With the Launching of a System Consisting of the ALPHA3 Pump, ALPHA Reader, and the Grundfos GO Balance App, Grundfos Are Leading the Way into a New Era of Intelligent Solutions for Circulators.
A Heating System Must Function
Few people invest in a circulator or a radiator solely to give them status as decorative objects, even though this is not entirely unthinkable when we are talking about a Grundfos pump. In general, first and foremost the purpose is functionality, that is to ensure as reliable and energy efficient heating as possible. A pump can therefore only reach its full value when it is correctly installed and the entire system is balanced and functions optimally. This has traditionally been easier said than done. Despite thorough instructions manuals and continuous simplifications, the installation has previously been complex and labor intensive. This does not have to continue. With its unique installation concept, Grundfos has made the process of hydronic regulations of heating systems simple and the era of misalignments has been put to an end. The solution from Grundfos is an intelligent computer-controlled process, and now this world novelty has been launched by Grundfos.
For the new ALPHA3 pump, an installation and monitoring system was developed in the form of a Bluetooth dongle, called MI401 ALPHA Reader, and the GO Balance app, to control the processes from a smartphone. The pump is fitted with a small “window” which allows data reading by the ALPHA Reader attached on the front of the pump. The data from the pump is transferred by wireless to the app, (GO Balance) through the ALPHA Reader. The app guides the plumber through the installation process and the hydronic control. The result is an easy and quick installation and optimization of the system, including reduced energy consumption, lower return temperature, less noise, as well as effective subsequent monitoring and adjustment of the heating system.
Grundfos developed the concept and presented the idea to Develco, after which Develco regarding the ALPHA Reader has handled all phases in the development process and product commissioning at the chosen EMS being GPV Asia. A part of the development assignment has been the mechanical development design of the ALPHA Reader which had to meet the uncompromising standards of Grundfos in terms of quality and aesthetics. The ALPHA Reader distinguishes itself in several ways on the functional front. It is designed so it can function as repeater in a series eliminating the problems of signal range in larger installations. The choice of Bluetooth Low Energy provides long battery life and a user-friendly connection which is supported by all smartphones. In relation to the user interface, Develco has cooperated with Trifork who developed the GO Balance app.
Project Manager Erik Refsgaard says about the project: “Speaking of purely software, there hasn’t been any major challenges, since we have extensive experience working with the used technologies. I am very proud of the final solution which in addition to being compact and elegant in its design has very low energy consumption and a fantastic radio performance. The short development time and fast NPI should also be mentioned, as “Time to Market” is an important competitive factor nowadays.”
Global Project Development Manager Karsten Frilev confirms the positive cooperation between the three partners and adds: “This Grundfos project is an example of the fact that, on top of a solid product platform as ALPHA and through an innovative digital and at the same time rather small effort, we can give our customers a great added value.”