How to optimize building thermal management with virtual sensors?

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Building

12/10/2023

by

Matthieu Laurent

7 min

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Efficient building management plays a fundamental role in ensuring smooth operation, energy efficiency and occupant comfort. This is where Building Management Systems (BMS) come into their own.

BMS is a computerized system designed to optimize energy flows, including air, water and electricity. It proves to be an essential tool that can generate significant energy savings, up to 20 to 40%. In doing so, it ensures optimum thermal comfort and well-being for employees, visitors, partners and subcontractors, regardless of the weather conditions, whether it's winter or summer.

Did you know?
Starting from January 1, 2025, all tertiary buildings will be required to be equipped with BMS.
BACS (Building Automation and Control Systems) decree of July 20, 2020 (from April 8, 2024: for new tertiary buildings with a power exceeding 70 kW)

How does the Building Management System (BMS) Work?

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BMS operates by collecting data from physical sensors installed on the building's roof and control devices within the building. These data are then transmitted to a central server, which analyzes the information and allows authorized users to access the BMS interface. The BMS interface provides an overview of various building systems, complete with performance indicators, alarms, and detailed reports.

BMS offers a wide range of functionalities that can vary depending on the specific needs of the building. Some common features include:

- Real-time monitoring: BMS collects real-time data on building conditions, such as temperature, humidity, energy consumption, and more. These data are displayed in the BMS interface, enabling facility managers to monitor building performance and identify any issues.

- Automated Control: BMS enables the scheduling of automated actions to optimize energy efficiency. For instance, it can regulate temperature and lighting based on occupancy schedules, thus reducing energy consumption when the building is unoccupied.

- Alarm Management: BMS generates alerts in the event of system malfunctions or exceeding predefined thresholds. Facility managers can be notified through instant notifications, emails, or automated reports, allowing them to respond promptly to issues.

- Energy Optimization: BMS offers advanced data analytics capabilities to identify energy wastage areas and suggest improvement measures. This, in turn, helps reduce energy costs and minimize the building's environmental footprint.

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Why use meteorological data instead of sensors in BMS?

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Building management system relies on a sophisticated infrastructure that harnesses a wide array of physical sensors. These sensors are essential for gathering data on various conditions and components in the building, enabling BMS to operate optimally and make informed real-time decisions.

The concept of a "virtual sensor" represents a captivating and burgeoning perspective within the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation technology field. A virtual sensor replicates the functionality of a physical sensor without the need for an actual physical sensor to be present.

Virtual sensors, when integrated with short-term Frogcast forecasts, enable the anticipation of weather conditions, facilitating load predictions and thereby qualifying your BMS as "Type A" according to the NF EN ISO 52120 standard.

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As previously discussed, sensors installed on rooftops play a critical role in BMS by collecting meteorological data. However, these sensors are exposed to natural elements and may encounter various challenges.

1. Soiling: A major challenge for rooftop sensors is soiling. Over time, sensors can collect dust, dirt, plant debris, bird droppings, and other particles, which can compromise their performance and accuracy.

2. Wear: Rooftop sensors are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, including UV radiation, temperature fluctuations, strong winds, and precipitation. Prolonged exposure can lead to wear on the sensors and their components, impacting their accuracy and reliability.

3. Electrical installation on the Roof (Electrical network wiring within the building...)

4. Software update issues

5. Defective/Mispositioned Sensors

Using sensors has several drawbacks and entails a significant maintenance cost. So, how can you approach this differently?

Simplify your tasks while reducing costs by replacing physical sensors with virtual sensors!

Use weather forecast data as virtual sensors. You'll no longer have to worry about the various issues encountered by rooftop sensors.

Quickly and easily input your building's GPS coordinates on Frogcast and seamlessly integrate our forecasts into your BMS through our API in just a few clicks.

You'll then have access to a high-precision weather forecast that optimally combines global weather models to optimize your buildings' energy flows!

Try it for free!

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Through a simple and efficient API, Frogcast promises to make it easy for you to integrate reliable weather forecasts! Join Frogcast now by connecting your application directly to the API! 

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