Cloud-based Meter Infrastructure Management
It’s pretty clear to most that an open information plan that keeps your data free from vendor or system lock-in is essential to any instrumentation and control measures you deploy. Less recognized yet arguably as important, however, is having secure and ready access to the actual building devices themselves – both for set up and ongoing device configuration. This is true for all modern, networked, on-premise building equipment – and critical for your metering infrastructure.
Device Status and Programming Not Enough
Ready access to electrical meters for programming and status has become standard, but it’s not enough. A building’s meter management platform needs to go beyond individual devices to include how the meters are performing in a networked environment. The minimum criteria here is how each meter correlates to the physical elements of a building.
In addition to easy meter management, this hierarchical approach lends itself well to other dimensions of modern building management – including multi-tenancy, multiple sites, Infrastructure as a Service, contract services, and the needs of diverse stakeholder groups.
Allocating Costs and Assigning Control
In multi-tenant situations (residential and commercial), access to building information is not just to understand overall building performance, but also to allocate resource consumption. In some situations, the need goes even further to include system control for property managers and tenants. These requirements call for sophisticated reporting mechanisms and the ability to set the scope of visibility and control to defined audiences.
For this reality, web-based access is a must.
Managing Multiple Sites
Many property managers have multiple buildings. Corporate property management not only has numerous sites but may have a footprint in multi-tenant buildings as well as wholly owned single occupant buildings. Having a metering infrastructure that allows for web-based access means that corporate leadership, property managers, and building professionals can all get the level of access and information they need across all locations – in a timely and secure manner.
Working with Third Parties
In today's complicated world of service delivery, a 3rd party may own and operate a building's instrumentation – therefore needing to access and control building devices while at the same time giving property management and tenants visibility. It is also not unusual for building assets like the metering infrastructure to be installed under one ownership, such as the building owner, and then transferred to an outsourced asset manager.
A web-based, hierarchical management system that controls stakeholder scope and privilege is key for managing these scenarios – and a serious, if not critical consideration when deploying any kind of metering or control system.
The Triacta Solution
Triacta’s metering platforms have been web-centric since inception. Management can be performed using local computing resources running Triacta’s configuration tools, or via Triacta Cloud – our web-based software as a service.
- Hierarchical representation of metering assets with multiple views from different perspectives (for example, but not limited to): electrical system design, common versus tenant ownership, physical building layout, geographical distribution, and service and service provider association
- XML based export and import of information for use by other applications
- Clear format fields for meta-tagging description of individual metering points
- Multiple user accountgors with the ability to limit scope of control and visibility for multiple levels of stake-holder (Service Provider, Property owner, Property Manager, Local Tenant, Corporate C-Suite, Contractor, etc.)
- Configuration tools for full configuration of individual meters
- Configuration tools for full configuration of very large deployments of meters – with tools for commissioning, installation, wiring, and audit trails
- Event management for oversight of meter deployments
- Collection of meter data for scheduled reporting
- Visual representation of consumption information
- Built-in applications for application of tariff and service pricing to the individual meter point
An Important Note on Security
In this age of security concerns, it is important to understand how meters attached to a secure network behind a firewall can communicate with a web-based application without causing problems for IT. Triacta meters are IP network “citizens” – obtaining IP addresses using the DHCP protocol (just like your computer) or having static IP addresses assigned to them. Triacta meters initiate communications with cloud applications just as a web-browser session from your computer would. Any meter user data or meter event information that is meant to be shared is uploaded to the cloud application, and any configuration information that is to be downloaded into the meter is pulled down in the same session. This meter-only initiation from inside a firewall per normal HTTP based operations is highly efficient and doesn't contravene standard network security protocols.
This Week’s Sponsor
Triacta designs and manufactures revenue grade meters and data acquisition devices for energy management, tenant billing, and building control applications. Every Triacta meter ships with software that combines meter management, automated data collection, powerful analysis tools, and flexible data export capabilities — everything needed to create and manage a metering infrastructure.
UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
A Path to Net Zero – Driving ENERGY EFFICIENCY in Smart Buildings - 7/18/2019
One of the first trends to emerge in the modern smart building movement was energy conservation and efficiency. Approximately eight years ago, the industry realized that connecting energy related equipment to a network and applying advanced analytics and complex integration strategies could result in a significant reduction in energy and natural resource consumption and a resultant decrease in energy related expenses. In recent years, operational efficiency and occupant experience have been added to the smart building discussion, sometimes overshadowing energy efficiency. This webinar will focus on the very important goal of including energy efficiency in the comprehensive smart building strategy.
Tom Shircliff is a co-founder and principal of Intelligent Buildings, a nationally recognized smart real estate professional services company that was started in 2004. Intelligent Buildings provides planning and implementation of next generation strategy for new buildings, existing portfolios and urban communities. Tom is a speaker and collaborator with numerous universities and national laboratories, a gubernatorial appointee for energy strategy and policy and founding Chairman of Envision Charlotte, a Clinton Global Initiative.
Sarah currently serves as a Senior Advisor for the U.S. Department Building Technology Office where she leads commercial zero energy efforts, district-scale solutions, and a pSarah currently serves as a Senior Advisor for the U.S. Department Building Technology Office where she leads commercial zero energy efforts, district-scale solutions, and a portfolio of data infrastructure projects. In previous roles at DOE, Sarah led local government clean energy innovation programs. Sarah has over 15 years of experience in sustainability and energy work. Before DOE, Sarah worked for Baltimore City where she helped establish their Office of Sustainability.
Ryan Knudson, is the AVP for Operations and Energy Management at Macerich. He is responsible for the development, execution and operations for all Capital Expense Energy and Smart Building projects as well as national program vendor management. He oversees the daily operations of Macerich’s portfolio with a focus on same center NOI growth.
Akshai Rao, a vice president at Yardi, is responsible for the development of procurement and energy management solutions to ensure high-performing buildings. Prior to Yardi, Akshai spent five years at Bain & Company where he focused on technology and telecom.