Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Troy Davis and Ken Sinclair
Troy Davis, Sales Director, EnOcean Inc.
Sinclair: Do you see the worlds of HVAC and lighting coming together in real applications?
the introduction of gateways and data collection infrastructure within
existing building stock the simplicity of blending the two silos has
become increasingly popular. There are opportunities to control,
monitor and analyze these spaces for all sorts of benefits. The obvious
is control of lighting and HVAC systems; this results in occupant
satisfaction and energy savings. The less obvious are the extended life
of equipment and optimization of spaces. With the growing cost of floor
space, it’s important to make the best use of every square foot. By
monitoring the occupancy of each space, you can determine when and how
space is being used.
Sinclair: How is BACnet working together with lighting?
the HVAC world you have some very sophisticated teams that can handle a
variety of complicated applications and they’ve historically stayed
away from lighting. As these integrators start to add light fixtures
and occupancy sensors to their BACnet points, it has become clear that
these are simply another control scenario they can integrate with.
These crews typically have long-standing relationships with the
building owners and can expand their current customer base to increase
the opportunities for revenue and energy savings.
Sinclair: That’s all fine and good but how do you suppose we wire all these things together?
where the beauty of wireless comes in, and wireless is what’s allowing
the industries to coalesce into one platform. Once the two are on the
same wireless protocol, they can easily be visualized in the same
software suite. Wireless allows the renovation of existing buildings
regardless of their existing wiring plans, piping, or available
collections of parts and pieces. The EnOcean wireless protocol has
communication structures for nearly every conceivable sensor type and
control point. With over 400,000 buildings under their belt, they are
leading the way into the optimization of buildings while also providing
the key to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Sinclair: So if we go wireless, don’t we need to add batteries or wire them anyway?
is the advantage EnOcean devices have: by specializing in self-powered
devices they are allowing these wireless devices to essentially operate
in perpetuity, without batteries. Everything from occupancy sensors,
light switches, temperature and humidity sensors to self-powered valve
controls, allowing for truly autonomous pieces to be allowed to become
part of the building operations. You can see how it works during
AHR at the EnOcean Alliance booth (#4126) and several others.
Sinclair: Battery-powered devices are pretty popular and widely available, why would someone want to use a self-powered device?
like to say, the first battery is cheap, because it’s installed in the
factory. It’s the second battery, installed by the technician and a
truck that are prohibitively expensive. By self-powering devices, you
can use sensors that give you the granularity you need while not adding
a maintenance point for each one. Installing devices that essentially
last as long as the space they´re used in, is a great way to ensure
continual optimization and uninterrupted service.
Sinclair: Is it lighting or HVAC or is it data?
current industry standards view the objects and points as points, but
once this data is collected, analyzed and visualized it can become one
of the most powerful, cost-saving tools in any real estate asset
management plan. With the slow drift from objects and points to data,
we are introduced to what’s become known as the Internet of Things,
talking about more connected more visual, more useful data.
Sinclair: New building stock all has controls, are they connected together?
buildings are doing much better with controls, in some cases lighting
and HVAC are together, but in the majority of applications, no. But the
old building stock is where the real opportunity lies. These existing
buildings harbor some of the oldest equipment in both lighting and
HVAC. By simplifying the backbone of this stream of data into one
channel, we can control, save and optimize all at the same time. The
integrator holds the key to this system and can bring all of these data
points into one, complete, understandable picture.
Sinclair: What good is the data?
information can lead to all sorts of improvements in many areas, and we
are only at the beginning. Today its focus is energy savings as well as
temperature and light level management. Tomorrow, the light color is
optimized to match the time of day, circadian rhythm adapted, and every
square foot under ownership or lease is as effective as possible. As
artificial intelligence machines, like IBM Watson, enter this space we
can get a very clear picture of building behavior, and the limits
haven’t been realized yet.
Sinclair: Earlier you mentioned self-powered valves, what’s that about?
radiators have historically been nearly impossible to automate or
control remotely. With self-powered valves, we can actually use the
heat in the pipes to generate the energy needed to modulate the valve
and control the heat output, via wireless command. This has the
potential for massive energy savings without running wires to each
radiator and/or adding batteries at each place.
Sinclair: What’s next?
the cost of controls and efficient technologies are driven down by
volume, the older building stock will be more likely to adopt the
latest technologies. This will remain the low hanging fruit for maximum
energy savings. The data collection of these various data points will
also shed some light on various information within these older
buildings; Information which has been previously unavailable to this
huge section of real estate in this country. This may drive some
amazing changes in the older buildings. From square footage utilization
to simply running the equipment less often, it will be a beautiful
thing to take place.
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