IOTech Systems Limited

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Building Automation

New advances in building automation systems combined with the latest generation of IoT devices make it possible to acquire data from a wide range of equipment in today’s buildings. Access to this data opens up new possibilities for more efficient facility operation and lower costs.

Accessing the data is just the first key step in the process and can be a major challenge in an environment where many different systems and sensor technologies are used. The next challenge is to manage and derive value from the vast amount of data produced by these devices and turn that data into actionable information that can be used to automate workflow processes to improve energy and overall operational efficiency.

A new generation of open software platforms hosted on edge nodes in close proximity to the building’s IoT devices are enabling access to the building data and advanced analytics deployed on these platforms is providing the technology to create value from this data. Analytics software makes it possible to transform data from building systems into actionable information by finding patterns that represent operational issues and opportunities for savings.

Effective analytics solutions must be able to combine data from multiple sources all of which are likely to have different formats. Open Edge platforms such as IOTech’s Edge Xpert help manage this problem by enabling data to be read/written from a wide a range of sensor/device protocols and then presenting the data to the analytics in a normalized format.

Already a number of important use cases where edge computing and the IoT are being used effectively in buildings automation systems are emerging including:

  • Fault detection - finding patterns in sensor data that represent equipment failures, anomalies or degraded performance. For example, a defective airflow sensor can cause fan systems to operate at full flow even during periods of time when actual load would call for reduced airflow. This results in significant energy waste.
  • Energy Analysis - use analytic rules to look for deviations from expected energy performance. As an example, software can identify the patterns that show when the building systems (e.g. lighting, HVAC) are activated too early or operate too late in relation to their actual occupancy schedules.
  • Identifying correlations across different types of data - analytics can take diverse data sets and process them to find correlations that combine asset data and energy data, for example, patterns related to weather, energy and age of facilities.
  • Validate the results of investments in energy savings measures - monitoring and verification of results produced by investments in energy conservation measures is a key requirement to insure return on investment. Traditionally this process has involved extensive manual effort using spreadsheets and other tools. With analytic software, the M&V analysis becomes automated and continuous. Automating the algorithms and processes to “crunch” through energy, facility and equipment data to calculate energy performance, compare to benchmarks or baselines, normalize for weather and other conditions not only reduces the cost associated with the M&V effort, but also provides clearer information that is easier for managers to consume.

Access to the vast quantities of data produced by modern building systems opens up new opportunities for the creation of value-added services to help businesses reduce energy consumption and cost, enhance operations through improved operating processes, and to validate investments made in energy savings measures. Open Edge software platforms combine multi-protocol connectivity and the ability to combine data from multiple sources. Advanced analytics can turn this data can into actionable information that can be used to improve the overall operational efficiency of a building.


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Keywords for: Open Edge Solutions for Building Automation and Smart Building Applications

IoT edge solutions, edge computing platform, building automation, smart buildings, fault detection, energy analysis, edge xpert, building automation and control systems, building automation system architecture, building automation software, edge computing, internet of things, IoT, Industrial IoT