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Buildings that use energy IoT technology can connect to and manage their energy assets in real-time
By: Tom Willie
Mar. 18, 2016 11:00 PM
Advances in technology are redefining how energy assets are managed. Buildings that use energy IoT technology can connect to and manage their energy assets in real-time. They can institute system-wide operational oversight and compliance, execute energy efficiency programs, utilize real-time data, and support budgeting and asset planning across local and geographically-dispersed sites with first-of-its-kind connectivity.
Historic approaches to connecting disparate energy management systems have failed because of their proprietary nature. These proprietary point solutions required a "rip and replace" methodology in hardware and customized SCADA development in software. It was expensive, ineffective, exposed cyber-security vulnerabilities and left many stranded assets behind.
Energy IoT is changing everything. Cybersecure, connectivity driven technology platforms are making their way into the energy- and facilities-management industries. Legacy assets can be inventoried against a library of equipment templates from dozens of manufacturers, so that self-configurable, secure energy controls networks can be prescribed at a fraction of the time and cost of customized systems integration projects. This provides the building blocks to integrate energy assets, while retrofitting legacy equipment securely, via industry standard protocols. With this universal connectivity, an entire facility of stranded equipment can become a secure, connected and controllable energy network in a relatively short time. These new building and energy IoT platforms are equipment agnostic, secure, and easy to deploy and manage, bringing new connectivity to an industry that has been built up in silos.
Ubiquitous Connectivity and the Emergence of Energy IoT
These legacy assets are connected into a secure and prescribed energy-controls network, so there is no need to replace existing legacy assets in order to achieve energy management goals. With an energy IoT solution, assets can be securely connected into a centralized SCADA network, monitored remotely and maintained against the common causes of stranded assets: loss of communication, sensor failure and out-of-date software. This new connectivity can make it possible for facilities to become more data-driven, improving building resiliency and reducing energy costs.
Staying Connected to Data
Once assets are connected, the data gathered provides insight into operations as never seen before, and at a lower cost. Visualization, trending and alarms offer an automated way to report, test and comply with various testing authorities. Some IoT software platforms also provide 24/7 monitoring, which can catch abnormalities that may otherwise be missed during a physical generator inspection, thereby avoiding failure of the backup emergency power in an outage and preventing crisis. In short, facilities are able to keep the lights on and energy costs low with these new IoT connectivity platforms.
Local Connectivity Can Unlock Centralized Facility ManagementTM
CFM provides a holistic view into the energy consumed, efficiency efforts and resiliency needs of dispersed operations. Energy management dashboards or Building Automation Systems alone cannot provide a centralized view of the entire energy management program, because they aren't always able to integrate to the dozens of asset types of systems that may have been deployed at individual locations. In essence, they lack the ubiquitous connectivity required to build a true CFM strategy.
An energy IoT platform can connect to a CFM system locally, while scaling across hundreds of sites in order to provide the most effective solution. Those who have attempted CFM in the past know that the first or second building are possible, but it becomes very difficult to scale beyond the third, fourth or fifth facility. The chaos of local assets and systems slows projects down and increases their technical difficulty. With the universal connectivity available in an open energy IoT platform, a CFM implementation can provide simple, ubiquitous access to and control over local sites, regardless of future equipment decisions.
Connectivity Leads to Operationally Efficient Facilities of the FutureTM
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