The Benefits of Internet of Things (IoT) Devices in HVAC
Published by Lisa Hickey on
You can break down the basic functionality of a classical Building Management System (BMS) system into three essential functions: control, monitoring, and configuration. Control algorithms look at sensor inputs and occupancy data to determine when to modulate or turn on and off valves, fans, and dampers. Monitoring allows viewing inputs, outputs, and diagnostic alarms in real-time or through historical logs to verify that the system is controlling as desired. The configuration is the process of changing settings and modifying how the algorithms are applied and to what data points. There is a fourth function, analytics, and optimization, provided by a secondary system with access to all of the same data as the BMS. Its purpose is to analyze patterns and trends in the data to provide meaningful indicators of building performance and provide opportunities for improvement.
The monitoring of commercial BMS systems offers IP gateway functionality that provides complete system monitoring from inside the building. IoT devices increase the speed, reliability, and accessibility with remote access. Another benefit of IoT is the data can be integrated with environmental data and analyzed by algorithms and artificial intelligence, along with providing analytics and optimization.
Configuration can be improved with IoT, especially smart devices like fans, pumps, valves, and actuators. These devices can be set up and commissioned with app-based tools assisted by the device manufacturers cloud. Many of today's BMS systems have digital twins that live in a cloud server. The digital twin is a complete replica of the data that exists in the BMS system. This data allows full setup, programming, and testing of a new BMS system before the control hardware is installed, enabling system integrators to "turn on" the control system quicker at the end of a construction project.
IoT Facilities Control HVAC
The Internet of Things is opening a new era of possibilities, making it easier to collaborate with partners and offer new products. It also presents several operational concerns and barriers to adoption from security and privacy to data sharing and data storage.
There is no value in data collection if the data is not processed or relevant to the end-user. Manufacturers provide analysis algorithms for HVAC equipment to help facilitate the operation and maintenance team, saving them time and labor costs by optimizing system performance. Many devices offer system performance reports with fault detection identified along with the actions to solve the problem quickly and effectively. IoT devices have embedded logic for both failure analysis and system optimization. They automatically detect the fault right at the start making it possible to minimize maintenance downtime. Making the HVAC-R system dynamic ensures the system always operates at the highest efficiency and providing lower energy consumption.
Real-time Monitoring of Indoor Air Quality
With monitoring, operating, and collecting data in real-time technicians and operators can make a more assertive diagnosis. Less time is needed to perform maintenance, and real-time monitoring is achieved. Monitoring from anywhere with alarms in real-time is achieved with IoT devices. With an internet connection, you can monitor and collect data. Real-time data allows quick identification of problems, and corrective actions can be performed anywhere and without the need to be at the building. This type of HVAC monitoring is valuable in hospitals and laboratories where the risk of contamination can be high and minimizing exposure.
The Internet of Things is transforming our world, connecting multiple devices to make our lives easier, safer, and more comfortable. IoT is the future of HVAC, from cloud connectivity to fast, easy commissioning and remote monitoring. Belimo’s full range of IoT products; the Energy Valve and Ethernet connected damper and valve actuators leverage data and cloud technology, enabling increased efficiency and advanced applications.