Creating a Smart Energy Management Solution for Smart Buildings
Smart buildings represent a significant portion of the Internet of Things (IoT) market. According to Mordor Intelligence, the smart building market is expected to record a compound annual growth rate of over 23 percent over the period of 2019 – 2024. But first, what is considered a smart energy management solution (or IoT energy management solution)?
What is Smart Energy Management?
Smart energy management is a system that takes into great consideration the energy conservation. It allows businesses to find ways to track energy uses and to automatically optimize the electric consumption using smart energy.
Increasingly, smart cities are being developed by nations around the world to improve efficiency, reduce operating costs and generally make life easier for residents and business owners. That being said, new buildings continue to be constructed with no reference to enable smart applications – forcing most smart building technology to be fitted to them. In the past, this had caused substantial challenges for installing hardware, power supplies and connectivity ultimately making it both time and cost prohibitive. From a building owners’ perspective, being able to swiftly and cost effectively add new functionality to existing real estate and thereby increase its value is a key driver.
Smart Energy Management Challenges
One of the biggest challenges for commercial building owners and managers is how to reduce energy consumption and save money. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 40 percent of energy consumed in the U.S. powers commercial and residential buildings. By enabling smart technologies and real-time energy management systems, building operators can reduce costs by 15 percent, while at the same time, increasing their bottom line by creating an environment that reduces energy waste and encourages employee productivity.
As energy costs are rapidly increasing, and environmental issues continue to be a major concern, there is increasing pressure on building managers to provide more energy-saving solutions within their facilities. By using sensors, building operators have the ability to collect real-time data generated by the smart solution to effectively optimize energy use and drive down costs. IoT energy management data can be used to intelligently reduce waste in smart buildings and help ensure compliance with green building initiatives. These smart solutions can be scalable by the number of sensors to provide coverage for even the largest real estate properties.
Smart Energy Management Solutions
A solution that can support robust long-range wireless communications can connect energy management systems with smart thermostats, lighting controls, smart outlets and other energy saving devices. The following are a few key market drivers and benefits of this type of deployment.
- Low power consumption: Long battery life is essential in ensuring return on investment and it also means that there is no need for wired power supply for frequent battery replacement.
- Indoor coverage: Smart buildings present unique challenges, like the need to penetrate dense building materials. As most smart building operations are located in basements or tucked away in areas that are hard to get to, smart buildings need a solution have has the ability for signals to penetrate deep within a building for in-building connectivity.
- Wide ecosystem: Having an established footprint and ecosystem allows building operators to leverage existing apps and devices.
- Easy to install: A simple to install solution is desirable by non-specialized workers. A majority of the time, these solutions are being deployed in buildings that do not have a smart infrastructure in place.
The flexibility of a long range and low power solution enables the development of applications for smarter and simpler management. Creating innovative applications brings ease of use to customers and creates effective cost-saving solutions for a quick ROI. Those using smart home and building applications provide users with accessible and actionable data on which to combat waste and reduce inefficiencies.
Real World Deployment: How Smart Devices Can Conserve Energy and Help Prevent Damage in Real Estate
Talkpool, a provider of global IoT solutions and telecommunication network services, created a long-range and low power solution for sensors for smart home and building applications. The solution enables data monitoring to reduce energy use and prevent damage in real estate.
Talkpool worked with local insurance providers and developed its smart sensor home and building applications to actively track energy use and monitor potentially damaging factors, including water leaks. For insurance companies, accurate IoT-based data brings improved pricing policies, accurate premiums and preventative property maintenance.
In a 2020 collaboration with Atrium Ljungberg, a leading real estate developer in Sweden, Talkpool facilitated the deployment of sensors to monitor more than 1.2 million square meters of real estate. Connecting its properties with the long range and low power applications offers substantial cost savings as a result of reduced energy waste.
Additionally, Talkpool’s smart solution assisted in establishing building compliance with leading sustainability initiatives, including the LEED and BREEAM certifications, to maximize real estate ROI, as well as attract and retain tenants.
By embracing a long-range and low power solution, building owners are able to equip properties with services that reduce maintenance and operating costs while creating value for residents, and a potential revenue stream for the provided services.
This article was written by Marc Pégulu. He has been Semtech’s Vice President of Internet of Things for the Wireless and Sensing Products Group since 2019. Before this, he was Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless and Sensing Products Group, a position he had held since June 2015. He held the position of Vice President of Wireless and Sensing Products from June 2014. Prior to this appointment, he held the position of Director of Marketing and Applications. Mr. Pégulu joined the Company in March 2006 and was involved in several key technology initiatives, including LoRa wireless and software defined modem technologies.