iBECOME Demo Site Update

Witness the evolution of our demo sites as we provide a comprehensive update on their status from months 36 to 42 of the project. Discover the progress and key results attained thus far. Engage with the advancements at each site:

iBECOME Demo Site Update: Months 36 to 42

The information below gives an update on the status of the four demo sites at month 42 of the project.

Demonstration in operational efficiency

Helix, Scotland

In the previous 6-month period, the hardware installations and commissioning activities at the Helix Building demo site have been successfully concluded, and various issues have been addressed. New TRV devices were installed in all meeting rooms in the ground floor, as well as in one section of the open office area. Smart zone thermostats were installed as well, allowing us to remote control the heating in the whole building. This milestone has paved the way for further advancements in our project, bringing us closer to our goals of optimising energy consumption and enhancing occupant comfort. 

A significant aspect of our work has been focused on deploying an advanced ICT architecture. While slightly different from the full vBMS solution, this architecture allows for seamless data collection from sensors and meters, which is automatically uploaded to iSCAN, as well as direct link to changing setpoints and device schedules. The collected data is then displayed on a user-friendly dashboard, providing real-time insights into energy usage and building performance. This also demonstrates the versatility of the vBMS not to depend on on-site hardware and software. 

To ensure accurate representation of reality, we have enhanced the calibrated physics-based model used in the project. By incorporating the latest data, our model now provides a more precise reflection of the building’s energy performance. This improvement allows us to make informed decisions regarding energy optimisation strategies. Collaborating closely with office managers, we have identified and studied further Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) using the model. These scenarios encompass a range of use cases that will be demonstrated in the building. Additionally, we are evaluating deeper retrofit scenarios, including the installation of wall and roof insulation, energy-comfort optimization throughout the entire building, PV installation on the roof, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, and the replacement of the biomass boiler with a heat pump. The initial results of these scenarios will be communicated soon, showcasing the potential benefits of these energy-saving measures. 

In our pursuit of energy efficiency combined with thermal comfort improvements, we have optimised preheating using rule-based logic which was proven adequate in simulation. Although this approach has shown promising results, we are committed to further enhancing our optimization methods. This methodology has shown promising results, improving both occupant comfort and reducing energy consumption by 5-10%.

To ensure a healthy indoor environment for building occupants and to address rising CO2 levels, we have integrated a CO2 sensor with a LED indicator. When CO2 measurements are predicted to exceed recommended thresholds, the LED turns red, alerting occupants to open windows and doors for improved ventilation. It is expected to record improvements in CO2 concentration through behavioural change of the occupants. 

To maintain a high standard of building performance, we have agreed to implement a fault detection system. This system is monitoring, predict, and notify office managers of any leaks in the newly installed TRV (thermostatic radiator valve) devices. By promptly identifying and addressing issues, we can ensure optimal functionality and prevent energy wastage. Furthermore, while initially focusing on predictive maintenance for boilers, we encountered challenges due to limited data and algorithm complexity. However, we have redirected our efforts toward developing a predictive maintenance algorithm for battery-powered IoT devices. By predicting the replacement date for these devices, we can proactively address data gaps and maintain efficient heating and cooling operations in the building. 

Finally, in close consultation with office managers and other occupants, including experts in the field of energy management, we have created an early version of the dashboard. This interactive tool provides valuable insights into comfort levels and energy usage within the building. By involving stakeholders throughout the design process, we aim to tailor the dashboard to meet their specific needs and ensure a seamless user experience. 

Country Crest, Ireland

Over the past six months, our primary focus at Country Crest, Ireland, has been to ensure that the ICT infrastructure operates seamlessly, facilitating the collection of vital data into the iBECOME backend. This data serves two critical purposes: first, to establish a baseline for our services, and second, to validate the impact of these services. Despite our concerted efforts, we encountered challenges, detailed below within each service area:

  1. Oil Burner Service:

The objective of this service is to automatically activate the 4 x oil burners when the temperature in the warming area falls below 10 degrees Celsius. Subsequently, these burners are expected to raise the temperature to 14 degrees Celsius before switching off. Vibration sensors are employed to indicate burner activity. Throughout this period, two oil burners required replacement, requiring the transfer of vibration sensors from the old units to the new ones. Delays were encountered due to the lead time for burner delivery to the site. Although relay testing was conducted, comprehensive end-to-end testing of the use case remains outstanding.

  • Comfort Optimization 1 – CO2/CO Alarms:

This use case involves activating a beacon light in the warming area when CO2 or CO levels exceed predefined thresholds. While the CO2 sensor underwent local testing, integration of the CO sensor into the system demanded the development of new software code.

  • Comfort Optimization 2 – Packing Area HVAC System:

Focused on optimising the environmental temperature of the packing area, this use case aims to enhance the energy efficiency of the AHU system by deactivating it upon achieving the desired temperature. Additional sensors were deployed to provide a comprehensive temperature profile, as opposed to relying solely on a single sensor in the AHU return duct. Challenges emerged during testing, particularly concerning relay functionality, leading to incomplete end-to-end testing within this period.

  • FDD Use Case:

This use case is dedicated to predicting faults in the AHU compressors. Unfortunately, system failure required the replacement of compressors during this period, posing a significant obstacle to progress.

  • PdM:

Drawing inspiration from the Helix building use case, this application involves monitoring IIoT sensor batteries and estimating replacement times. Over the past six months, the algorithm was successfully deployed on three test sensors, marking a promising step forward.

Despite these challenges, the dedication and perseverance of the Country Crest team remain solid as we continue to push the boundaries of innovation within the iBECOME project.

Demonstration in Retrofits

World Trade Center, France

Since the conclusion of the last General Assembly, significant strides have been made in the technical deployment at the World Trade Center:

  • Final Commissioning Operations: The completion of final commissioning operations has boosted the reliability of the monitoring and control system.
  • Integration with iSCAN: Field data has been integrated into iSCAN, facilitating comprehensive monitoring of the demo building and supporting the development of various services by partners. Additionally, the data is securely stored on the Schneider server, providing a backup of project data.
  • Validation of Remote Control APIs: Testing and validation have confirmed the efficacy of remote control APIs, enabling simultaneous control of all rooms across two floors.

This accomplishment marks the achievement of Milestone 10 for this demo site.

Data on ISCAN:

Logs on the Schneider server:

 Advancements in Deployment of Services:

  • Enhanced Physical Modelling: Ongoing efforts have been directed towards refining the physical modelling of the building, notably through improvements in HVAC systems. The digital twin is undergoing recalibration using data collected from June to September, with a focus on temperature profiles and electrical and thermal consumption across the two floors.
  • Utilization of Calibrated Model: The recalibrated model will serve as a basis for generating new datasets crucial for the development of predictive maintenance and fault detection and diagnosis services. Machine learning algorithms will undergo a secondary training phase before deployment on-site.
  • What-If Scenarios and Energy Optimisation: Quantified What-If scenarios will provide insights into the building’s performance pre- and post-retrofit, as well as after the deployment of iBECOME vBMS. Additionally, algorithms leveraging presence detection and window opening data are being refined to optimise energy consumption and comfort levels.

Looking ahead, deployment and testing of services will persist into early 2024, culminating with an analysis of results to conclude the iBECOME demonstration. These ongoing efforts signify our commitment to realising sustainable and efficient building management solutions at the World Trade Center.