Thermostats - Expert Commentary

Enhancing Smart Buildings With AI
Enhancing Smart Buildings With AI

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a smart buildings’ biggest ally. Without it, a building could hardly be classed as smart. For building owners and managers, AI is imperative to create a secure and comfortable experience for their occupants every day. What a building platform should do is gather data from various sources from the building management system and other smart technologies, to gather it all in one place. The data should then be fed into a flexible, scalable cloud-based platform that stores it securely and standardizes the data. However, that still doesn’t make it a smart building. Building platforms integration with built-in AI Truly smart buildings are made, when building platforms are integrated with built-in AI. These technologies facilitate integration and enhanced intelligence, across a building or estate, all the while improving building operation for its occupants. They can also monitor building and equipment performance, and factor in building system data, and external input, including weather and traffic. Ultimately, this allows for Machine Learning to constantly monitor building spaces and when systems need to be optimized. This allows for increased building efficiency and lowered costs, with limited human intervention. AI offers predictive analysis in HVAC AI can also apply predictive analysis in HVAC, lighting and appliances, as well as fault detection and diagnosis AI can also apply predictive analysis in HVAC, lighting and appliances, as well as fault detection and diagnosis. Any potential issues can then be addressed, prior to something serious happening and an engineer can be sent out to fix it, with the right part, the first time itself. For rooms that aren’t in use, energy-efficiency savings can be made easily and effectively, by reducing energy consumption in those areas. AI uses sensors to monitor room occupancy and makes real-time decisions, based on the insights. Occupants can then have the optimal levels of ventilation, temperature and light for the rooms they are in, but precious resources can be saved in the rooms that aren’t. All in all, this helps both the buildings bottom line and the planet. The Personal Benefits of AI When it comes to smart building technologies, the most important aspect is that the technologies work exactly how they need to. This is why AI is such a useful tool, as every Building Manager, Operations Executive, or Health and Safety Officer can plug into the platform, and make decisions based on real-time data. This comes from creating a scalable platform in the Cloud, helping monitor and action everything from HVAC to access control, to occupant experience to fire detection. However, it’s not just those people who are responsible for the building’s operations, can get hands-on experience with AI. Many smart buildings now put their technology in the hands of each occupant, including office workers, teachers, CEOs, or nurses. Smartphone apps, unique to your building or estate, can help guide visitors from A to B, book meeting rooms or operating suites, or inform maintenance, when something goes wrong, all from the palm of their hand. AI-enabled security cameras To access buildings, users can present their access control credentials, in the form of a card or pin To access buildings, users can present their access control credentials, in the form of a card or pin, as they traditionally have, but then face a camera to further verify their identity. These cameras use AI algorithms to identify users with very high confidence and the combination of facial recognition, and traditional card access provides a higher level of assurance for secure access, while minimizing disruption for the users. Importance of utilizing the right AI technologies Buildings that utilize the right AI technologies in the right ways can be truly transformed. For building management businesses, it can closely align them to a tenant organization’s business and deliver the experiences occupants need and want. In turn, they benefit their own business, both financially and operationally. Making buildings smarter – or smart in general – will help overcome some of our most prevalent challenges. In particular, the aggressive net-zero and sustainability targets that businesses have promised to reach. For most, the issue isn’t with having the data, but rather with actioning the insights to see real change. With AI, it becomes possible, and we can start to see real changes in our buildings.

Smart(er) Thinking Needed To Help The Most Vulnerable
Smart(er) Thinking Needed To Help The Most Vulnerable

