Remote - M2M Special Issue 2013 - (Page 16)

Feature Article Energy Management Systems for Green Buildings Mike Ueland, Senior Vice-President & General Manager Telit Wireless Solutions The convergence of technologies, financial drivers and smart grid policies are driving the development and deployment of commercial energy management systems. Retrofit installation times and costs have been slashed. Owners and property managers understand the benefits of green buildings: they are more marketable and sustain values better. And going forward, buildings that are “grid-hardened” will command premium prices. That short summary indicates that energy management systems are a pivotal, multi-faceted development. Key technologies behind the convergence include machine-tomachine communications (M2M), wireless sensors, wireless networking and cloud computing. M2M enables parameter and event data to be processed in order to provide valuable, actionable information. RF (radio frequency) wireless sensors, powered by batteries, monitor and measure data and communicate the results over relatively short distances to data concentrators. These sensors are easy to fit since no wiring is needed and they can run for years before batteries need replacing. An energy management system (EMS) processes the connected data. This is a computer or server that runs the M2M energy management application. In turn, the EMS connects to the building’s HVAC system. Alternatively, a cloud-based energy management system can be employed. In this case, a service, not an on-site system, will typically collect energy data from all the company’s business locations, including leased or rented buildings and retail locations. By consolidating and centrally managing this data in the cloud, businesses can bring integrated and cross-sectional clarity to their energy usage. In addition, with cloud connectivity, users can employ sophisticated remote management and mobile tools to better manage their facilities. Cloud-based systems cost less than traditional offers and access is normally enabled over a cellular network. M2M data does not require high data rates so the regular 2G/3G infrastructure can be used. However, companies that go for EMS as a service will typically employ the cloud for their streaming computing tasks and in this case LTE, which is a 4G high-speed cellular service, would be employed. LTE removes the need for wireline broadband connectivity, which may not be available at many remote locations. Adoption Drivers and Constraints The US the Department of Energy (DOE) reported that buildings accounted for 72 percent of the country’s total electricity consumption in 2006 and this figure will rise to 75 percent by 2025. The split is about 50/50 between commercial and residential buildings. Energy costs are high and rise every year, so it is clear that the bottom line is the decisive factor for many retrofit projects. However, while there are 4.8 million commercial buildings in the US, apart from the larger buildings, very few are automated. Energy Star estimates that smaller buildings waste 30 percent of their energy, as much as $60 billion a year due to waste and inefficiency, most of which can be resolved with energy control systems. Therefore, the low penetration rate 16 of energy control systems in commercial buildings represents a significant macro-economic opportunity. Buildings need to be much more intelligent and energy self-sufficient than they are today. They need to be self-configuring in energy needs and engaged in continuous commissioning through data accumulated from energy generation, storage and consumption assets, occupant activities and other sources like weather reports. The current situation should represent a very powerful driver, along with the fact that in today’s economic climate many large buildings are vacant, but they still need to be heated and cooled. However, utility companies and state agencies have problems maintaining electric service levels as demand continues to rise. Despite what would seem to be a robust business case for implementing EMS, the Institute for Industrial Productivity indicates that the opportunities to improve energy efficiency remain severely underexploited. Although energy efficiency measures have repeatedly demonstrated their effectiveness in increasing company competitiveness and productivity, they have yet to attain mainstream recognition as a strategic investment in future profitability. Regulated utilities are not funded to be innovative, aside from the Smart Grid Investment Grants, nor are they not motivated to build resilient grids. Today’s metrics for reliability are just regional guidelines rather than a national benchmark for a minimum uptime requirement. The real costs of outages are not factored into regulatory decisions today. Grid-Hardened Buildings Building owners can justify EMS purchasing decisions on energy savings as well as sustainability values, but there is a need to invest in technologies that reduce energy use and deliver self-generation. The ability to generate their own energy helps address the electrical grid’s increasing vulnerability to momentary and sustained power outages. But to generate their own energy, buildings need to be much more intelligent and energy self-sufficient than they are today. They need to be self-configuring in energy needs and engaged in continuous commissioning through data accumulated from energy generation, storage and consumption assets, occupant activities and other sources such as weather reports. There are times when grid-hardened building can self-generate more energy than they need and this surplus energy can be transferred back to the grid and a rebate obtained from the utility. This development is a compelling new variable in value propositions for the owners of these green buildings and their tenants. Smart Meters It is clear that the deployment of smart meters is not a silver bullet. However, traction in the consumer section, 50 percent of total consumption, has been a success story. Smart meters give home and business owners more control over their electricity consumption patterns. In North America penetration rates should reach 50 percent by 2016, in Europe and Asia the 2016 figure is 75 percent: by 2020 penetration will be close to 100 percent

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Remote - M2M Special Issue 2013

Towards Right-Sizing Security for M2M Solutions: A Practical Approach
Intelligent Power Distribution for M2M Communications
Optimizing Remote Monitoring in the Cloud
Exponential M2M Market Growth Calls for Innovative RF and Antenna Solutions
Benefits of Using Wireless Networks to Automate FAA-Mandated Obstruction Light Monitoring Requirements
Energy Management Systems For Green Buildings
M2M Products and Services
Industry News

Remote - M2M Special Issue 2013