Electrical Metering and the Building Internet of Things
The thoughtful instrumentation of buildings for control and monitoring is an indispensable tool in facilities management today. Two key concepts currently receiving play in the industry are the Internet of Things (a broad term, with a corollary, Building Internet of Things) and electrical submetering. These concepts don't exist in a vacuum, however, and the synergy between them can supercharge your electrical submetering into becoming an essential element of your building services information plan. But beware, not all electrical submetering is created equal. Choosing the wrong direction will almost certainly condemn you to a costly refit down the road.
The Reality of Buildings and the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) as the information architecture of the future receives much attention-conjuring up images of wireless, network savvy devices connecting directly to web-based applications. Being wireless, it would seem, is the secret sauce for any modern device.
Buildings offer several unique challenges for IoT based technologies, however. They are not great for consistent, uninterrupted wireless communications, have multiple stakeholders with varying degrees of information needs, and are full of shared equipment and networks that require "gatekeeping" for security, confidentiality, response time, and vendor mobility reasons. All of these complications mean a pure IoT wireless vision is not practical in a building environment - nor is it needed.
Devices used in a building environment should be able to live simultaneously in a wireless and wired IP network. They should have the capacity for reporting to cloud intelligence and be able to respond to multiple local building controllers and servers that may need to utilize these devices for control or sensor information. These devices should also be equipped, perhaps simultaneously, with a range of wireless interfaces and protocols so they can be used both today and tomorrow as technology evolves.
The Building Internet of Things (BIoT)
This hybrid environment is the Building Internet of Things—with in-building devices and gateways that reflect building-centric goals and multi-stakeholder needs.
Where network architectures flatten to eliminate intermediate controllers and management systems, these devices must supply building contextual information directly as needed. They can do this using semantic tagging schemes such as the developing ASHRAE 223P standard.
A building environment that has the capability to adapt to a corporation’s changing building information plan allows corporate managers to take full advantage of Big Data through cloud intelligence—all while maintaining another essential success factor: vendor independence.
Organizations can achieve vendor independence by insisting that all of their building devices use open, standardized protocols and industry standard information tagging, and can easily change reporting configurations to adapt to evolving vendor circumstance.
Electrical Submetering - Supercharge Your Buildings Infrastructure
What does all this have to do with electrical submeters? The benefits of submetering have been proven over and over again—to the point of becoming conventional wisdom.
From allocating costs according to resource use, increasing overall building energy efficiency (up to 60%), detecting faulty equipment, reducing peak-time energy bills, qualifying for sustainability credits, and conforming to jurisdictional laws—submetering has a rapid and rewarding environmental and economic payback. Because of this strong use-case, modern new builds are all being equipped with electrical submetering, while older buildings are rapidly being retrofitted.
But not all electrical submetering is created equal. Often it is not networked at all (has to be read manually) or may be performed by meters that require extra aggregation equipment that may be proprietary and closed - and therefore unable to support third-party or cloud application integrations.
This type of environment is not acceptable in a modern, networked world. If you choose this route, you are guaranteeing a costly replacement in the future.
BIoT Capable Electrical Submetering
Today, BIoT compatible electrical meters are a must and need to:
- Act as an approved instrument of weights and measures where regulations require it for billing or incentive qualification purposes.
- Report to multiple aggregation platforms via standard BAS protocols and IP based reporting, simultaneously (multi-homing).
- Have significant in-device persistence (storage) as protection against loss of communications or information availability (either through network failure or issues with vendors).
- Be future-proof and vendor independent. In the rapidly changing world of BIoT, communications interfaces and protocols, tagging standards and metering configurations can evolve quickly, and installed metering devices need to adapt just as rapidly.
- Be up-gradable in-situ and if possible, remotely as meters are expensive to connect to the circuits they are designed to monitor—and once in place, you don’t want to revisit them with an electrical contractor.
Thriving in a Constantly Changing Information Networking Environment
The use case for metering in building management are well known and past the point of being questioned—with countless studies showing the benefit. In fact, governments and watchdog organizations are validating this principle by continuing to regulate the application of metering in building code.
