Tensor plc design and manufacture smart card and biometric Time & Attendance and Access Control equipment. Their Hail Weston site comprises a number of buildings each with it’s own central heating system. Some of the buildings are used less frequently than others, meaning that the heating was often on when rooms were unoccupied. There is no gas in Hail Weston, so the boilers use kerosene oil, but one boiler is still solid fuel, using anthracite. With increasing fuel bills, Group Finance Director, John Yull, was looking at ways of improving the efficiency of the heating system whilst at the same time cutting costs. After reviewing several systems in the market John decided to install a networked HeatingSave boiler management system running on the company’s existing IT infrastructure.
“Our main objective was to reduce the cost of heating the different buildings” explained John. “The occupancy of the buildings varies considerably, especially when we run customer training courses and sales presentations” he added.
Five HeatingSave central heating management controllers were installed, one for each boiler, in 2008. These were linked via an RS485 network to Tensor’s central IT file server. Various client PC’s run the HeatingSave management software so that different departments within the business can plan ahead and control the heating requirements themselves. The Office Services manager explained how they now plan and alter the heating centrally from their PC’s, depending upon the planned occupancy of rooms and areas of the buildings. “HeatingSave is great!” she said. “If a meeting time is changed I alter everyone’s diary on our Admin system and change the heating pattern as well at the same time”.
Tensor have also connected PIR’s (passive infrared detectors) to their HeatingSave controllers so that occupancy can be automatically detected by the HeatingSave system. Here, a background temperature is maintained and heating turned up if a room is used. Maintaining a lower background temperature means that it’s quick to get a room up to temperature if it is unexpectedly used.
Asked what he liked most about HeatingSave, John Yull said “Saving on our heating costs”. John also liked the feature in the PC software, which gave approximate daily costs of running each boiler.
Tensor are considering expanding HeatingSave to other sites within the group and linking the software together so that they have complete control over the heating costs. They also are reviewing the latest addition to HeatingSave that uses the same hardware and software to control the internal and external lighting and the company’s use of electricity.
During the last decade, Tensor plc has grown to become one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of time and attendance and security systems. They have many private sector and public sector customers. ISO9001 an BSIA accredited Tensor control the security and employee attendance monitoring for UK businesses both large and small, as well as international sites from the USA to India.