I am writing this the day after the Autumn Spending Review, which among many measures, included a huge focus on how the Government wants to ‘level up the country’, creating a new post-pandemic economy, with higher wages and higher skills. Part of this is the £500 million ‘Multiply’ scheme, which aims to increase numeracy and basic mathematics for adults in the United Kingdom via in person tutoring, digital training and flexible courses. Lack of basic skills to access digital training It is laudable, but there is an elephant in the classroom here, a lot of people do not have the basic skills and confidence, to access digital training and these are the ones, who are in danger of being left further behind. What does this have to do with heating their homes? It comes down to access and confidence around tech and that begins in the home. Smart technology inaccessible to most people During the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard from far too many people, who simply couldn’t get to grips with the tech We work at the sharp end of this, with many years of experience showing us that while smart tech and smart homes sound fantastic (and for the majority, they are indeed), however, for too many people, it remains inaccessible. They are the most vulnerable and they need help. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard from far too many people, who simply couldn’t get to grips with the tech and they were suffering as a result. Widespread adoption of digital control systems In a welcome drive to improve the energy efficiency of electric heaters, more sophisticated digital control systems have seen widespread introduction. However, for people who are not digitally savvy, they are now presented with a product that they struggle to use as intended. Sadly, many are subsequently bypassing the very systems designed to improve efficiency and resorting to basic manual control of their appliances. For many users, the complicated programming and multiple overrides is even leading to them having no heat at all. manual settings of heaters lead to High Energy consumption In too many cases, these energy-saving thermostatic controls have caused more anxiety and the energy-efficient controls are not being correctly used. Additionally, due to the heaters being left on manual settings, there are many cases of higher energy consumption than needed. The gadgets are great, but if you can’t understand them or use them, they are redundant and can even be counterproductive. System diagnostics Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a home visit was not even an option for many customers Ordinarily, we would schedule a visit to diagnose these types of problems, but this can take too long, which causes frustration and affects the well-being of the customer. Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a home visit was not even an option for many customers, who were self-isolating. However, new computer modeling research from Harvard University warns that intermittent measures may need to be maintained well into 2022, therefore, social distancing will remain a key concern for our vulnerable community. Current solutions for the digital savvy Current solutions available are for the digital savvy, however, these still do not provide early fault finding and they are not accessible to a huge part of our society, approximately 5.3 million adults, who have never used the internet in the United Kingdom and 53% of these adults are aged 75 plus. We decided to do something about this, by devising a robust solution that will eliminate multiple site maintenance visits and provide immediate solutions, without customers needing to understand digital technologies. CAVE smart thermostat with intelligent remote communications As a result, this winter will see the launch of Trust Electric Heating’s CAVE product, a smart thermostat for the confined, adults, vulnerable and elderly people. CAVE builds on our existing digital thermostat technology, further developing it to include intelligent remote communications. This will allow remote access to program the system, monitor/manage energy use and to diagnose and solve a variety of faults that would traditionally require a visit from an engineer. Transforming CAVE into a stand-alone product There are over 8 million adults over 70 years old in the UK, who are classed as vulnerable The pace of development has been accelerated by a strategic Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Huddersfield and backed by Innovate UK, who awarded us with a further development grant, earlier in 2021, to transform CAVE into a stand-alone product that will work on all electric radiators. There are over 8 million adults over 70 years old in the UK, who are classed as vulnerable and around 1.5 million adults (some not over 70) have been asked to self-isolate due to their underlying health conditions as they are classed as our shielded society. For these individuals the present pandemic has changed their life significantly. Remote monitoring, diagnosis and control of electric heating systems CAVE is a web-based technology that enables remote monitoring, diagnosis and control of electric heating systems, providing help and support for this critically overlooked group. In an era, when the pace of change is already so fast, sometimes it pays to slow down a little and adjust the speed, as there are a lot of people who we must not leave behind in the digital economy.

Reducing Your HVAC Carbon Footprint: How The Sector Can Become More Sustainable In The Journey To Net Zero
Reducing Your HVAC Carbon Footprint: How The Sector Can Become More Sustainable In The Journey To Net Zero

With ongoing efforts from governments across the globe to reduce carbon emissions and with an ever greater focus on sustainability, it is vital that the HVAC sector does its part in becoming more environmentally conscious. And, while there have been steps to become more sustainable, there is a huge amount that still needs to be done to make sure that many of the targets that have been set are attainable. In buildings, both large and small, industrial heating accounts for roughly two thirds of industrial energy demand and around a fifth of global energy consumption. Figures like this show the need to have efficient and environmentally-friendly HVAC equipment in place to make the crucial steps towards reducing the contributions these systems make to our carbon footprint. High energy consumption in construction sector A 2019 report by The International Environment Agency (IEA) showed that the buildings and construction sectors combined were responsible for over 30% of global energy consumption and nearly 40% of carbon emissions. This is indicative of the steps the sector needs to take to play its role in a more eco-friendly society, some of which are already underway. However, much more needs to be done if the UK is to reach its goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As we envisage what a post-COVID world might look like, businesses and governments are continuing to put sustainability and lower carbon emissions at the forefront of their planning and the HVAC sector is certainly no exception. But with change in the sector a daunting prospect, decision-makers often don’t know where to start. Smart Technology use in HVAC systems Smart HVAC uses sensors that integrate with a building’s automation system With the constant growth and greater deployment of smart technologies within the HVAC sector, this is certainly a way that systems can become more efficient. Smart HVAC uses sensors that integrate with a building’s automation system. These sensors then collect information about conditions throughout the building. Heat waves are now a far more common occurrence in the United Kingdom. The Met Office estimates they are up to 30 times more likely and will be a bi-annual occurrence by 2050. It is important that any uptake in HVAC usage doesn’t lead to a drastic increase in emission generation. This is one of the areas where smart systems will become crucial. Many scientists have been unequivocal in their sentiment that heat waves are a cause of greater emissions and expect temperature records in the UK and Europe to be broken more regularly, so sites will need to be equipped to handle these conditions. Regulating temperature with hand-held devices With wireless systems now much more commonplace, temperatures can be controlled easily from hand-held devices. With these new technologies, those managing the systems can also benefit from remote monitoring and maintenance, reducing the need to travel to the site for yet another environmental incentive. To accompany the smart systems, equipment including smart thermostats can be installed to maximize HVAC efficiency. Other smart systems available to businesses include smart furnaces and air conditioning units that are far easier to operate than their traditional counterparts. Reducing unnecessary ventilation While global temperatures continue to rise, air conditioning usage has increased and has contributed to greater levels of energy usage. A huge amount of needless emissions are generated by unnecessary ventilation, contributing heavily to heat loss and overall energy wastage. Recirculation of air is a traditionally lower energy cost method of retaining heat and keeping emissions low, however, we must be mindful of the risks associated with recirculating air. The risk of circulating diseases is negated somewhat with heat recovery ventilation, which both removes the risk of disease spreading and improves energy consumption. Efficiency performance of new AC units Air conditioning units in particular contribute significantly to a building’s energy consumption Air conditioning units in particular contribute significantly to a building’s energy consumption, equating to 10% of the UK’s electricity consumption and as such it is important that we bear in mind ways to counteract the emissions this creates. Global energy demand for air conditioning units is expected to triple by 2050, as temperatures continue to rise year on year. The efficiency performance of new air conditioning units will be the key, when it comes to ensuring that escalating demand does not equate to greater emissions. Another issue for suppliers and manufacturers to address is differing rates of consumption for AC units in different countries, with units sold in Japan and the EU typically more efficient than those found in China and the US. Modularization Modular HVACs have also become increasingly popular in recent years. Modular HVACs are responsible for heating, cooling and distributing air through an entire building, with their increase in popularity largely down to their greater levels of energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, flexibility and substantial ease of installation and maintenance. Modular HVACs can be tailored specifically for workspaces and they often allow work to be done on the systems without disturbing the workforce, achieved primarily through rooftop placement. Commercial workspaces are larger and often require differing needs to residential properties and can cater to a wide range of the specific requirements of work and commercial spaces. As we strive for lower carbon emissions, it seems that this trend will continue and will become a key area in reducing emissions that HVACs have traditionally generated. System maintenance and training To meet government and industry requirements, many new buildings will require HVAC systems that can be maintained simply in order to perform in a more energy efficient way. Many companies are looking at ways to become climate neutral and significantly reduce their footprint Many companies are looking at ways to become climate neutral and significantly reduce their footprint. Companies are following the likes of German-based company, Wilo Group, who have announced they are committing to sustainable manufacturing by developing a new carbon neutral plant and HQ in the next few years. Lowering carbon footprint As we continue to move towards an ever more environmentally conscious society, it will be of paramount importance for companies, governments and the public to think about ways in which we can lower carbon emissions. Smart technologies will certainly be at the forefront of this, negating many needless journeys and making it easier for industries to adjust settings and tackle issues remotely. Greater levels of training will help equip us with the tools to make sure we are best placed to reduce emissions and be more sustainable as a result. While the steps outlined above do show some progress and measures we can take, there is far more that we can do as a sector to significantly reduce HVAC’s carbon footprint and once we have moved beyond the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will surely be at the front of industry leader minds.