How meters are deployed, however, dramatically affects their utility. Meters that are installed without considering an information plan that needs to adapt to evolving analytical tools and available services will ultimately be replaced in a costly refurbishing.
From the outset a building's metering design should contemplate the evolution of networking. This is dramatically exemplified by the rapid rise of the Internet of Things and the requirement to continually adapt in a rapidly changing landscape - all while avoiding costly "truck rolls" in the process.
Triacta's metering products are designed with these issues in mind and reflect all the elements required to design a best practice, future-proof metering plan.
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.
We will also be featuring the Google Campus in Silicon Valley as one of our Real Estate Innovation Tours. For more info and to register today, visit Real Estate Tech Tours.
UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
CORPORATE REAL ESTATE & Technology – The Importance of Developing a STRATEGY - 10/24/2019
The Corporate Real Estate industry has quickly gone from constantly resizing the corporate real estate portfolio based on the everchanging business needs of the corporation, to having to understand and deal with a myriad of issues relating to technology, automation and innovation. Not only do CRE professionals need to understand things such as IWMS, intelligent buildings, the smart workplace, AI, VR/AR and other emerging technologies, they also need to understand the fundamental shift on how we use space. Technology which is enabling mobility has shifted the landscape. This webinar will feature some of the most innovative professionals discussing the importance of developing a comprehensive Corporate Real Estate portfolio strategy around the concept of Digital Transformation.
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.
Chuck Niswonger has over 30 years of successful leadership experience in technology-related roles that range from operating his own consulting company (www.nicenets.com) to directing the IT strategy of a real estate investment management firm to manufacturing and technology-enabled education. Chuck has also been the chair of the Realcomm Investment Management (IM) Advisory Council for the last ten years, managing content selection for the conference educational sessions, IM forums, workshops and webinars.
Emmanuel Daniel is responsible for building and delivering the Digital Transformation strategy for campuses across Microsoft and leads a global multidisciplinary team of architects and experience designers. He builds experiences that merge technology with the built environment, leading to the formation of spaces that respond to the needs of its users. He is also accountable for identifying, building and implementing the next generation of products that will make smarter and sustainable buildings.
Paul Maximuk is the Product Owner as well as a technical SME at Ford Land, leading all BMS and controls integrations globally. He has over 30 years of experience in the industry managing multiple types of energy systems and specializing in strategic smart building implementation and management. Paul’s expertise in the built environment spans real estate assets from large industrial facilities to Class A office buildings.
Ronna Davis has been in the networking and telecommunication industry for 23 years. She has been with CommScope for over 13 years and has held positions in sales, channel and product line management. She is currently on CommScope’s Strategy and Technology Team for Buildings and Campuses. Previous to CommScope she worked in the design and construction of telecommunications networks for eight years and in wholesale distribution for two years. She studied marketing and is a LEED Green Associate.
Ron Victor is a Silicon Valley based technology entrepreneur with 20 years of experience and expertise launching new ventures at start-ups and fortune 1000 technology companies. To-date he has enabled raising more than $30Million in start-up capital for multiple start-ups in silicon-valley. Ron has founded and led three companies to-date with successful exits. His latest venture is IoTium Inc. – a Silicon Valley start-up that provides a secure, cloud-managed, easy-to-deploy software defined network infrastructure for all IoT verticals.
Marc is a pioneer in leading the Intelligent/Smart Buildings and M2M movements pushing the industry forward and has contributed to transforming and changing the Intelligent Buildings and M2M (now IoT) industries. As Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Lynxspring Marc leads corporate and product marketing, strategy, brand management, public relations and communications that support the company’s strategic and growth initiatives.
Brent Boekestein is the CEO of Vintra, Inc., a leading video analytics company from Silicon Valley that uses artificial intelligence to transform any video surveillance into actionable and tailored intelligence. Forward-thinking enterprises and public safety organizations like Sacramento City, NYC DOI, Sacramento County, and more use Vintra’s solutions to organize, analyze, and derive critical insights from overwhelming amounts of stored and live video.