App Layer: Energy Management
Device Layer: HVAC
Data Layer: IDL

ACE IoT Solutions / BTune

January 1, 2021
October 10, 2023
sq. ft.

Project Overview

ACE IoT Solutions has collaborated with BTune to deploy a VOLTTRON-enabled data management and acquisition solution in 18 buildings across New Zealand and the USA. This solution establishes reliable data flows that BTune uses to model the facility, apply building analytics, and implement Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) to optimize the performance of the HVAC system. 

This collaboration has significantly accelerated BTune’s ability to deploy its Automated System Optimization technology to reduce the facility’s energy use, costs, and associated carbon emissions. Additionally, the valuable analytics and diagnostic tools that are a part of the ACE IoT solution give BTune greater visibility into the HVAC system and an enhanced capability to troubleshoot and resolve vexing challenges that too often derail the effective deployment of retro-commissioning projects.

ANZ Centre: Built in 2015, the ANZ Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand was deemed energy efficient before deploying BTune’s solution powered by ACE IoT. Still, the building saw an 18% reduction in HVAC energy use on the first day of deployment, with 41% and 36% reductions the following two days, respectively. The ability to analyze HVAC energy use more deeply not only enables much faster outcomes, but also even greater savings for buildings already thought to be performing efficiently, delivering an average reduction in HVAC energy use of 27% across a 12-month period.

Washington DC Middle School: BTune recently deployed 10 Energy Conservation Measures in a 77,000 square foot middle school in Washington D.C. to deliver a 7% reduction in energy consumption. Additionally, BTune has identified 5 additional strategies that will correct significant energy issues that are awaiting deployment. BTune estimates these strategies will create additional reductions of anywhere from 5-12% whole building energy use. Those reductions will help the school save between $10,000 and $23,000 dollars per year in energy costs - all in just one building that is not particularly energy intensive. Additionally, the energy efficiency strategies deployed will reduce plant run time anywhere between 3 to 10 hours per day, which will significantly reduce wear and tear and increase the lifespan of the equipment.

Project Scope

Leveraging the open source VOLTTRON technology, ACE IoT is establishing an Independent Data Layer (IDL) in each of the buildings where an ACE IoT gateway is deployed. In the U.S., ACE IoT deploys the VOLTTRON technology via a pre-configured, x486 gateway that is mailed to the site and plugged into the OT/BAS network. 

In New Zealand, ACE IoT provides an image which BTune deploys on available hardware. Once connected to the OT network, the VOLTTRON technology uses protocols such as BACnet, Modbus or OBIX to connect with the BAS and discover the HVAC equipment, power meters, and other devices that are producing data. Using the data management tools in the ACE IoT platform, ACE IoT or BTune team members select the data to be collected and the collection interval. 

ACE IoT also ingests a point list from the BAS and associates metadata with the timeseries data being collected by the VOLTTRON gateway. This association means that the BTune team can sort and batch data using key value or marker tags, even if the facility is not tagged using an ontology such as Project Haystack or Brick Schema. Importantly, the same VOLTTRON technology stack that enables/supports ACE IoT’s data acquisition and data management solutions also supports and operationalizes advanced applications like BTune’s ASO technologies.

Why It's Important

Accurate and effective data collection is often noted as a top challenge to improving energy performance. ACE IoT delivers this data for solutions like BTune, enabling the BTune team to more quickly deploy their ASO technology without wasting undue time and effort wrestling with OT networks, firewalls, and other related headaches. 

Additionally, providing access to data that is independent from the BAS and any application, ACE IoT is ensuring that BTune can interact and analyze the data using a wide array of data analysis and programming tools. 

Finally, in addition to leveraging the open source IDL for data acquisition, BTune can also support additional value streams including a dashboard/visualization functionality for their client’s leadership teams and as an input into the company’s measurement and verification (M+V) process.

The Future

Creating models of the building is among the most time-consuming elements of a BTune deployment. Looking forward, BTune and ACE IoT will explore the development of tools that simplify the process of building modeling.

Learn more about ACE IoT Solutions.

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