Energy-Smart Buildings – 123.hp.com/setup
Energy-smart buildings are a futuristic technology that aims at making whole constructions energy efficient. A research indicated that commercial and residential buildings constitute about 40% of the US energy consumption. HP Labs have now developed sensors and software that will sense disproportions in the utilities. Research technicians at HP’s Emerging Compute Lab are making an effort to explore options where they can integrate sensors and building management software called HP Smart Building Analytics.
Office buildings’ infrastructure is re-commissioned every five years but the accessorial functionalities such as thermostats, VAV boxes, AHUs etc are subject to breakdown well before that. And when building spaces are remodeled within a prescribed timeframe, there are bound to be discrepancies between the utilities that are reinstalled. To tackle such inefficiencies HP Labs is creating a core hardware that will provide opportunities for data gathering and analysis. Printers, desktop and other IT equipment contain sensors that can be reconditioned to monitor the environment. Cost-effective Windows devices are created – the size of a small cell phone – called SEED that are pre-loaded with reader information on temperature, humidity, recognition of human presence, light, pressure etc. The device will detect and analyze the prevailing environmental conditions and connect the information to the building’s already existing monitoring systems that will advise you on energy inputs and consumption according to demand. Field trials were conducted where the SEED was placed in several of HP’s premises such as conference rooms. They found that they could match both lighting and air-conditioning and save energy costs by at least 13%. They also discovered that these rooms were left unused for about 35% of the normal ‘working’ week. It was thus inferred that the company can actually make better use of their provisioned infrastructure. Another study conducted on AHUs revealed that the equipment was actually running when it was not required and sensors placed for the purpose were malfunctioning thus resulting in faulty readings and operational inefficiencies.
HP suggests the alternative model of continuous re-commissioning instead of businesses having to pay every time for efficiency upgrades. Of course, it also goes beyond the alternative model by placing advisories to increase energy savings through the intelligent usage of technology.