Internet of Things, or commonly known as IoT, is a system of smart devices that communicate with each other on real time basis, usually takes the form of smart thermostats and sensors continuously monitoring environmental changes as well as equipment, part functioning and communicating back and forth, there are several technologies available, simple data collection, communication through Mobile App, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence etc.
IoT based technology are also making cooling systems smarter. This is true not only for large HVAC equipment like chillers, but also for AC units used at residences, small office set-ups, etc.
Sensors are embedded in these products, which enables remote control by the users. Thus, a user can switch ON or OFF his IoT-enabled AC unit with the help of a mobile phone, through GSM network, even when he is far away from the machine, physically.
This feature can thus provide:
- Pre-cooling, even before the user has actually occupied his air-conditioned space, and
- Save precious electrical energy, in case the user has forgotten to switch-off his AC unit before leaving his air-conditioned space.
Advantages of IoT-enabled HVAC systems over traditional ones
IoT-enabled HVAC systems, comprise of equipment which are provided with special sensors or connected to gateways for obtaining desired data from these machines.
All these data, when collected from the connected equipment, can provide insights into equipment reliability, operating parameters and conditions during operations. This information, when analysed, can be valuable for:
- Manufacturing and quality control teams for products improvement.
- After-sales service team for improving their service deliverables, including faster response to customers, prevention and prediction of equipment failures.
Accurate data and related analytics being generated from an IoT-enabled system, has the potential to alter the way an organisation delivers service:
Whether it is in resolving service complaints remotely
By proactively deploying field personnel to take corrective actions and arrest a failure
By providing detailed diagnosis and past usage records, while troubleshooting a technical problem
By replacing manual and routine activities such as logging of inside conditions of air-conditioned spaces, at regular intervals, in geographically-spread large or sensitive sites.
There are several benefits such as real time monitoring, reduction in equipment failures, optimisation in energy consumption of the operating equipment and related associated system, predictive maintenance, total controllability, improved adherence to service level agreements by reducing outages/ downtimes, continuous comfort and increased efficiency
As a result of all the above points, providing IoT-enabled HVAC system becomes a key differentiator vis-à-vis other players offering traditional equipment and thereby upholds the brand image of the service provider.
This in turn, helps grow the service business revenue, with more and more customers entrusting maintenance contracts to the smart service provider.