We spend 80%-90% of our time inside a building and poor indoor comfort and wellbeing is a common challenge. More than 40% of energy and 36% of emissions are attributed to buildings, and roughly 75% of our existing EU building stock is energy inefficient, due to lack of intelligence and interconnectivity in existing buildings.
The objective of iBECOME, with the help of IES’ Digital Twin technology, is to enable buildings to become less energy-consuming, with one simple smart meter and one smart thermostat (no solar panels and heat pumps necessary): everything else can assessed digitally through IoT devices and IES software.
IES R&D, the research and development branch of IES based in Ireland, has been heavily involved in the R&D aspects of the iBECOME programme, which uses the latest leading edge technologies to reduce costs in a building or facility, through energy savings and demand response, while improving occupant wellbeing and optimising comfort. This is achieved by leveraging IoT, data analytics and the efficient control of a building, at the same time as enabling additional services, such as EV charging optimisation.
The key targets for iBECOME
· Reduce energy use and energy bills in a facility by 15%
· Reduce comfort complaints by 20% and improve Indoor Air Quality by 10%
· Improve the smart readiness of buildings by 10% (SRI)
· Track, prevent and reduce equipment and operational faults by 20%
· Improve wellness by 20%
· Generate revenue by energy savings to invest in further Energy Conservation Measures.
iBECOME virtual Building Management System (vBMS)
The three streams of real-time data (facilities, energy markets and weather) provided the first stage of the iBECOME energy management functionality. IES use Digital Twin technology to optimise energy, comfort, wellbeing and productivity in a selection of buildings that are not yet ‘smart’: both small and larger buildings with local and inefficient Building Management Systems.
On-site meters and sensors feed real-time information of the building performance in the iBECOME Data Management platform, along with real-time information of energy markets and weather, all displayed on the iBECOME dashboard.
The vBMS platform uses a calibrated, physics-based simulation model to allow accurate predictive control for energy and comfort optimisation, flexibility maximisation and precise Monitoring & Verification (M&V) for both implemented Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) and Demand Response (DR).
A fully deployed version of the iBECOME vBMS can evolve into an operational digital twin of the building or facility since its different components (data management and analytics platform, 3D geometrical representation of the building through the building simulation model and bidirectional integration with the building assets) constitute a digital replica of the actual physical assets, both in real-time and in potential (what if) scenarios.
The iBECOME platform can also integrate with third party platforms for the collaborative provision of other energy or non-energy services (such as commuting optimisation, healthcare and wellness services). Third party service providers can either use data from the iBECOME platform or use the iBECOME vBMS to send signals to on-site equipment and end users.
Country Crest, the food processing facility and Helix Building, IES’ HQ, will have vBMS deployed by January 2023, including IEQ sensors and separate heating zones. The plan is to install more sensors, thermostats, smart sockets and radiator valves, in order to optimise heating control and electricity use via AI algorithms and calibrated modelling. The dashboard alerts will also enable improved comfort and reduce operational faults.
The care home in Italy and the business centre in France have collected all the data necessary to calibrate building energy models and study the what-if scenarios so far. IES’ modelling and retrofit simulation tools and software are incredibly accurate, allowing each building to clearly see the various energy optimisation scenario models available. The input and output data reveals the potential return on investment to building owners for any energy saving initiatives they undertake, set out as an annual road map, and to subsequently inform financial models.
“iBECOME is very much a collaborative project and IES use innovative, leading-edge technology on pilot sites to create proven energy saving solutions. All of the other partners and suppliers are then equipped with real, historical and predicted data, provided by IES in the cloud. Everyone can benefit from this Software as a Service: that is, intelligent data from the past, present and future.”
Dimitrios Ntimos, IES Project Manager