sensors (thermistor strings), valves, and flow meters.

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Data collection for systems

Cence implemented various sensors to collect data on the operation of the geothermal system.

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Improve performance

The Cence IoT system provided them with the ability to remotely calculate and optimize the COP (coefficient of performance).

Financial Results

50% Capital Expenditure Savings
  • If they had had a traditional controls setup they would have had to provide power and controls separately for each component of the geothermal system.
  • In our unique DC power distribution system, controls and power are managed by a single device (the smart node).
15% Savings on Operational Costs
  • Versus traditional power for valves and actuators.
  • Statistics from Cence Power's data collection software.

All in all, now Innovia GeoTech can monitor and control their heat pumps, valves and more from one, cloud-based, intuitive platform that uses digital twin technology. Since Cence implemented this system, Innovia GeoTech has been able to save on operational costs, reduce emissions, and understand their systems and devices better with insights gleaned from sensor data.

the Cence Power team, Bolis, Sagar, Will and Bill

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