Roel Vandenbulcke, Founder and CEO
In this age of smart cities and green buildings, construction companies are always looking for innovative ways to make their projects efficient and worthwhile. Especially when it comes to HVAC integration, they want the solutions to be cutting-edge. So, they leave no stone unturned to achieve this, from incorporating best-of-breed components to ensuring maximum heating and cooling capacities at extreme weather conditions. But, even after extensive investments in both hardware and design, problems persist; some sections of the building end up being colder or warmer than required, and the HVAC installations continue to consume extensive energy. The question most builders and HVAC installers end up asking in such a scenario: why am I encountering these challenges even after installing the latest HVAC components?
Roel Vandenbulcke, a visionary in the HVAC sector, has a fitting answer to this. According to him, “It is not at all about installing a brand-new heat pump or a cutting-edge chiller; it is about making all these individual components work in sync with each other to facilitate the ultimate comfort at the lowest energy consumption.”
Indeed, this is a longstanding problem, and Vandenbulcke noticed this shortcoming in the HVAC system designing process when conducting his Ph.D. study at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Determined to bridge this gap, he began developing mathematical and physical models to simulate and analyse the dynamic behaviour of HVAC systems during their design stages. Vandenbulcke collaborated with various HVAC consultants and worked on several pilot projects to test his models and predict the performance of various HVAC installations. The next step was clear. With the backing of the University of Antwerp, he hired a software developer and built a robust software solution based on his mathematical and physical models to help HVAC installers all over the world plan and design better systems. Thus, from the symbiosis of Vandenbulcke’s knowledge, experience, and simulation models, the Hysopt software, and consequently, the company was born.
The Undeniable Impact of Hysopt in the HVAC Space
Today, there is no shortage of advanced HVAC components in the market. For instance, to generate heat, there are a lot more options than just a boiler. But the issue comes to light when installers connect all the components to make a working HVAC system for an entire building using outdated ‘thumb rules’ and assuming static thermal load. The conventional approaches of design fail to take into account the sophisticated features of the latest components and concepts in HVAC installations today, and hence end up overlooking how the systems would function in real-life circumstances.
This is where Hysopt comes in. “Our software can be used as a guiding tool during the design process as well as for simulation testing,” says Vandenbulcke, the CEO of Hysopt. The software can accurately calculate how each component will behave in various possible load conditions. From a designing perspective, Hysopt facilitates a detailed design conceptualisation, allowing the individual HVAC components to be placed in such a way that the system offers optimal energy consumption and maximum comfort to the users. And, when used as a simulation tool, it can predict the performance of the overall HVAC system and identify how a component can be placed optimally. To make such predictions, the software leverages Pareto analysis—a technique for decision-making. Most notably, the clients can use this to compare various HVAC design alternatives as per the KPIs they desire for their flawless installation. Hence, Hysopt is not only about making the right design choices, but it is also about securing the integrity of the design.
Bringing Unrivalled HVAC Benefits
Today, the Hysopt software has been used in over 200 large optimisation projects, including heat networks, university campuses, hospitals, and so on. To make this easier for the clients, Hysopt offers its solution through a ‘software-as-a-service’ model, which means it can run on the cloud, and the users can access it from any device with an internet connection. These benefits make the Hysopt software a go-to technology provider that is efficient as well as cost-effective.
Most impressive of all, Hysopt’s clients are already achieving up to 30 percent savings on operating expenses (OPEX), 15 percent savings on capital expenditure (CAPEX), and more than 40 percent decrease in carbon emissions.
But the success stories of Hysopt don’t stop here. Moving ahead on its trail of innovation and growth, the company is now rapidly expanding its footprint beyond Belgium, especially in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The next step for Hysopt is to evolve into the BIM space. By combining the virtualisation models of BIM with Hysopt’s performance simulation, Vandenbulcke and his team aim to bring together the best of both worlds and pave a new path of evolution for HVAC installations. “In years to come, we will keep augmenting our software and facilitating better capabilities to clients in the construction space,” concludes Vandenbulcke.