Control Building from Another Building

By Mr Sameer Saxena, Member of Board and Director - Strategy Marketing at Legrand (India)


Disruptive technologies lead to transformational changes. In today’s scenario, everything is connected via Internet. The integration of networked buildings is altering the reality of how business operates. The IOT/IIOT will have a profound impact upon the future of business.

Numerous organizations have analysed and anticipated the impact of the IOT devices creating the opportunity as big as 397 billion dollars by 2025. New categories of services and products are being developed; thereby leading the next economic revolution or we can say building revolution.

The first step towards this opportunity is connected buildings. Established buildings require communicable products that enable them to connect to and leverage the benefit optimized systems, increase in efficiency and productivity gains. Some of the major benefits of connected buildings include reduced maintenance cost, energy savings, and reduced wastage, on the other hand increased personal comfort, and enhanced safety.

The first step towards achieving buildings efficiency is measurement and controlling the building is the second most important step. Effective actions are taken for ensuring efficiency, which not only help in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse emission but also ensure increased personal comfort and reduction in maintenance cost. Simply monitoring consumption, 8% to 12% savings can be made and further controlling the installation can lead to 25% to 40% energy savings, simultaneously maximizing uptime.

One can opt for Intelligent Electrical infrastructure, which is pre-programmed “Ready to supervise” solution, enabling easy installation with devices eliminating the need for specific integration skills. The system displays data such as water, air, gas, electricity consumption, power quality etc. and control different states, remotely control circuits and program actions such as alarms, schedule corrective actions using diagnostics, etc – in a word: “supervise”.

Various energy and load patterns can be analysed locally or remotely across geographies on a web page (smartphone, tablet, PC, etc.). A swift corrective action can be taken once the issue is identified, resulting in installation efficiency.

Connected buildings allow customers to

Count and measure consumption to reduce cost

Measuring, being the most basic function is required for any building, be it collective housing, commercial building or industrial building. Apart from measuring basic parameters like energy, one should measure complete WAGES – Water, Air, Gas, Electricity and Steam. This enables one to keep a track on the energy consumption, control it enabling the users in adapting to a constant operating regime for smooth consumption over time.

In addition to measurement of consumption, analysing and improving the quality of power is an important aspect. There is a vast change in types of connected loads such as LED’s for lighting management, Variable frequency drives for motion management, and increased usage of electronics in most of the connected loads leads to noise in installation power.

Measuring Power quality parameters such harmonics, swag, swells, flicker including temperature inside the panel, gives us an deeper insight and guide us to take optimum decisions. The overall decisions contributes in enhancing power quality, further reducing electricity bills, maximizing the capacity of the system, improving system voltage as well as reducing losses.

Monitor and control the building infrastructure to ensure continuity of service

Continuity of service or uptime is one of the most important attribute, which needs to be supervised closely in order to provide comfort for occupants in a building or to ensure uninterrupted electric supply in critical areas like ICU. Uptime must be guaranteed, while ensuring close system protection and maximizing the energy efficiency.

One can achieve this either by visualizing and assessing technical alarms or by pre-trip alarms in real time using Power Circuit-breaker releases. The Circuit breaker (ACB) releases can give overload alarm at 90% of the set-point to ensure that corrective action can be taken much before a HVAC compressor gets tripped due to an overload. This can happen due to chocked air filter, which is replaced on action of a simple pre-trip alarm.

Knowing the installation status enables its users in taking swift action manually or automatically, further ensuring the uptime. Automatic Switching Solution with MCB provides auto restoration of tripped MCB due to tripping generated by temporarily electrical fault. Usage of this will help in saving the expensive drugs stored in a refrigerator from getting spoiled due to temperature variation.

Even the status of basic Thermal Magnetic MCCB’s or contactors can be monitored, using Intelligent interface modules, which have multiple inputs for collecting information from the signalling auxiliaries on the MCCB, MCB or contactor.   

Logical Selectivity function also ensures maximum uptime and installation efficiency

This is “smart” selectivity, obtained by means of communication between MCCB (and/or ACB) electronic circuit breakers that are connected via an external wired link. It ensures total selectivity between several levels, as well as a reduction of the thermal and electro dynamic stresses on the cables or bus bars thus augmenting the installation life.

Analyse data to Improve processes.

Load wise, zone wise, floor wise energy distribution has to be analysed, in order to determine annual energy needs. Meters along with inbuilt measuring units of ACB or MCCB which display current and voltage, active and reactive energy, and total harmonic distortion enabled to accumulate data in an economical way.

Even add on module of RCCB’s with measuring units, can display electrical parameters such as energy, power, THD and even instantaneous value of residual current at sub distribution level can be utilized to collect data effectively.

These trends can be analysed over a period in order to control system performance. Load shedding can also be automated by using digital contacts available with ACB release.

Classification of even small events such as spring charge of an ACB to overload condition or under voltage alarm, with date and time can be done easily. Stamping provides insights on system behaviour and anomalies, which ensures uptime.

In the present era of technological advancement, it’s essential to maintain building’s efficiency and ensure uptime. We, as consumers, need to keep a control on our buildings consumptions and how this in turn will be beneficial to us. We recommend that one should use switchgear products, which are connected, energy efficient and adhere to environment standards. Connected products like LV Panel complying with IEC-61439-2, Bus Bar trunking system, ACB, MCCB, Capacitors, MCB, UPS, Lighting Management with data and Home Automation system and Dry type transformers confirming to ECBC norms can be at the core of connected buildings and help installations improve their overall efficiency and reliability.