In the previous years, fossil fuels have shown to contribute substantially to global warming of which the challenges face our country as well as the entire world. The Netherlands is therefore ambitious to free itself from natural gas: in 2050, Dutch society should have substantially reduced its CO2 emissions. Specifically, emissions must be 80% lower than in 1990, at a minimum.

Buildings such as houses contribute greatly to those CO2 emissions. An estimate from the Dutch government shows that this contribution is about 30%. By consequence, the government as well as the market are fully transitioning towards cleaner sources of energy. However, since the demand for heating and warm water does not fade with this transition, different solutions than cutting use must be found. Heat pumps – which work based on electricity – then enter the playing field.

Innovative heat pump supplier

Nefit, a renowned Dutch supplier of furnaces and heat pumps, strongly focuses on product quality and continued improvement of service levels. Their focus is on both the end customer (the consumer) and the installer, since those partners are responsible for a correct installation and maintenance.

In those developments, Nefit takes a very innovative position. It does not avoid inventing and applying new ways of thinking. Together with Business Innovation Campus de Gasfabriek in Deventer, Nefit identifies how new technologies can be utilized to remain the number one heat pump supplier.

Integrated approach towards technology with respect for human workforce

Recently, various Gasfabriek start-up companies led by Aime have worked on a vision document, which proposes how Nefit can benefit from Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in making its heat pumps substantially smarter.

It immediately makes clear that the insights about today’s technology – that their developments should not be applied independently but rather as an integrated whole – are applicable to the energy transition as well. In talks with Nefit, we could quickly identify the need of continuous measurements of the status of the heat pump.

By consequence, Gasfabriek start-up company Iotify works in parallel with our shared developments on an Internet of Things-based measurement kit of which the raw data it generates can be used for enhancing the utilization of AI and Big Data.

Without doubt, these developments are undertaken with respect for Nefit’s and partner’s human workforce. Aime deliberately chooses not to replace human beings in their work, but rather to support their work, allowing the workforce to perform more creative and challenging tasks. Various Nefit stakeholders are involved with our project and share insights from the market and the Nefit organization. Thanks to our collaboration in very good spirit, which also includes Nefit’s end customers, we have made a substantial step forward. Today, we’re working diligently on practical further steps.