Swimming pool controlled via smartwatch

Using novel technology, the Askerbadene swimming centre consumes 45 percent less energy. Providing the high-tech solution, Guard Automation is now vying for the title of Norway’s Smartest Industrial Company.


“What we are most proud of in this building is that we have gotten all the subsystems to communicate with a central operational control. Once that goal was reached, all parts of heating, power consumption and water temperature can be monitored and controlled via a single screen,” says Project Manager Jon Egil Ek from Guard Automation.

The Holmen Svømmehal (one of the two swimming facilities of Askerbadene) was recently named ‘Norway’s Best Building.” Here, everything from ventilation to heat and water has been digitised. This allows the operation of the new pool to be optimised and operated more effectively.

Manager for Askerbadene, Alex Jahanfar, currently has a test smartwatch. With it, the most important information will be adapted to an app that will be accessed on a waterproof sports watch.

“When all the lifeguards get such a watch, we can keep track of the water and air temperature and get notified if something deviates,” he says.

This makes it easy to gain full control over the water temperature, humidity and everything else in the building.

Covered by photovoltaic panels and solar water heaters, the Holmen facility uses 45 percent less energy than a regular pool. Below the ground are geothermal wells that fill up in the summer and are tapped during winter. Everything is monitored and analysed to ensure as little energy as possible is consumed. Photo: Max Emanuelson

Ek emphasises that the system is flexible and that it’s about providing smart solutions:

“We are able to work with other contractors across deliveries so that we can make the systems work together in an optimal and efficient way. We are open to the types of cooperation that are required in a project, and internally to optimising the process and function.”

The solutions are not about offering exciting gadgets, but about safety and efficiency.

“In a swimming pool, the challenge is that there are many different users with completely different insights. Lifeguards may be senior citizens or a young person good at swimming. The system displays must therefore be self-explanatory. Users may not find flow charts informative, but colour codes shown in an intuitive way are easy to understand. If something deviates, the display changes to red; when everything is normal and fine, it’s green.”

Higher efficiency

Norway’s Smartest Industrial Company is an award co-hosted by the Federation of Norwegian Industries and Siemens. The aim is to find companies that have taken smart steps that enable them to deliver competitive solutions in a demanding market, while demonstrating how they have initiated measures that make their own business more efficient.

“Digitalisation and automation have the potential to make commodity production so efficient that industries will benefit from relocating back to Norway,” said jury member Torger Reve, professor at BI Norwegian Business School.

Jon Egil Ek is Project Manager at Guard Automation. Here, he demonstrates how all technical systems are digitised and jointly operated. Photo: Max Emanuelson

NOK 20 million per kilometre

Building an eHighway is a significant expense, but the advantage is that it can be established along already existing roads without having to make significant new investments.

“Our calculations show that the cost of an electric road with the eHighway concept costs about NOK 20 million per kilometre. This may sound expensive, but compared to what it costs to build roads in this country, it’s only a fraction,” says Jahr

Jahr emphasises that there is no question of building along all roads or along the entire stretch.

Concentrated on a few roads

“In Norway, we often get questions about how eHighway can be built on narrow roads, through tunnels and over bridges. That’s easy to answer. You don’t have to be connected all the time – it’s not like the old trolley buses hanging on their cables. The system can be fitted along the most suitable stretches, and elsewhere you drive on battery or internal combustion engine, completely seamlessly,” says Jahr.

Pantographs on lorries can be combined with all known lorry engines/motors and technologies.

“You can also charge any battery while the motor is running. This will make it possible to drive much further on clean, electric power,” says Jahr.