Data analytics technology for optimal building performance
By A Socha, Schneider Electric South Africa
Electricity+Control, March 2015 (pages 4 – 7)
Enquiries: Schneider Electric, Ntombi Mhangwani 011 254 6400, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Buildings are central to modern life. Considering they account for up to 40 % of energy use in most countries, buildings are a prime target for cutting waste, saving money and using resources more effectively. Effective use of data analytics in buildings can reduce major equipment spend and increase energy savings by up to 30 %.
The use of data analytics in buildings helps proactively identify and solve inefficiencies in building systems. Lighting, HVAC, security and building automation systems all generate massive volumes of data. With the right tools, building managers can pull data from these systems and run it against algorithms to compare current operations to an optimal range for a system or piece of equipment. This process allows building managers to easily see when a system or piece of equipment deviates from optimal operating conditions. In addition to spotting deviations, the data can also be used to proactively optimise a building’s operations from an entire plant to a single terminal unit.
Data analytics is often associated with creating operational efficiencies, but building managers may be surprised to learn it is also a powerful tool to identify waste and undetected problems. For example, through collecting and analysing data, facility managers can uncover issues like simultaneous heating and cooling, suboptimal economiser controls, leaking valves, broken dampers, manual overrides, poor occupancy scheduling, excessive zone temperature set points, and much more. Without data analytics, these significant sources of waste would go unnoticed, weighing on the bottom line and eating up resources.
- Data analytics helps building managers understand how a building is operating – and ‘why’.
- Understanding the ‘why’ leads to permanent and effective solutions.
- Data analytics in buildings can reduce equipment spend and increase energy savings.