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30 Innovators to Watch 2021

With its stellar science-based HVAC calculation and simulation software, Hysopt optimizes HVAC systems with ease


In the modern world, buildings tend to consume more than 35 percent of the total energy consumption, and almost 40% of the total carbon emissions. Owners of the commercial buildings and facility managers are tasked with the decarbonization while maintaining or preferably lowering energy costs. Researchers and the energy industries are constantly on the lookout for improving the efficiency of their HVAC systems. Nowadays, the conventional methods of managing HVAC systems are ineffective and insufficient because the systems have become more dynamic, complex, and non-linear.

Globally, there are various companies delivering excellent solutions for companies to manage their HVAC systems, but Hysopt offers a unique part of the puzzle. Hysopt is an HVAC Digital Twin software that allows the user (engineer/installer) to analyse and optimize HVAC systems in a virtual environment before building/renovating them in real life. The result is a “first time right” approach which prevents system errors and optimizes the HVAC system by hydraulically balancing it. Thanks to this technology, the user will be able to deliver upon the 4 C’s of HVAC systems to her/his customers: Carbon reduction, Costs reduction, Comfort increase, and the DIGITAL TWIN will be an asset to Control the whole design process and lifecycle management.

In conversation with Roel Vandenbulcke, Founder of Hysopt

Q. What are the significant challenges that you have faced in this sector and how did you overcome those challenges?

  1. In recent times, the systems have become more complex with the introduction of new sustainable technologies (heat pumps, geothermal energy storage, heat networks, etc.). This has resulted in designs becoming more susceptible to errors.
  2. Due to rising interest in the Green New Deal, building owners have become more stringent in their demands on the performance of HVAC installations. They are now demanding the systems to be lower or zero carbon while keeping the cost of energy as low as possible. In other words, they are keen to explore the possibilities and new methods that can create a positive impact on their HVAC systems.

It is immensely difficult to solve the above mentioned problems with conventional design methods. Our software is designed in such a way that it will allow us to analyze and optimize the behavior of an installation in a virtual environment with a science-based approach. This way, you can prevent errors and know in advance how the installation will behave and perform according to the relevant KPIs.

Q. Technology in energy management sector is constantly evolving. How do we get qualified individuals who can maintain your service standards?

To make sure that our partners (M&E designers and installers) are familiar with the Hysopt software and hydraulics mechanism, we go over and above to deliver an exceptionally seamless experience. Even after the training is complete, they can still count on our continued support. The Hysopt software is completely web-based, which allows our partners to give the Hysopt engineers access to their projects from everywhere, and provide them with tailored project support.

Q. Tell us about your solution’s impact on costs to make the HVAC sector more sustainable.

In the conventional design process, the designer is blind. The engineer/installer is also left completely unaware of the installation’s performance under different operating conditions. This uncertainty makes the engineer or the installer use safety margins (better safe than sorry), and it is well-known that safety margins often lead to over-dimensioning. With the detailed calculations in the Hysopt software, over-dimensioning is a thing of the past. This quickly results in investment cost savings of 5 to 10%. Studies also show that an average HVAC project suffers from about 5% failure cost because of poor engineering. A cost that was not foreseen in the original budget. The Hysopt software can eliminate most of this failure cost. Besides the investment and failure cost, the Hysopt software can also save an average of 30% energy costs by fine-tuning the installation hydraulically.

Q. Growing the company based on employees’ passions must be the priority. Do you ask your employees what they are interested in doing and how they would like to see their career unfold?

Our employees are genuinely passionate about energy and technology. I have also noticed that many applicants (especially the young ones) are genuinely concerned about global warming and want to contribute to the solution. On top of that, it triggers people to be part of a “growing company” that offers many opportunities.

Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

We are now working on a BIM integration with CAD software, which is also a Digital Twin software but mainly geometric, whereas the Hysopt software deals with physics. You could say the difference is: What it looks like vs. how it operates. With this integration, we can bring the drawing and calculation world together faster with lesser communication loss. The BIM integration will be launched in mid-2022.

Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Any exciting things on the horizon?

Loads, actually, the Green New Deal, for example. This will set the entire HVAC sector in motion. The energy transition will not be an evolution but a revolution. In addition, next to the design and build phase, we will also start working on the operational phase in the future, where we can import data from the BMS (Building Management Systems) to the Hysopt model to detect and adjust irregularities: Model-Based Diagnostics. As of now, the prototypes look very promising. Ultimately, it’s our goal to ensure an optimal life cycle for every HVAC installation, so we feel responsible for making this leap and deploy the Hysopt software in the operational phase as well.

Meet the leader behind the success of Hysopt

Roel Vandenbulcke, Founder of Hysopt, is passionate about energy and environment. The Hysopt software is a valorisation project of his PhD studies at the University of Antwerp. Roel is an economist as well as an engineer. This gives him a unique perspective on the world and enables him to find technical solutions that are economically justifiable.

“Hysopt’s unique design software helps building owners to heat and cool buildings more efficiently, helping to transfer to a zero carbon future.”