Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Campus-wide Lighting Integration and So Much More
Fixture-connected multi-sensor devices control lighting and collect new environmental and people-centric data to drive HVAC, demand response, and space utilization decisions.
|Steve M. Smith
Director of Business Development
Founder and President
Menlo Business Park is building its reputation as one of the top office
parks on the San Francisco Peninsula for young scientific companies.
This centrally-located campus offers office, lab and warehouse space to
small and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies and biotech firms.
In late 2011, owner Tarlton Properties initiated an integrated lighting and HVAC energy upgrade across about half of its 1 million square feet, 15-building property. It engaged Illinois-based SiteOn as integrator to implement the complete modernization project consisting of:
SiteOn quickly realized that in addition to installing controls for
lighting, new thermostats and packaged rooftop units, the project would
need to incorporate existing automation systems in five of the
buildings from various manufacturers, including Carrier, Johnson
Controls and LON. SiteOn’s proposal for a technology agnostic approach
would provide Tarlton with a future-proof integration platform to
accommodate changes down the road.
Key to this strategy was the sharing among control systems of the Enlighted environmental data. Each Enlighted device is mapped to a zone controlled by a given thermostat. In this way, micro-zonal temperature and occupancy information would enrich the HVAC data set. This level of granularity would not only equip the campus to save energy costs, it also would provide Tarlton with more data on occupancy patterns that it can leverage for better facilities management day-to-day as well as during Demand Response events.
As additional energy-saving steps were contemplated, Tarlton was
concerned about potentially rising project costs and tenant disruption
while retrofitting the buildings. An attractive feature of the
Enlighted sensor devices was that they required no above-ceiling
wiring; each microcontroller-equipped device can be connected to
lighting ballasts in minutes by an electrical technician.
Changing light profiles for new occupants, new uses and new traffic can
be accomplished remotely in software. No laborious rewiring or
redesign of special lighting zones required.
A centralized building operating software application, BUILDINGWORX,
from CEPORT is used to manage all structures and integrate them with
existing sub-systems. The software utilizes inputs from the Enlighted
devices to track occupancy, as well as inputs from energy meters and
the two-way programmable communicating thermostats in each of Menlo
Business Park’s buildings. Lighting, heating and cooling are
automatically adjusted to optimal levels based upon occupancy and other
parameters. In operation, the deployment exerts control
through the following features:
The integrator tuned its technology choices based on the retrofit
nature of the project. SiteOn implemented a dual network approach using
power line and RF wireless for HVAC controls, and an RF wireless
network for lighting controls (via gateways that connect to the
Ethernet), thereby eliminating the need to tear apart any walls or
rewire the buildings. To accommodate existing tenants, the contractors
and trade professionals arranged to perform 90 percent of the work
after normal business hours.
Per-Fixture Data Informs Load-Shedding
“Should we get a message from our utility’s grid management office that we need to make an energy reduction for a peak demand event, we can now respond with high precision. From a central dashboard, you can control a light over an individual workstation or a pair of lights in a private office. We can dim down most lights and adjust temperature setpoints, knowing exactly where tenants are occupying space,” Tarlton explains.
The microzone thermal data captured by the Enlighted sensor network is
helping the facilities team fine-tune HVAC setpoints as well. “Now we
have better knowledge of temperature patterns across a zone,” explains
Dave Tarlton. “The thermostat may read 72 degrees at the interior wall,
while at the windows it may be as high as 78 degrees.”
The combined project of HVAC demand response controls and lighting efficiency upgrades received more than $500,000 in incentives. Menlo Business Park anticipates lighting energy savings between 50 and 70 percent annually through the use of Enlighted’s lighting control system. They further anticipate additional savings from the automated demand response and integration of occupancy data with the HVAC systems. Over time, the team responsible for programming the BMS expects to find new ways to leverage the Enlighted information for better decision-support and even more savings.
Beyond the energy consumption and cost advantages of this type of project, business park owners can expect to benefit in other ways. When the project began, MBP had a 30% vacancy rate, which dropped to less than 5% by completion. No other commercial park in the area can show similar results over the same time period. Tarlton ascribes at least some of the occupancy increase to the property’s new “green” and improved aesthetic appeal.
“After an extensive analysis of technologies available, the potential for a fast return on our investment was an incredibly compelling reason to take this approach,” said Dave Tarlton. “Through this combined hardware and software platform, we are able to collectively address HVAC, demand response and lighting optimization and also get the best rebates available. We proved that it is possible to lower energy costs and enhance the work environment for occupants across an entire campus, with an easy-to-install, reasonable-cost solution.”
About the Authors
Steve M. Smith, Director of Business Development, Enlighted Inc.
Steve Smith leads Enlighted’s Utility Programs, among other business development initiatives. He supports major accounts in the rollout of Enlighted’s smart sensor devices to corporate building portfolios. He brings expertise in advanced analytics and controls, building systems, and using environmental data to drive HVAC, demand response, and space utilization decisions.
John Greenwell, Founder and President, CEPORT, LLC
John Greenwell has 20+ years of leadership experience in the electrical construction industry, specializing in low voltage building controls. John has extensive experience in low voltage control systems, BAS, Lighting, Security, Energy Savings, Software Development. John is responsible for the overall product strategy and direction of the company. Prior to Ceport, John oversaw major controls projects for Continental Electrical Construction Company.
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