Intelligent warehouse heating system

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The Schulte INFRA Czech-based company used programmable logic controllers to build an intelligent heating system in order to save both time and money of the owner.

The Czech-based Schulte INFRA company specialises in the sale, installation and maintenance of radiant heating technologies designed for warehouses, factory halls and other industrial objects. Such technologies usually require a regulator in order to manage their output.

One of the recent projects is a heating system for a warehouse owned by the DHL delivery company. The building features 10 large gas radiants; originally, each radiant required its own regulator. Such an arrangement was, however, found to be impractical, as employees had to regulate each radiant individually in order to reach and maintain the required temperature. Schulte INFRA representatives thus contacted the development team of, which then designed a central heating control system powered by a single controller, which would give the warehouse’s owner the ability to monitor and regulate the whole heating system through a single control interface.

The UniPi Axon M205 controller was chosen, featuring a combination of digital inputs and relay outputs. Gas radiants are switched by external relays, which are in turn switched by the controller - in the future, the company, however, plans to utilize Reznor gas radiant with analogue control. Three Neuron Extension xS50 extension modules are also connected, communicating with the controller through the RS485 serial line and extending the network by additional digital inputs, analogue I/Os and relay outputs. As a control interface, a single Weintek MT8071iP touchscreen terminal is used, connected via the Ethernet port.

In the resulting system, gas radiants are distributed into several heating zones. A network of both indoor and outdoor temperature sensors is then used to read temperature values in each heating zone. Several radiants can be placed in a single zone according to current heating requirements. Gas radiants are controlled by an on/off switching with hysteresis; based on a heating schedule and programmed temperature values, the controller then automatically regulates the indoor temperature by switching the radiants. If used in objects with a higher heat loss, the controller can use data from outdoor sensors to start the heating in advance of the heating schedule in order to reach the required temperature in time.

From a software point of view, the project utilizes Mervis control software. Measured values are automatically stored in a cloud database, allowing for their later evaluation and analysis. That gives the owner an option to optimize the heating and reduce energy costs. The owner can also use a web interface to remotely manage and monitor the facility.

A detail of the distribution box placement and its contents.

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