Building Management

Preparing Buildings for Power Distribution’s New Paradigm

Hannover Messe 2017 was a huge success. There, we launched our digital architecture for energy management in buildings: EcoStruxure™ Power. EcoStruxure is designed to help contractors, consulting engineers, panel builders, and building customers get a better handle on power distribution in our digital age. It helps facility owners improve building efficiency, safety, reliability, and sustainability.

Preparing for the shift in the power industry

We’ve all seen that there’s been a major shift in power distribution. The centralized model is rapidly being replaced by a decentralized distribution model. We know this transformation opens the door for building operators to take advantage of alternative energy sources and energy storage. This new paradigm, however, requires more advanced metering and innovative power infrastructure. Digitization holds the key here for enabling the power industry to make this change, while also keeping building uptime, safety, and energy efficiency top of mind in day-to-day operations. As I mentioned at Hannover, EcoStruxure Power is the answer.

The Internet of Things

It’s amazing to me how a single sensor can create a world of opportunity. We’ve taken advantage of the lower cost of sensors to embed them in devices throughout a building to create connected devices. Remember at Hannover Messe last year, we launched the first-ever connected LV breaker: the Masterpact™ MTZ air circuit breaker. This announcement was significant for the power industry. Among other things, our R&D engineers embedded sensors on the coils so the unit can collect energy management data. As a connected device, Masterpact MTZ also can send power data to the facility manager’s smartphone so he or she can take immediate action.

Last month’s EcoStruxure Power announcement was just as revolutionary. Along with the base layer of connected devices, the architecture integrates edge control to track power conditions and availability and a top layer of apps, analytics, and services. This is where the cyber secure cloud comes into play for buildings to help operators make quick decisions based on data. EcoStruxure Asset Advisor services, for instance, use predictive analytics to improve asset management and performance. Solutions for tracking energy make consumption visible in real time, allowing facility owners to look to data for savings opportunities all the time.

Designed for today’s power industry

We’ve eliminated complexity so buildings can become IoT-ready more quickly. Since EcoStruxure Power is vendor-neutral and interoperable, it simplifies integration in building design, as well as installation. It ensures that a building’s power backbone is designed to keep up with the major shifts in the power industry such as microgrids. At the same time, we know that safety and reliability remain paramount, especially in critical facilities such as Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida. Along with our power partners, we helped design the hospital’s power infrastructure for utmost safety and uptime.

Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida.

Facilities do not have to stop operations to integrate this digital power distribution infrastructure. You can watch how we helped Geneva Airport upgrade its entire electrical distribution system without disrupting operations.

There is great value here for small and medium buildings, too. Most have limited staff on site. Our Smart Panels, for example, keep tabs on power quality and asset status and essentially let  equipment talk to operators. Smart Panels can go in large facilities as well. EcoStruxure Power also has simple cloud-based tools that help with maintenance and quick action if there is an outage.

Empowered for the digital world

IoT really is changing everything. We see that all the time in our daily lives. Now it’s changing power distribution. To me, that’s exciting. There are so many benefits here, including better uptime and improved efficiency gains. We want to pass along this value to our partners and customers. EcoStruxure Power makes sure every aspect of your electrical distribution system can unlock new levels of efficiency and performance to compete in the digital world.

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