HVAC and IoT (Internet of Things) systems are becoming more and more interconnected. The introduction of smart systems in buildings or air-conditioning and ventilation systems is an excellent way of obtaining great benefits, in terms of both system management and potential savings.
The implementation of IoT enables smart buildings to be created, capable of diagnosing problems in the system, identifying when maintenance is required and regulating energy consumption automatically. This is part of a genuine revolution which is quickly spreading, thanks to the enormous benefits offered by this approach on many levels.
Internet of things: why choose it for HVAC
The concept of Internet of things (or IoT) can be summarised as the ability to connect several devices in different locations to form a single network, enabling them to communicate with each other. This makes it possible to transfer data in real time from one device to another and store it with a single host of operational parameters, in order to analyse the data and provide a swift response.
The internet of things and HVAC conditioning have now become closely interdependent. The new ventilation and temperature control systems use the IoT to manage energy efficiency, to respond to alarms regarding system maintenance and to send notifications about the system itself.
The IoT enables more in-depth system checks to be carried out, in case of a malfunction or as a preventative measure and can notify technicians of any wear and tear to system components during ordinary maintenance.
The potential applications of the HVAC and IoT combination are numerous and continue to rise. Some latest generation buildings for example, are fitted with what is known as Building Management Systems (BMS) which, using data collected from the IoT network, allow greater efficiency in the management of such buildings.
Operational advantages of IoT in HVAC
In terms of efficiency, IoT automation of HVAC systems allows for many operations to be carried out, which in turn improve several aspects of system management. Experts have classified the main ones into two macro-categories; the impact on results and operational benefits.
The impact on results includes all those advantages that bring real savings in terms of costs, such as:
- A reduction in energy consumption;
- An increase in efficiency;
- Use of advance maintenance;
- Easier remote access;
- Increased comfort for building occupants.
Among the operational benefits however, we can find all the advantages that help to improve the management of ordinary and extraordinary operations involving the system:
- Notifications in real time if the system functions outside the predicted parameters;
- Warnings if a device is not working correctly;
- The opportunity to monitor systems remotely;
- Analysis of data relating to energy consumption.
The real revolution of IoT systems in HVAC, in any case, lies in the fact that it makes it possible to obtain data in real time, which can be used by the system to regulate itself. Some significant applications include:
- The analysis of the climate and external temperature, so as to allow the ventilation units to reduce energy consumption automatically;
- Auto-regulation of the thermostat according to notifications sent by monitoring devices;
- The option to regulate the settings of HVAC systems remotely, but carrying out diagnoses and tests, so that there is no need for technicians to be physically present.
In the above-mentioned BMS systems, it is possible to set precise parameters and leave them to be managed exclusively by IoT. It is possible to schedule events and set different temperatures according to the number of people who will be present in a room and much more, thereby reducing the need for human supervision.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith