How the Internet of Things can improve energy efficiency in your building

With energy costs sky high, prioritising energy efficiency is necessary for reducing environmental impact andoperating costs.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a fairly new concept having only being prevalent for the past few decades.

Incorporating it into your building’s environment can have a significant, positive impact on energy efficiency.

What is IoT?

IoT comprises a network of interconnected devices, controllers, and systems. These devices communicate and exchange data in a seamless fashion. The network enables real-time data analysis and decision-making, something that previously was unachievable with manual data mining.

When looking at energy management, IoT integrates smart sensors, cloud-based software, devices and systems to monitor, control and optimise energy consumption.

How IoT devices and sensors can improve energy efficiency

If a building has incorporated IoT into its environment it will be able to monitor major devices such as machinery, air conditioning systems, heating systems, large refrigerating units or lighting systems via a building management system (BMS). The BMS allows systems across the building to communicate with each other and work together in a more efficient fashion.

Data will be collected via the BMS over time and AI algorithms will analyse IoT data and map out habits and trends. From here, the system has the ability to strategise ways to conserve energy.

A fully integrated BMS has the ability to turn off lights when rooms are unoccupied, turn up the heating when the temperature drops below a certain level, close blinds when windows are exposed to direct sunlight and so much more.

 

IoT devices that improve energy efficiency

Daylight Sensors

These sensors read the available light in a room or space, send a signal to the control system and turn off or dim lighting if there is ample natural light. They can also be used to raise or lower blinds to help optimise lighting.

HVAC Controllers

These sensor based systems measure various conditions within a building. The data gathered is used to regulate output within climate control systems such as heating, air conditioning and ventilation. Some models also incorporate the weather forecast to help heat or cool a building more efficiently.

Lighting Controls

Lighting controls consist of both sensors and actuators that control lighting through the use of IoT. Energy efficiency comes from lowering lighting output based on certain conditions. For example, turning off lights over weekends when an office space isn’t occupied, or dimming the lights in the evening to create an ambient setting.

Some smart lighting solutions can be controlled through an external device like a smartphone, can be set to operate on a schedule, or be triggered by sound or motion.

Occupancy Sensors 

These sensors will turn lights on or off depending on whether there are people in the room or not, that means if people forget to turn off the lights when leaving a room then the building will do it automatically. They use infrared technology and can also be used to manage heating and cooling.

Smart Meters

Smart meters are essential for tracking energy use, if used properly they can result in significant reductions in energy usage.

They continuously measure and record energy consumption in real time and pass this data on remotely to the utility provider. This eliminates the need for manual energy readings leading to more accurate billing.

They also offer real time energy consumption monitoring, and immediate reporting of any power outages.

Smart Thermostats

These allow remote monitoring and control of temperature within buildings. Some IoT smart thermostats can identify user habits and successfully regulate room temperature by learning from real time data.

Some smart thermostats allow for remote control meaning you can heat or cool a building when you aren’t there physically.

 

IoT is part of our future

IoT has come a long way in the past 20 years, and it’s also got a long way to go. Who knows where we will be 20 years from now.

Don’t fall behind and ignore the many systems, sensors and controls that can easily be incorporated into your building’s management system to reduce environmental impact and lower energy costs.

Interested in learning more? Talk to a member of our trusted team today:

Call: 02381 103157

Email: sales@tdselectrical.com
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