Updated: Jan 12, 2021
So you are looking at IoT as either a stand alone Monitoring system or one that can integrate with a 3rd party system - whether a job management or BMS system.
The problem with all technology is whether it can pay for itself and provide an ROI that the company will agree to. Getting an ROI from your IoT Investment is one of the challenges when trying to get a new technology accepted.
Much has been written about the multiple benefits that IoT systems can offer, ranging from early notification of impending failures from MEP systems and how they can be prevented, however what managers want to see is how much Energy can be saved or how productivity can be improved through better Indoor Air Quality.
Clearly there have been some huge savings elsewhere from IoT systems particularly from mitigating Refrigerant leak losses to stopping water leak damage. These are easy to measure and we have evidence of these in action and this article detailing the many benefits of Remote monitoring.
Clearly the big wins are in energy savings especially when HVACR equipment is optimised to suit occupancy. BMS integration from IoT sensors means that by Integrating the live data from the IoT sensors straight into the Building Management System (BMS) and create new control strategies to automate the building further.
This requires a bit more integration and commissioning work upfront, but the performance and efficiency benefits through automation that will give a fast Return on Investment. The key here isn’t the sensor integration itself, but the building control strategy that will be the logic to which the building automation functions.
This article on HVAC informed explains how a building performance can be optimised using IoT sensors. The article looks at in-room sensors, such as temperature, air quality and occupancy, and how those IoT sensors can help improve building performance.
The benefits of IoT sensors is that they are low cost, quick and easy to install both physically and from a commissioning perspective. By understanding the use cases and benefits, the right design, UI or integration can be used to maximise the cost-benefit ratio for the specific use cases, for example:
BMS integration for IoT temperatures sensors;
Relevant platform UI and analysis to extract actionable insights for the Facilities Management team from the raw IoT sensor data; or
Correct HVAC control and automation strategy based on occupancy level data.
So coming back to the question of ROI, it depends on where you are looking to get it from. Is it from the energy savings by optimising plant operation based on occupancy, or is it from the savings that can be achieved by reducing refrigerant or water leaks, or is it also from maintenance savings through condition based maintenance such as changing air filters when they are actually needed rather than every quarter because SFG20 says so?
Obviously buildings vary is size, type, location and use so the savings will vary individually. One Central London client with 2 No 750Kw Chillers recently lost over £7,000 in a refrigerant leak that could have saved with IoT Refrigerant Pressure Monitoring
Another in a high rise apartment building could have saved thousands by installing our water leak detection and auto-shut off system. Instead they had an £80,000 Insurance claim due to a slow persistent water leak causing extensive damage and inconvenience.
The ROI in these circumstances is obvious and in some ways IoT can be seen as kind of Insurance policy. Whereby by installing an IoT system you can minimise and even stop failures from happening.
Why not request a no obligation discussion to explore your challenges and how IoT can be used to give you better insight into building plant optimisation.
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