We are used to BMS (building management systems) to control buildings, and spreadsheets to analyse data. Both of these require human input (and are prone to human error). So does Artificial Intelligence have any role to play, and could it save money? Firstly, what is AI?
- “Artificial Intelligence” (“AI”) is software “able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, decision-making, and translation between languages”.
- “Machine Learning” (“ML”) is the “application of artificial intelligence that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed”
At OEP, we are already using AI / ML in two very real building and energy management applications and seeing £££ financial benefits:
- Energy Management. We can ingest half-hourly meter data daily, and the software will identify patterns that could indicate a fault or anomaly, so it can be investigated before it becomes a cost. The ML learns from human past action (or inaction) on the issues raised to know if it should raise the issue again in future, or simply log it.
We provide “Energy Management as a Service” for less than £10 per meter per month, which provides over-loaded energy managers with a proactive management tool, particularly across an estate of meters. An example benefit we picked up within 24 hours, was a (human) BMS programming error that would have cost £60,000 had it gone undetected.
We have plans to extend this to monitoring sub-meter data as well.
- Automated BMS. AI/ML can also be deployed directly to manage the BMS. The software “learns” how the building reacts over time to different events and climate conditions (creating a “digital twin”) and can develop its own strategies for how to optimise the building to (1) deliver the climate goals consistently and (2) at least energy cost. It can even re-commission the building regularly. Saving are typically 25%-40% of HVAC load – the impact of running the equipment at the right times and loads, and turning off when not needed.
The benefits of using AI is the ability for it to react quickly to changing circumstances. Other applications we are engaged on using AI are compressed air management and refrigeration systems.
If you would like to know more email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0161 444 9989.
Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.