Placed on – 3 June 2021

Manage HVAC systems better with IoT

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Manage HVAC systems better with IoT

Do you experience unnecessary high energy costs because you heat unused spaces? Or do you ever get complaints about muggy air? Then you probably want to manage the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system better and ensure less energy consumption, lower energy costs, and improve comfort. How do you realize this? IoT is the key.

HVAC systems have been using sensors to control and automate the indoor climate for decades. IoT makes it possible to apply even more complex algorithms and collect, combine and analyze data from multiple sources. Housing associations and building managers are increasingly interested in real-time insights into the indoor climate from smart thermostats and sensors that monitor environmental changes. According to a report from Zion Market Research, the global smart HVAC control market is expected to reach nearly $28.3 billion by 2025, compared to $8.3 billion in 2018.

Smart sensors measure various parameters such as energy consumption, airflow, pollutants, occupancy, and weather conditions. An advantage of automatically monitoring your climate system is that you have real-time insight into its current state. In this way, you can identify in time whether parts are no longer functioning properly. This early detection saves on maintenance costs and ensures that the system continues to run and a good indoor climate is maintained.

Energy-efficient management
With the different types of sensors, you can collect data and manage the building better. For example, temperature sensors send data via IoT to HVAC systems for more accurate temperature control and rooms that feel even more comfortable. Humidity sensors enable a system to detect moisture inside and outside a building. The system then automatically adjusts the settings to purify the air.

Some sensors are not part of the HVAC system but are a significant addition. Think of presence sensors: with this, you measure whether people are present in a room, and you can switch off equipment when no one is around. Not only does this save energy, but it also improves HVAC efficiency as it reduces the heat load on a room and extends the life of the system. With the data collected by the sensors, building managers can better control the building, make it more energy-efficient, and realize more comfort for visitors.

Real-time monitoring of CO2
CO2 sensors can also provide the HVAC system with information to adjust airflow for better air quality. When a room is occupied, the concentration of CO2 produced by humans increases from a normal minimum of about 400 parts per million (ppm) to higher levels. This increase starts to be noticeable around 800ppm and can negatively affect people’s health when it exceeds 2000ppm. The traditional way to deal with this problem is to set up the airflow to a room so that at maximum occupancy, the CO2 concentration does not increase to certain critical levels. The construction industry has developed design parameters for this. Since most of these rooms are not occupied all the time, a lot of energy is lost to unnecessary ventilation. With real-time monitoring of CO2 and/or presence, you can significantly improve this aspect. Reducing CO2 emissions ultimately leads to a more comfortable and energy-efficient building.

Aside from the clear-cut effects of energy savings, user comfort, and convenience, OEMs will benefit from greater insights and improved building designs, equipment fabrication, and demand forecasting. These insights are why building owners and HVAC manufacturers opt for greater IoT integration across their domains.

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