The next big thing in Building Automation and Sustainability.
In the last few years, technology has developed so much that we have I moved way beyond simply using our machines to connect with people. Technology can now program machines to connect directly with one another, thereby making them capable of collecting and processing information at an unprecedented scale. This new connectivity and communication protocol that involves both physical infrastructure and devices is being referred to as the ‘Industrial Internet’, or the ‘Internet of Things’, while the technology that facilitates this connectivity is called ‘Machine-to-Machine’ (M2M).
Below is some mind boggling data that makes M2M technology the next big thing:
By 2020, 12.5 billion M2M devices globally will be in application. That is up from 1.3 billion devices today. M2M technologies are projected to maintain a twenty three percent growth rate over the next decade. Therefore, what is today a $121 billion business will be worth $948 billion by 2020. These technologies can help reduce Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 9.1 billion metric tons by 2020 which is equivalent to 19% of Global GHG emissions in 2011.
The following are the most promising sectors which will be highly benefited by the Internet of things.
M2M, by adopting smart-grid technologies (smart meters and utility based demand reduction)
could save more than 2 billion metric tons of CO2e in the energy sector. It can also improve the
efficiency of energy production and transmission, and can further reduce emissions by facilitating the switch to renewables.
M2M could save about 1.9 billion metric tons of CO2e by optimizing the routes of planes, trains, trucks and ships so that transportation becomes more efficient. The built environment:
Buildings, which we care for, could use M2M to save 1.6 billion metric tons ofCO2e, by increasing energy efficiency of heating, cooling and ventilation, lighting, electronics, appliances and security systems.
M2M could save 1.6 billion metric tons of CO2e in the agricultural sector by reducing defor-
estation, managing livestock and increasing efficiency of planting, seeding, harvesting, fertilizer use and water use. These technologies can thus help in an increased food production with fewer resources.
So, what’s in it for buildings and how does this technology help in energy and carbons savings?
The answer is simple. This technology makes a building more proactive rather than reactive. Building management and automation systems are old institutions, but believe it or not, there is a constant struggle for the building operators or facility managers to interpret the data. More often than not, they are misinterpreted. Newer buildings have stringent energy goals and when the architects and engineers job is done after the building is occupied, the building facility managers job starts to maintain that strict energy goal for its life. With the regular building practices, each building system spits out data individually and it is the responsibility of the facility manager to interpret it correctly and make conclusions and decisions or take corrective action.
In an M2M scenario all the individual systems would be connected to each through control sequences and data. This would all occur in the cloud and there would be automatic signals and corrective actions of any discrepancies. M2M technology could be crucial for detecting anomalies that start out small, but become worse over time and thus save energy.
Though there are barriers, including lack of data or universal standards etc., according to experts, the ‘Internet of Things’ will be the next big thing after the worldwide web.