Make it Smart with Sensors

While entering the twentieth century hasn’t seen us zipping around on hoverboards or using holograms to transmit messages from our smart devices, there has been a significant shift towards an automated future. Technology we could once only dream of is now readily available, and the ways we can utilise this have shifted from a mere dream to reality.

Alexa can write your shopping list, and Ring can tell your delivery driver where to stash your parcel. The technology utilised in these devices is ever-developing, and sensing and connectivity technology now have the capability to create a fully-fledged ‘smart building’, but what does this mean in practice? Albacom’s Business Development Manager, Ken Clarke, tells us more.

What is a smart building?

Simply put, a smart building uses technology to monitor system function and then optimises performance and efficiency. Sensors, automation, data and connectivity are integral to the function of a smart building and help businesses to reduce energy consumption and make significant savings. The sophisticated tech available can allow you to monitor air quality, water pressure, energy efficiency and lighting, among other applications, to avoid wasting resources and optimise a buildings overall environment.

How does a smart building work?

Sensors, monitoring systems and interconnectivity are the first step in creating a smart building. Sensors can be used to measure almost anything, from footfall to the temperature in meeting room one.

The sensors are then connected to a monitoring / control gateway which is usually accessed from a cloud-based server or base station. Monitoring and control are the key to an efficient smart building, gathering and analysing data transmitted from the sensors, offering pre-configured alerts dependent on the set conditions.

The monitoring system continuously analyses data to identify trends, areas for improvement and adjusts conditions appropriately to enhance performance / efficiency. What’s more, the data gathered offers a unique opportunity for insight into a given buildings’ usage and efficiencies like never before.

What are the benefits of a smart building?

There is a wide range of possibilities when it comes to smart buildings. You can customise the conditions you wish to monitor to make the most of implementing the intelligent technology at your disposal.

  • Reduce energy consumption and make significant cost savings. 

Lighting, heating, and generally powering a facility require mass amounts of energy and can be costly. Implementing sensor technology allows you to monitor your building around the clock and analyse how it’s using energy. By making the most of the valuable data you’re gathering, you can find avenues to increase efficiency, reduce energy use and make substantial savings.

  • Protect the environment. 

Reducing your energy consumption has a positive impact on the environment. Utilising intelligent technology will enable you to find opportunities to use less energy, and in turn, help protect the environment.

  • Prevent equipment failure / preventative maintenance. 

If you’re operating a large workshop with essential equipment, installing sensors to monitor key operating conditions identifies early signs of malfunction, pre-empting equipment failure. Parameters such as temperature, vibration and shaft rotations are used to identify and prevent potential breakdown.

  • Save buckets of time.

Often, simple processes are time and cost-intensive. Manually checking the operating conditions of your building and equipment takes considerable time and resource. Sensors can measure various parameters simultaneously and monitoring / control technology can digitise and automate historically time-consuming processes.

How does Albacom use sensors?

Together with our partners at Genista Energy, we have developed solutions for measuring energy consumption and energy flow. By combining sensors and battery storage systems, you can monitor and document energy consumption. Data is communicated serially via a two-wire interface, via Ethernet but also wirelessly. Power for the monitoring system is provided via the taps for the voltage measurement. The most effective communication interface and power supply selection make it possible to measure the energy flow in the smallest installation space, even in places that are difficult to access. The master-slave concept makes it possible to directly visualise all measured values or pass them on to a higher-level control system.

We’ve even put our solution to the test, and our workshop now stores energy overnight that we use during the day – supporting both cost-savings and reducing our overall energy consumption; it’s a win-win!

How can Albacom help?

ALBA5 sensors have been designed to offer simplicity when examining physical or environmental parameters and provide technology for smart building and industrial processes alike. ALBA5 sensors measure pressure, temperature, humidity, flow rates, gasses and particulates and can be used in many applications to offer a fully customisable system to meet your exact requirements.

To find out more about ALBA5 sensors and how Albacom’s experienced team can help turn your ordinary building into an intelligent cost-saving facility, please click here.

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