Energy efficiency is the need of the hour and IoT is helping M&V disrupt the energy efficiency industry.
FREMONT, CA: In energy efficiency projects, measurement and verification (M&V) is used to measure energy consumption changes. However, the challenge that arises is to deploy M&V devices without raising the cost and minimizing staff time in creating usable data sets for energy-efficiency analysis at the same time. The challenge can be answered with the industry’s adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). The International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) framework is used to compare measured consumption or demand before and after the implementation of an Energy Conversation Measure (ECM) and determine energy savings.
Using continuous measurements of main utility meters or submeters, the determination of actual energy consumption can be determined. For instance, by placing electric submeters in remote locations of a facility, energy consumption of implicated electric circuits or equipment can be monitored. Similarly, HVAC represents one of the most significant sources of electricity consumption in commercial buildings. Accordingly, HVAC systems have been targeted by energy efficiency efforts as potential areas of energy savings. HVAC systems have become the center of attention due to building performance and sustainability trends.
The process of ensuring that HVAC systems run at peak performance levels is formalized by continual commissioning. The ongoing process is designed to improve tenant comfort, resolve operational problems, and maximize use for existing buildings. Continuous commissioning is essential in extending the useful life of HVAC equipment. Data is more critical than electric submetering. For instance, data obtained from the HVAC can be used to optimize the chilled water loop, condenser water loop, chillers, and cooling towers.
Data collection from HVAC data for M&V and continuous commissioning is arduous. The rigidity of the sensor data is one of the major problems. Even if the building has a Building Automation System (BAS) installed, it is tough to capture data from it as it was initially designed to run HVAC control loops and not capture extensive sensor data. To modify the BAS to accommodate M&V-driven analysis will cost a lot of money and long implementation delays.
IoT is a cheaper alternative to capture required M&V sensor data from a building. IoT retrofits have the excellent capability when the BAS functionality reaches its limits. Wireless IoT retrofits eliminate the need to extend Building Automation System network infrastructure and the costs related to its software upgrades. The wireless IoT nodes can capture needed measurement data from every remote part of the building. IoT takes a leap beyond data logger’s functionality. IoT retrofits gather customized data sets in the building and upload it to the cloud for visualization in real-time. Manual data capturing is eliminated. Further, IoT-driven cloud visualizations confirm that the data is being captured. The comprehensive catalog of time-stamped data samples can be organized and analyzed by M&V at any point in time.
IoT has already disrupted the M&V landscape, which previously depended on the rigid BAS or antiquated data loggers. However, the real value of IoT can be extracted when it coincides with the rise of EaaS providers and applications. With EaaS, a service company would take the responsibility to manage energy costs, optimizing the physical plant, leveraging renewables, and more. With this process, the service provider can guarantee a building’s future energy costs. An EaaS service provider has a function similar to that of a software application layer in the cloud. With sub-systems in each building, the data is fed to the EaaS application layer for M&V, commissioning, and energy services in real-time. To maximize their internal efficiencies, EaaS service providers will require an increasing amount of real-time data. In the market of energy efficiency, M&V provide a useful service that is increasing in importance. IoT will empower EaaS to gain traction in the market.
See also: Top 10 APAC IoT Solution Companies