Nearly all of us have used Google Maps™ to plan our road trips and arrive at our destination using the fastest route. In a vast and ever-changing world, Google Maps’ artificial intelligence (AI) engine provides up-to-the-minute navigation updates to drivers based on real-time data and conditions. This ability to use AI informed by real-time driver data has delivered a dramatic improvement in navigation over the GPS devices commonly used just a few years ago.
As commercial building owners and facility managers learn more about Encycle’s Swarm Logic® unique energy-saving technology, it can be helpful to “connect the dots” between some of the key features shared with Google Maps.
Cooling a building is complex
Just as traffic patterns and travel times constantly fluctuate for any number of reasons, a building’s thermal loads can vary by zones throughout the day and year. Occupancy, outdoor temperature changes, indoor zone usage, and building properties all affect cooling requirements. Complicating matters further, rooftop units (RTUs) are energy-intensive and have wide ranges in operating efficiency due to design and maintenance conditions.
While standard building control solutions are effective in maintaining comfort and delivering energy savings through the consistent application of setpoints and schedules, they share some of the same limitations with the GPS devices mentioned above. For instance, building controls are usually unable to adjust RTU operations in real-time by predicting changes in building thermal loads caused by changes in occupancy, weather, facility operations, etc. This corresponds to GPS devices being unable to adjust routing instructions in response to current traffic congestion, road construction, vehicle accidents, and other variables.
Just as Google Maps solves for the navigation problem, Swarm Logic helps building controls bridge this functionality gap, resulting in improved RTU operations and efficiency.
Controlling RTUs with Swarm Logic®
With Google Maps, the navigation route calculation is enhanced by crowd-sourced driver data. According to Google, its users contribute more than 20 million pieces of information every day. Similarly, Swarm Logic enhances HVAC operation using real-time RTU data, outdoor weather conditions, and historical trends.
Just as Google Maps uses cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) to continuously adapt the route for all drivers in real-time, Swarm Logic uses cloud-based machine learning to continuously adapt the operation of all RTUs in real-time.
Another shared feature between Google Maps and Swarm Logic is seamless integration with existing devices. In the case of Google Maps, the integration is with your mobile phone, while Swarm Logic integrates seamlessly with your building controls. Swarm Logic will work with any building automation system (BAS), connected thermostat, or IoT platform where two-way communication can be established. And if a building doesn’t have a standard BAS or smart thermostat control system, Encycle can help you choose a building control solution that best fits your needs. With Swarm Logic, there’s no risk, no capital investment, and usually no new equipment needed. Customers experience an almost immediate payback on program fees.
What about access? Encycle delivers its powerful software the same way Google Maps does…via the cloud. This cost-effective deployment method allows us to provide our customers and partners with the scalability, mobility, data security, speed, and control they need to achieve the greatest possible reductions in energy spend, consumption, and demand.
How Swarm Logic works
Encycle’s Swarm Logic software dynamically synchronizes HVAC rooftop units (RTUs), enabling them to operate more efficiently in response to changing conditions such as outdoor temperature and building occupancy levels. RTUs become part of an IoT-based closed-loop system that coordinates their activity and distributes energy consumption more logically among the individual RTUs. Typical Encycle customers save 10% to 20% HVAC-related kW, kWh, and CO2. These are savings on top of results that may already be achieved through investments in building controls and/or third-party monitoring service providers.
Whether an organization has a large single site or an enterprise portfolio, Swarm Logic works autonomously in the background. There is nothing your team needs to do to unlock new energy savings except enrolling in Encycle’s fee-based subscription service.
Contact Encycle to discuss potential energy savings for your facilities.
Contributing author: Chris Hensley, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Encycle Corporation