Agerkrantz HydroState

Optimising the district heating operation with real-time data



Agerkrantz HydroState Beacon Tower Azure IIoT platform

Agerkrantz HydroState is a patented solution which, in addition to detailed real-time monitoring of the district heating network, also brings significant savings potential, as sensor data can be translated into more efficient pump control and heat production.


The focus of this reference case is the collection, structuring and processing of real-time data so that the operation of the district heating network can be optimised.

Solution for collection for monitoring, optimisation and ongoing operation

HydroState is a sensor solution for real-time measurement of pressure and temperature in valves, and flow measurements are introduced in new models. The measured pressure above the valve will be used to set the exact pressure on the main and booster pumps in the district heating network.  

We chose Beacon Tower because our sensors require a flexible data platform, which partly gives us a detailed real-time insight into the state of the individual product, at the same time we also need to have a general overview of our installations and potential challenges, as well as easy deployment of the sensors and the possibility of over-the-air firmware updates
Allan Agerkrantz, CEO of Agerkrantz Controls

Beacon Tower is used as an open and flexible data platform to collect and structure sensor data, as well as send processed data on to the SCADA systems that control pumps and heat production. This work is ongoing at a specific district heating company, where Beacon Tower receives data from HydroState sensors, as well as 24-hour meter data from Diehl flow meters. Based on this data, set points are sent to the utility’s SCADA system, through an edge gateway from SIA Connect. In this way, the utility company can control their main pumps as well as booster pumps more efficiently. Furthermore, the supply temperature and water volume can also be reduced, as the real-time measurements provide a snapshot that is not present in the current district heating networks, whereby the heat production can now be adapted more precisely to the real need.

Externally, we must share selected real-time signals and sensor settings with district heating customers so that their heat production can be optimised in daily operations, but also so that long-term patterns and dependencies can be acted upon. Our distributor and service partners must also have access to relevant data so they can access and service the sensors efficiently.
Allan Agerkrantz, CEO of Agerkrantz Controls

Beacon Tower: An open data platform for optimising district heating operations

In connection with the Agerkrantz HydroState sensors, the following Beacon Tower functions and properties are used in particular:

  • Asset models: Asset models are used in relation to scalable provisioning of HydroState sensors and creation of the “digital shadow” which is an instance of the appropriate asset model and which collects data from the associated physical device in Beacon Tower. Asset models are also used to easily specify the data access of Agerkrantz’s customers and service partners, so that they only see a limited data set and not necessarily all data.
  • Data structuring: Asset models are also used to normalise and transform signals from different HydroState models into a consistent data format. In addition, data for the individual customer is structured according to their geographical and operational needs in hierarchical tree structures, so that districts and district heating zones can be used for grouping HydroState sensors. There are also associated dashboards to provide a visual overview. HydroState and service partners can simultaneously configure Beacon Tower to display data from the sensors across their customers with e.g. a division by models, product condition and geography.
  • Dashboards: As an example, two different dashboards are used for Agerkrantz’s HydroState customers: one to monitor and visualise the state of the individual HydroState sensor and one to visualise the state of a given district heating area. Both dashboards are made as templates, which means they can be reused when new HydroState models are introduced to the market. Dashboards in Beacon Tower are also autopopulated, which means that when new HydroState sensors are commissioned they are automatically included in the appropriate dashboard.
  • Open architecture and data access: It has been crucial for Agerkrantz HydroState that Beacon Tower is built with an open architecture with data integration as a focus point from the start. Previously, the historical “silo-thinking” in the district heating sector has been a major challenge, and it is therefore crucial to be able to further optimise operations that data can flow seamlessly between real-time sensors, production systems and control algorithms. Furthermore, in the district heating sector there is a great focus on data being owned and controlled by the individual utility company, which Beacon Tower complies to with the iPaaS solution where the data and the cloud platform are located in the district heating companies’ own Azure cloud.

It is crucial for us that our sensor data can be used openly, efficiently and safely in our customers’ district heating production for the benefit of customers and the environment. That is why we have chosen Beacon Tower, which gives us, our customers and our partners the maximum flexibility and control over data.
Allan Agerkrantz, CEO of Agerkrantz Controls