Latest Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems news

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Announces Dealer Of The Year
Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Announces Dealer Of The Year

Peterman Brothers of Greenwood, Indiana has been named the 2021 Bryant Dealer of the Year, the highest honor a Bryant dealer can receive. Each year, this award recognizes the company whose hard work, expertise and business acumen have helped them to stand out as a leader in the industry. Bryant, a pioneering supplier of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the pioneering global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. “Being named as the 2021 Bryant Dealer of the Year means that we are doing things the right way,” said Chad Peterman, Owner and President, Peterman Brothers. “It is not what we do, but how we do it. We are committed to providing our people and customers with the best customer experience possible.”   Bryant Medal of Excellence winner   Peterman Brothers has been solving plumbing, heating, and cooling issues of the central Indiana community since 1986 when Pete Peterman started the company in his garage. Since its humble beginnings, the company has grown to employ over 300 people today. Two of those employees include Pete's sons, Chad and Tyler. Both grew up around the business and have taken on numerous responsibilities.   Chad is the oldest and in his role as Owner and President, he is responsible for creating and executing the company’s vision and long-term strategy. Chad’s younger brother, Tyler, oversees all install operations. Peterman is now a complete family affair with all the Petermans involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. In addition, Peterman Brothers is a two-time Bryant Medal of Excellence winner.   Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers “Bryant dealers continue to raise the bar in our industry and are among the best in the business,” said Justin Keppy, President, NA Residential & Light Commercial, Carrier. “Our 2021 Dealer of the Year, Peterman Brothers, exemplifies the values and commitment that the Bryant brand has come to represent in its more than 115-year history. Its entire team embodies all that is necessary to run a successful business, and the company serves as an example to the industry for how an organization should treat its customers and the community in which it operates.” Bryant selected its 2021 Dealer of the Year from 22 Medal of Excellence winners, comprised of Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers throughout North America. The candidates were judged on overall sales growth, high-efficiency and indoor air quality equipment sales, customer satisfaction and participation in dealer programs and promotions.

New Bryant Home App Provides Enhanced User Experience for Remote Connectivity to Evolution System
New Bryant Home App Provides Enhanced User Experience for Remote Connectivity to Evolution System

Bryant has launched the new Bryant Home app, which provides homeowners with an improved experience managing their Evolution™ System. This replacement for the MyEvolution Connex app, which is available now in the Apple® App Store® and Google Play® store, provides an enhanced homeowner experience, improved functionality and increased connectivity performance between the mobile device and home comfort system.   Bryant, a pioneering supplier of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the pioneering global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. While the Bryant Home app has a new look and improved performance, it still includes many of the features and benefits homeowners were accustomed to with the previous MyEvolution Connex app. Homeowners will be able to control their entire advanced home comfort system to precisely manage the temperature, humidity and equipment efficiency.1 In addition, homeowners will be able to learn more about the outdoor air quality around their home, including the air quality index and the pollutant levels in the atmosphere. Bryant Home app The new Bryant Home app runs on a Carrier IO platform, which provides a solid backend and cloud platform to build robust IoT applications. This app represents the latest step in Carrier’s digital transformation journey as its residential business reinvents its holistic digital footprint. “We’re proud to introduce the Bryant Home app to residential customers,” said Gundeep Singh, Executive Director, Digital and Analytics, NA Residential & Light Commercial, Carrier.   “Homeowners will enjoy the enhanced performance that better allows them to conveniently manage their home comfort settings from anywhere. This is the next progression in our digital transformation and we look forward to offering homeowners a new level of functionality as we continue to add new features and product compatibility.”

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Unveil Updated Smart Sensor For Their Evolution Zoning System
Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Unveil Updated Smart Sensor For Their Evolution Zoning System

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems (Bryant) launched an updated zoning sensor to be used with its flagship Evolution Zoning System. The sensor provides homeowners with a wall control featuring a new, contemporary design, with the ability to control an individual zone in the home’s Evolution zoning system. Bryant, an international supplier of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a renowned global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building, and cold chain solutions. Smart sensor The new look of the smart sensor also mimics the look of the Evolution Connex Control The new smart sensor was designed with the home owner in mind. Smaller than the previous generation of sensors, the sensor features a touchscreen with an updated look and feel that blends easily into the décor of many homes better than ever before. The new look of the smart sensor also mimics the look of the Evolution Connex Control, so as to help maintain a uniform appearance throughout the house. Evolution Zoning System In addition, the new smart sensors highlight the innovation behind the Evolution Zoning System, by providing an easy-to-read temperature display and intuitive controls. Homeowners also can adjust the fan and hold settings for each zone, as well as monitor the humidity levels and outdoor temperature. “The new smart sensors offer a sleek new look for our homeowners, with the functionality that is expected with the Evolution System,” said Frank David, Product Manager, Residential Thermostats and Controls at Carrier Corporation. Frank David adds, “The new touch-screen design will resonate with homeowners as it echoes many contemporary device interfaces. In addition, each sensor is smaller than previous generations, so they will be less intrusive to the home décor.”

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