CASE STUDY | BLYNK IOT PLATFORM

Windmill: Smart AC and connected energy management

INDUSTRY: HVAC

A powerful, quiet, eco-friendly window AC

Windmill is a New York-based connected air care company that currently manufactures window air conditioning units to achieve the highest standard of design, comfort, and energy efficiency, while also lessening their environmental impact. The business has its roots in 50+ years of institutional knowledge in the HVAC industry, working with some of the largest buildings in New York City.

Challenge

Windmill initially launched their first connected window AC product using another leading IoT platform in 2020. Due to various challenges around customer experience, platform flexibility, responsiveness, etc., Windmill started looking for a new IoT partner in mid-2021. In addition to the above issues, Windmill was looking to add a robust energy management program to its connected AC offering, which was not possible with their previous IoT platform.

Among their key goals were:
  • Allowing seamless device activation process for the end-user
  • Implementing a Demand Response (DR) power savings program whereby Windmill could regulate the power usage of its network of connected ACs during times of peak energy demand to not only help reduce unnecessary stress on the electrical grid, but also enable its end-users to save on their energy bills as well.
  • Choosing an IoT platform that supports multi-tenancy and multi-level organization structure
  • Finding a partner that could offer platform customizations with high-quality development at a reasonable cost
As Windmill was already operating in the market, migration time and effort were a major consideration. A comprehensive IoT platform, covering most use cases for connected AC units, that could be implemented out-of-the-box, with an opportunity to custom develop additional functionality on a fixed cost basis, was seen as an ideal solution.

Solution: full IoT software suite for smart AC

Blynk IoT platform and Blynk.Studios had been chosen for the launch of the new, improved AC unit. The product went live in February 2022 and has been getting incredible feedback from new Windmill end-users.

Blynk is supplying a full suite of IoT software for the Windmill connected AC unit. The main use cases include controlling the units from anywhere in the world, remote switching on/off, controlling via voice assistants (Alexa and Google Home), managing various AC settings, setting up schedules, and deploying power-saving programs based on the dynamic parameters.

As part of the managed IoT solution Blynk helped:

  • Select a new Wi-Fi module to better fit the requirements and create firmware for it
  • Set up a dedicated business cloud server to keep "all the dots" connected and store data
  • Set up a multi-tenant IoT system and a branded OEM portal to oversee devices, users, partners, and data
  • Custom develop some company-specific features, including participation in Demand Response power-saving programs
  • Publish Windmill iOS and Android mobile apps tailored for the end-users
All of this was done with the support of a dedicated launch engineer.
Daniel Mayer, Co-Founder, Co-CEO at Windmill
We couldn’t be happier with Blynk as our new IoT platform and partner!

The software works reliably, and our users have been very impressed with the ease of connecting the AC to WiFi, as well as navigating the app’s different features. The Blynk Studio team that helped build our custom functionality around energy management was not only highly experienced but also very professional and responsive… something we were missing prior.

Most important to me as a business owner has been the overall and constant customer support from Blynk management in building out our IoT functionality. It’s been an awesome partnership thus far, and a big, welcome change relative to our previous IoT experience.

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