Sustainability and energy efficiency have been the top priorities in the industry. We are faced with the environmental problem of depleting sources of natural energy. Firms are encouraged to look for solutions to ease the energy consumption of buildings. Engineers and homeowners look for ways to minimize the energy consumption of their devices.
Suru stated, “The public at large are looking at products and services through the lens of environmental change. Companies are striving to meet increasing innovation demands in product development and customer service. Meanwhile, juggling resources and striving for the lowest climate impact. Maintaining a business that is environmentally and commercially sustainable has never been more difficult nor more important.”
Energy consumption is a great concern in the building sector. HVAC systems are known to consume up to 60 percent of a building’s overall energy consumption. Oftentimes, large commercial buildings are suffering from HVAC system failures. Building owners are not even aware of it. Most of the energy spent is wasted on malfunctions of HVAC systems.
Suru provided an example of such a malfunction. According to them, “When a building area gets caught up in a heating and cooling loop. It happens when the HVAC cools the room down to a temperature below the occupant-set temperature levels. Then, its control system tries to adjust for the drop and tells it to heat it back up again to a comfortable level. The occupants are never aware of the problem. The facility manager is never alerted. Equipment technicians are in the dark.” As a result, this malfunction leads to high electricity bills. A huge amount of energy is wasted. Costs can add up more when service engineers do not identify the problem right away.
This kind of problem can be solved with “Internet of Things” (IoT) technologies. IoT is a technological advancement that aids HVAC system problems. It captures data from the HVAC system and other building sensors. IoT analyzes the collected data and searches for malfunctions or wasteful patterns. It provides relevant information that could help solve your HVAC problems. Read along to learn more about IoT.
Introducing IoT technology for your HVAC
IoT refers to the network of devices embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies. It connects and exchanges data with other devices and systems with the help of the internet. Devices range from household objects to industrial systems. IoT is an emerging tool deployed in big HVAC systems of buildings. Today, there are more than seven billion connected IoT devices. According to experts, this is expected to grow by 22 billion by 2025.
According to Caggia, “IoT enables smart features of many technologies including HVAC systems. Advanced IoT-enabled sensors can provide a wealth of information. Sensors gather measurements on indoor air temperature and outdoor radiant temperature. It also measures indoor and outdoor humidity, airspeed, and circulation patterns. The smart sensors transfer this information to a central database. The database connects the HVAC system to the power of the internet. It exports status to apps and dashboards. It also imports information like weather forecasts and user preferences.”
Forecasts and preferences direct automatic HVAC system adjustments. It can command actuators independently. Smart sensors can communicate over the internet. It is flexible and adaptable to the needs of a particular HVAC system configuration. Moreover, connectivity is essential in IoT. Connectivity allows units to communicate with each other for smooth and automatic adjustments. It also provides a gateway for sensors to share and collect information externally.
As stated by Oracle, “Now we can connect everyday objects to the internet via embedded devices. Seamless communication is possible between people, processes, and things. Physical things can share and collect data with minimal human intervention. Digital systems can record, monitor, and adjust each interaction between connected things. The physical world meets the digital world—and they cooperate.”
IoT is one of the most essential technologies today. This technology is applied in homes and even in big industries. Industrial IoT is applied to building systems with respect to instrumentation and sensor and device controls. Nowadays, industries have been using machine-to-machine communication (M2M). It helps them to achieve wireless automation and control. Industries can also achieve a more advanced automation layer. It can be achieved with the emergence of cloud and allied technologies. It creates new revenue and business models.
Below are the common uses for Industrial IoT as stated by Oracle.
- Smart manufacturing
- Connected assets and preventive and predictive maintenance
- Smart power grids
- Smart cities
- Connected logistics
- Smart digital supply chains
Advantages of IoT for your HVAC
No doubt HVAC systems can be more optimized with the help of IoT technology. IoT can identify ways to consume energy efficiently. IoT controls can optimize components. It can also quantify the benefits of different configurations of energy usage.
According to Hashmi, “Innovations in HVAC technology are currently on the rise. Unique implementations of IoT are being seen in the HVAC industry. IoT in HVAC comes under the parallels of consumer and infrastructure IoT. Wherein it not only enables greater flexibility and controls to the consumer. It allows manufacturers and building companies to keep a strong check on their systems. It helps them ensure proper operations.”
Below are the advantages of deploying IoT for your HVAC system.
Energy savings and improved sustainability
Sustainability and energy efficiency are the crucial goals of HVAC system owners. There is an increasing call for sustainable technology. Energy consumption devoted to HVAC systems is high. Between 20 percent to 40 percent of overall energy consumption is used in buildings. According to Caggia, “This share is greater than industrial energy use and transportation energy costs. Applying IoT to HVAC systems shows promise for exceeding temperature comfort expectations. This while still optimizing energy usage. Smart HVAC systems are able to optimize power consumption on a case-by-case basis in real-time. Without any interruption in service.”
The algorithms in IoT integrate data between the internal HVAC system and the outside world. This is to moderate thermal comfort and energy use. IoT is proven to be effective at temperature and power regulation. This is relative to the traditional thermostats. Advanced algorithms can adapt to any climate, building, user preference, and energy goal. It satisfies a wide range of customer needs. IoT HVAC systems can also increase occupant comfort from 75 percent to 95 percent. While it reduces the energy usage by 20 percent during the peak summer heat.
Real-time Data Management and Diagnostics
Hashmi wrote, “Data management and diagnostics are the most useful component of IoT in HVAC. Manufacturers are looking for the most accurate and real-time operational data of their devices. Be it installed in residential, commercial, or industrial environments.” The controllers deployed in commercial applications of HVAC systems are becoming more advanced. More complex algorithms and analytical capabilities are increasing in the HVAC market. It brings the need for a more robust IoT network that facilitates data sharing.
