Smart Energy Analytics Blog

Thursday, April 19, 2018: This blog summarizes some highlights from our March 2018 Campaign webinar on Building Data Management: Best Practices and Lessons Learned for EMIS Installations.  For more information, please review the slides and recording here.  Data management is a common challenge for building owners. Most owners are dealing with a wide variety of control systems and meter infrastructure, often with proprietary hardware and communications, and they’re trying to pull it all together so they can take advantage of the great analytics tools out there. In many cases data is being transferred across multiple software and storage platforms, both on-premise and to/from cloud-based infrastructure.  This diagram illustrates the main parts of a data architecture common for building analytics. Each situation is unique, and each owner might have different ways they want to use their data, so there is no single right way to approach data management, but there are some key attributes to consider for any solution.  First consider what you are trying to achieve with analytics before deciding which data to integrate into your database.  Don’t do the hard work to bring all the data in unless you have plans to use it.  Data source examples include: Utility bills, interval meters, building automation system meters, sensors, and weather data. It’s more effective to have a single database than multiple versions of the same data or databases that can’t communicate with each other.  A single software application may not meet all your analytics needs, so you may want multiple applications to interface with a central database.  Often, when you buy different applications, you get different databases.  Think about what data you’d like to have in a single location for analysis.  Make sure each of these applications can use the database API.  Metadata - “data about your data” (descriptors of building systems such as sensor names and... Read more
Wednesday, March 7, 2018: Analytics showed up in a big way at the recent Smart Buildings Roundtable hosted by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Leading building owners came together to share their successes and challenges with implementing smart building technologies like fault detection & diagnostics (FDD), energy information systems (EIS), advanced controls, and connected devices. The Roundtable highlighted the key opportunities and challenges around smart buildings. One of the biggest issues highlighted was how to handle the tsunami of data that comes from smart connected buildings - the Summary Report is available now.   
Friday, March 2, 2018: We know that commercial building owners have many demands on their time, but they want to benefit from all the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign has to offer, especially the chance to be nationally recognized for the data analytics innovation, performance and best practices they've achieved. One time-saving alternative is for their EMIS vendor or service provider to act as representative and join the building portfolio into the Campaign, with the owner's email permission. The service provider can then provide building data in the Participant Actions webform, and apply for award recognition as the building owners proxy. Even with this relationship, the owner is always welcome to join any of the Campaign activities such as FDD peer group webinars or general interest EMIS sessions when they have time.  Read more
Friday, January 26, 2018: Each year, the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign reviews how participating organizations are using their Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS) to implement Monitoring-based Commissioning (MBCx).  Some of those organizations have used MBCx Service Providers to support their installation and use of EMIS.  The Campaign recognizes at least one MBCx Service Provider each year for excellence in implementing MBCx activities. In 2017, the Campaign’s MBCx Provider recognition has been awarded to Interval Data Systems (IDS), an EMIS vendor and MBCx Service Provider, for their support of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky was also recognized by the Campaign for Best Practice in Expansion of EMIS.   IDS has been instrumental in supporting: Setup of the Commonwealth Energy Management and Control System, including a public-facing dashboard Remote data analysis of operations through their fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) system and tracking of key system metrics Operational recommendations Integration with Kentucky’s work order system Asset/system documentation management The Commonwealth of Kentucky’s EMIS includes 1,350 meters and 142,000 BAS points integrated with IDS.  The EMIS was installed across 6 BAS vendors and 1145 buildings (20M sq ft), while integrating with legacy work order and billing systems.  IDS’s system has proved effective in supporting energy management practices with 8% energy savings achieved in 136 buildings.  The Smart Energy Analytics Campaign is pleased to recognize the Commonwealth of Kentucky and IDS’s outstanding efforts.