Managing energy consumption is not an easy task, and energy-efficiency enabler Verdigris is placing IoT meters inside buildings to measure energy use of individual devices to detect any abnormal consumption, so that building managers can fix problems accordingly.
The IoT Energy Meter measures at the circuit-level, in addition to mains power supply. This way, building managers will be able to compare energy end uses (lighting, HVAC, etc.) to national Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey standards.
The IoT meter is claimed to measure 8,000 times per second, to accurately pinpoint energy uses. Verdigris also alerts customers when it sees symptoms of mechanical issues, such as short cycling – the rapid turning on and off of a mechanical system, which can occur frequently in air-compressors, furnaces, chillers and AC units. This rapid state change adds unnecessary stress on the system, reducing its lifespan and efficiency.
Building managers can then take the needed action to resolve the issue, which could be dirty air filters, an oversized system or the differential pressure being set too small. All in all, Verdigris says it has help clients reduce energy spending by 20 – 50%.
“Verdigris’ solution offers sophisticated granular monitoring and sensing. Many of these technologies can offer predictive analytics that can identify the most wasteful or malfunctioning equipment that could be wasting electricity,” says the company’s co-founder and CEO Mark Chung.
Verdigris’ system is built to support a SaaS model. After the initial learning and optimization period, meaningful recurring savings should be occurring to offset any costs and provide much needed infrastructure for layering additional technology, the company says.
Of course, there is AI in the backend to analyze all the energy data. AI should be at the heart of any energy efficiency technology implementation. “AI is much better at monitoring and analysis of large datasets and can identify areas for improvement,” Chung said.
Also, cloud service is important because cloud technology moves much faster than edge and the edge needs to be deployed for very long periods of time with little turn over, Chung added.
Chung believes IoT-enabled lighting and IoT-enabled HVAC are effective approaches to building energy saving. However, the foundation lies in installing good sensors to collect data for measurement. “Only through a quantitative feedback mechanism can energy efficiency achieved in a methodical and productive way,” Chung noted.
IoT-based monitoring systems can digitize the information and use it for tuning control. Verdigris’ system can forecast energy profiles to adjust light settings and building management system settings automatically. “The best way to improve plug-load is to start quantifying and tracking their usage,” Chung stressed.
The company’s technology looks at the entire building to predict when it will cross a demand threshold. Instead of just turning off AC for several hours, the AI looks at individual devices contributing to the peak usage. Building managers can then make adjustment accordingly.