G-CTRL – a smart system

G-CTRL is a system where each individual engine heater/electrical socket is connected to the Internet. The administrator of the system receives a clear overview of all car heaters and can both control and read the energy consumption of each individual socket. Tenants or those using the engine heater can log in to “My Pages” via the Internet and control their socket. There is a possibility to set up a calendar with departure times that are repeated each week.
The functionality in G-CTRL is developed and adapted for housing associations, tenant associations, private companies, local governments, public agencies and others.
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This is how G-CTRL works

G-CTRL is a system of products and as the engine heaters are connected to the Internet, it takes more than just an engine heater post. A G-CTRL Controller needs to be installed in each installation and this communicates via power-line communication (PLC) with all engine heaters. The advantage of power-line communication is that it does not require separate communication cables, which makes it very easy to upgrade an existing engine heater installation to a G-CTRL installation!

Normally each installation only requires 1 Controller and this manages communications with all engine heaters (up to 500 units). The controller in turn must be connected to the Internet via a standard Internet service at the customer. The installation may also need a number of amplifiers to amplify the signals sent over the existing power network.

All data, such as energy consumptions and weekly calendars for each socket, are stored on a central server off site. Both the property caretaker and tenant log into this server to control and administer their sockets. Since this is a WEB Server no software is required to control the socket, only a web browser, for example, Internet Explorer. Consequently, the installation owner needs to sign a service agreement to have access to the system. 

Advantages for the property owner

G-CTRL gives the property owner complete control of all car engine heaters. Normally the electrical outlets are rented as engine heaters to tenants where the property caretaker administers the rental. As energy measurements are made on each socket (Option) each tenant can be individually charged for their consumption. Of course, the user can be charged a flat fee to gain access to the parking space and engine heater. General information from the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, BOVERKET, etc. concerning sub-metering, which means the end user pays for their true consumption, shows through numerous different surveys that total energy consumption decreases by about 30% compared to if the user pays a flat monthly fee!

The property owner can access so-called energy files with the total consumption for each engine heater that can then be imported into the property owner's rental advising system, which makes it possible to charge the power consumption for the engine heater directly on the rent invoice without any extra administrative work.

  • Other functions that benefit the property owner include:
  • It is possible to limit the number of switching times per day.
  • It is possible to set the curve between switching times and outdoor temperature.
  • Block all sockets on vacant parking spaces so that they are always switched off, which guarantee zero consumption for vacant places.
  • Electric cars are very popular at the present time! It is possible to rent out electrical outlets where functions are adapted for charging electric cars. Consumption will be very high for a socket used for charging so it is especially important that the true consumption is charged.

 

Advantages for the tenant

G-CTRL is a more convenient way to control your engine heater. As a tenant you have the opportunity to adapt switching times on your outlet to exactly suit your needs as well as the ability to control it via the Internet or an App on a Smartphone. The tenant can set several different “weekly repeating” departure times per day, and “Temporary times” depending on what the property owner allows. Naturally it is also possible to directly start the outlet remotely via the App or the Internet if you decide you need the car soon.

As consumption is normally charged per user, you also have the possibility to save money by using your socket wisely and by doing so avoid sharing costs that arise when other tenants' “waste electricity”.

It is also the possible, depending on the product chosen, to control the engine heater by calling from a telephone or using an RFID tag.