“How does California specify how all building loads must be measured?”
Most areas of the developed world have stringent building energy standards that include analysis for measurement. And as such, California is no exception. But it does so in a very special way. California title 24 (the building energy codec) stipulates that all new buildings must sort their energy loads (HVAC, lighting, etc.) into discrete piles in a method known as Disaggregated Measurement. This way, each subset can be monitored for its energy consumption.
Nonintrusive Load Monitoring
“How can we determine the appliances in a building just from its energy consumption?”
As Engineers, it would be very useful to analyze the types of appliances within a building. However, doing so requires a heavy upfront investment in a large multitude of sensors.
Or does it?
After many years of research, Engineers and Scientists have developed a method known as Nonintrusive Load Monitoring, which takes in data from a building’s energy uses, parses out all of the patterns, and recognizes which appliances are in the unit. Although novel and affordable, one serious drawback with this technology is privacy concerns, since large organizations will be able to snoop in on the appliances that an individual possesses.
Fault Detection and Diagnosis
“How can we monitor a facility for component breakdowns?”
When running industrial facilities, components are very prone to failure, which can cause large amounts of money and energy to be wasted. So how can we make sure that these facilities are protected from such failures? Well, what if we were to implement a network of sensors that would collect data from a facility, which would then be parsed through algorithms. If any of this data finds any strange patterns, it can sort out the underlying cause and solve any issues. This technology is known as Fault Detection and Diagnosis and is one of the most fascinating facets of industrial operations management.
Intelligent Electronic Devices
“How can we control circuit elements using microprocessors?”
Electronic circuits are the bloodlines that power modern infrastructure. However, these elements have been traditionally controlled in a non-centralized manner, hampering efforts for growth. So how can we use our engineering mindset to solve this problem? Well, what if we were to simply implement microcontrollers to take in information from sensors and actuate on commands, such as breaking a circuit? Well, this is the idea behind Intelligent Electronic Devices and are quickly becoming an important component of industrial control systems.
Industrial Control Systems
“How can we control industrial processes?”
In Industrial operations, we often have to deal with large-scale control systems along with their instrumentation. Because of this, we will need to develop various types of special control systems to monitor and process everything. These constructions are known as industrial control systems and are one of the major underpinnings of modern-day industry.
“How can we monitor the efficiency of our solar power systems?”
Solar panels are pieces of very active technology. And as such, they are prone to fluctuations in reliability and efficiency. So how could we monitor such changes? Well, what if we were to use software that detected such effects? This is the fundamental idea behind PV monitoring and is used in industries all over the world.
Energy Management Information Systems
“What is the future of building energy information gathering?”
If we can know the energy consumed by a building, then we could learn and do a lot. We can observe any energy-related anomalies, or at what times are our peak usage. To streamline this, we can implement something called an Energy Management Information System, or EMIS. EMIS’ can store and analyze building energy data through a collection of hardware sensors, data in computer banks, and data from the web. From here, we can then take action, and truly optimize our operations!