While the promises of what a smart grid and distributed intelligence can offer energy professionals are attractive, many facility managers will need to make sure a reliable network is first established before reaping the benefits.
The challenge for today’s facility manager is connecting a wide array of disparate monitoring and control devices to a reliable, robust network capable of not only reporting data back to a central control center, but also sending control instructions back through the network to those devices.
Within a smart grid, one of the biggest benefits of distributed intelligence is being able to flag issues, such as a power outage detection, or distribution automation, and response. Rather than relying on say student or employee communication of an issue, the system can pinpoint and begin to repair the issue on its own through device communication, like sensors or smart meters. Through the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), these systems can even self-heal themselves without any human interactions, as long as an established network exists. However, many of these institutions have outdated, incomplete networks or limited capacity.
Evaluating the current network and its capabilities is usually the first step in the upgrade process. Many times these initiatives are kicked off in a manner where they jump right to the end state – installing smart meters only to find the connectivity required is missing or not compatible with the smart technology being implemented.
Additional circumstances that can complicate a systems distribution is also a campus’ size. Geographic disparity as well as dealing with hundreds of buildings simultaneously, each of which can incorporate dozens of devices, sensors or meters, requires careful network planning for resources and redundancy.
In the end, the savings in dollars and reduced carbon footprint by signaling devices to automatically adjust temperatures, limit power consumption and re-direct energy resources is well documented. RESOLUTE Partners has a proven solution to help facility managers meet that challenge. Wireless network connectivity for energy management is the ideal solution for multi-building campus style environments such as military bases, colleges, prep schools or commercial office parks.
You can read about how RESOLUTE designed, installed and support a wireless energy management network linking over 200 buildings on an expansive Marine Corps base in California by downloading the case study below. This network meets the immediate need for energy management, but has the capacity to provide connectivity for other applications – such as security, access control and communications.