A smart energy management system is not only suitable for large manufacturing plants. It turns out that it can also be applied to public places such as student housing. This type of approach initiated a very fruitful project carried out by APA for dormitories belonging to the Silesian University of Technology.
By conducting a site visit beforehand, we knew the kind of infrastructure we were dealing with and we tried to adapt the IPOE software in a flexible way.
The data collected from each room is forwarded to a collection point located near the gatehouse. The metering box collects all information about energy consumption and use, about the connection. The data is then transferred to the cloud. During the design phase, we also needed to create an aggregate dashboard to look at how much energy is being used in the common areas versus within each room.
What difficulties have we faced?
In the case of this building, we had two electricity circuits, so we had to use two meters for each room. This was unusual from the point of view of the platform itself, because we had to readjust various elements in the platform to what we found on site. To show consumption for a specific room, not for two circuits.
Other difficulties were limited to typical installation issues, as it is complicated to run cables through the walls of already functioning buildings.
What benefits did the client receive from our solutions?
Both the building manager and the tenants benefit. The benefits lie mainly in economic issues.
The main advantage is that each student can be billed individually and directly. You can see exactly who is using how much energy. This promotes savings because lump-sum billing for consumption is replaced by billing for actual electricity use.
Dorm managers, on the other hand, have insight into which room consumes the most energy, as each of them is metered. In addition, they can control what quality of electricity is supplied by the energy supplier, and whether it has the expected performance.
There's also a lot of room for analysis. If you see that, for example, common areas are responsible for the greatest consumption, you might consider installing automatic light sensors, replace lighting with more energy efficient lighting, etc. There are many possibilities.
- Network analyzer at the power connection
- Energy meters for individual rooms
- Data hub: Router with GSM modem
- Data processing: Azure IoT Cloud
- APA's IPOE system:
- real-time monitoring of quantitative and qualitative energy parameters;
- clear and legible interface;
- ability to export data to Excel;
- optimization algorithms;
- alarm system for power quality anomalies;
- energy consumption and quality reports;