Manufacturers also benefit from the insights and improved building designs. As well as equipment manufacturing and demand forecasting. Building owners are becoming aligned towards the integration of IoT with their domains.
IoT forecasts potential problems within the HVAC systems. It also decreases the downtime incurred. It saves maintenance costs. It also ensures uninterrupted service provision. Moreover, real-time data allows building owners to schedule their service and maintenance on time. Indeed, the industry is heading towards the idea of smart buildings.
Preventive Maintenance and Emergency Alerts
IoT connects HVAC users with maintenance providers. It shares maintenance data with contractors. Some IoT are even more advanced. More advanced IoT schedules maintenance or call technicians when there is an emergency.
Caggia stated, “Sensors are adaptable. They are able to detect water leaks to automatically shut off a system. Indicate a dirty filter that needs to be changed. Generate an alert that a blower is running slow and reducing system performance. Technicians already have access to essential diagnostic information when they arrive at the unit. It gives a head start on assessing and addressing the problem. Smart HVAC systems provide faster response times. They schedule predictability and more accurate repair assessments. Even when customers are away from their property.”
IoT analyzes historical HVAC data to predict potential failures. It also estimates when maintenance should be performed. Preventive maintenance increases the lifespan of HVAC systems. It also saves repair costs.
More Control for Users
IoT can moderate more than temperature. It can adjust system other HVAC system components to achieve the best thermal comfort. Users can customize system factors, such as home insulation, humidity, and other parameters. They can also allow the IoT technology to optimize these settings automatically.
According to Caggia, “Dashboards are a one-stop-shop to check performance. You can also update the settings and view energy consumption trends. Some systems will even calculate carbon footprint changes based on current usage statistics. It will also project future costs based on planned consumption rates. Continuous access to system status provides transparency, predictability. Peace of mind for both residential and commercial customers. It also enables customers to take more control over their financial expenditures. Even in their environmental impact. Upgrading to more sophisticated HVAC systems can reduce a customer’s monthly energy costs by 30 percent on average.”
IoT technology makes stand-alone HVAC systems devices interoperable. According to Hashmi, “Appliances that were traditionally separated from your home are now integrated into the broader sphere of “smart home”. Home assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa are the major players in this area. They provide a singular access point for various devices. It links up and functions in tandem with multiple smart systems.”
Voice-activated controls for air conditioning units are now used. Programmable thermostats and smart AC controllers can be hooked up to home assistants. Making it work even through dedicated voice commands. Hashmi wrote, “Multiple devices can work in tandem. Providing the perfect indoor climate based on outdoor temperature conditions. It lowers your bills, too.”
AKCP Environmental Monitoring Solutions
AKCP HVAC Monitoring able to minimize emergency calls, identify system inefficiencies, improve performance, and resolve issues more quickly if they do arise. Monitoring allows immediate warnings for unexpected failures and allows faster response times and specific failure data to speed the repair process. This strategic foresight results in significantly reduced operational and energy costs while also allowing technicians to focus on key activities like preventative maintenance services.
Remote building monitoring provides peace of mind for mission-critical spaces while maximizing the performance and energy efficiency of your HVAC system. Through an AKCPro Server and email alerts, the system allows full control and monitoring of your HVAC systems and shares a wealth of data to predict failure or malfunctioning systems.
This technology can further allow for trending energy usage throughout buildings and work as a tool to monitor and control energy expense and capital expense planning. Now you can manage your buildings with better data and improve your returns on the building investment.
AKCP Differential Air Pressure
Differential pressure gauges work on the principle of high and low pressure causing varying levels of airflow. Most HVAC systems, regardless of their end application, have a pipe or duct airflow. Filters within these tubes cleanse air passing from outside to indoors. Once filtered, the pressure of the air on the downstream side of the filter will drop, which in turn will pull more air from the outside into the pipe.
By measuring the pressure at points on either side of a filter system, technicians can assess both particulate build-up in the air and the condition of the air filter causing the change in pressure. This process requires a pre-determined threshold to show once differential pressure has dropped too low. Technicians set this threshold by calculating the volume flow rate and identifying the filter’s physical characteristics, such as thickness.
- 4x AA Batteries
- External 5VDC or 12VDC power
- LED indicators for power, status, and RSSI
- Optional DIN rail or pipe mounting
AKCP Wireless Temperature Sensor
HVAC and refrigeration temperature sensors provide temperature measurement, control, and compensation. Our wide selection of wired and wireless sensors helps to meet the specific demands of temperature.
Temperature sensors can monitor ambient conditions as well as liquids and gases that are used to heat and cool the environment.
AKCP wireless temperature sensors work as a pair and they check each other’s values once a second for accuracy. If we detect the sensors are out of acceptable tolerances an alert is sent warning that the sensor requires re-calibration. NIST4 sensors come with 3x NIST traceable, calibrated temperature sensors in a single stainless steel tube. They work in pairs, with the averages of each pair averaged to give an overall reading. Improved accuracy and calibration checks with failover. Should any pair be out of calibration that value is ignored and an alert generated to warn that a pair is out of calibration?
- 4x AA Battery powered, with 10-year life*
- USB 5VDC external power.
- 12VDC external power.
- Custom sensor cable length up to 15ft to position sensor in an optimal location.
- NIST2 dual-sensor calibration integrity check.
- NIST3 triple sensor calibration integrity checks with failover.
IoT technology is the future of HVAC systems. It poses many advantages for building owners. IoT reduces energy consumption and improves sustainability. It helps in real-time data management and diagnostics. It also has preventive maintenance and emergency alerts. IoT gives more control to users and synchs HVAC devices for easier use.
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