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Robust technology and complex algorithms, key automated HVAC systems

Robust technology

A simple set of reasonable cost communication and control sensors fitted on each operating device in a cooling system can generate useful information, be the data for good developed software.

Talking about the impending use of automation in almost every industry, Vikram Murthy, National President, ISHRAE discusses on the varied aspects where automation has taken charge in delivering better services to the HVAC&R industry.

How do you see future of automation in the intensifying HVAC&R and buildings?
The IoT is all pervasive and air-conditioning and cold storage is moving towards adoption that will lead to automation, information, regulation and control. ISHRAE is part of a government constituted coalition to herald IOT into HVAC & R. That said, we also are moving towards securing the national IP protection; intellectual property security so all data acquired is secure and does not have risk of being incorrectly used.

What preventive measure would ISHRAE suggest to meet the fire safety concerns in the automation, especially in the connected corridors and connected systems?
Firstly, ISHRAE can make standards. Regulators must adopt them to ensure safety. So, it is a must all for stakeholders, especially, the end users and building facility management. Fire and safety standards are not in ISHRAE’s domain except in a limited inter related manner. Such standards and protocols are written by other entities including UL and the Fire & Safety Association of India.

How do you view the future of IoT and automation into HVAC&R industry? How far can the consumer data be secured?
IoT plays a very pivotal role inthe security which shall be developed by managing the IP protocols for embedded devices. We are working on a guideline with the government that will secure consumer data from incorrect application or use.

Is there any suggestion to imply the 25oC temperature challenge, as a default temperature to the air conditioning systems?
Yes, the implication is on reducing the temperature of the air-conditioning system which has been subtle and direct. ISHRAE is quite successful in spreading the awareness to the consumers and is also receiving response via this robust national campaign of the 1 degree challenge. As consumer’s voluntary increasesthe set temperature by ‘One Degree’ higher, they will gradually reach 24oC and 25oC which is an accepted indoor temperature. Manufacturers will then readily program thermostats to limit lower settings. It’s a process that must have a national consumer mindset change and ISHRAE is driving it. Many other groups must do the same to save energy being wasted.
Apart from the air-conditioners, are there any plans to reduce the carbon footprints generated from the refrigeration?
Just as for air-conditioning, refrigeration too is fast moving to very low or zero GWP refrigerants. ISHRAE is doing its task to educate and shall write the cold store installation guidelines that will drive this faster with the help of government regulations to follow.

What are the benefits of having building automation?
Any IOT device that can measure, monitor and communicate can gather and transmit data. There are several softwares available even for mobile App format. The trick is to have priority log in systems that restrict who can view/alter/transmit. That’s why the IP security systems must be in place before rapidly expanding and losing control or managing skills.

What additional technologies would you suggest to control the HVAC systems?
Technologies are evolving periodically and get applied in the field by their promoters. A simple set of reasonable cost sensors is fitted on each operating device in a cooling system that communicate temperature, pressure, flow, current and time of use can be the data for a good developed software. It can also generate useful information that compares well with a high end BMS that may have advantages of robustness and more complex algorithms for automation and generation of more complex management information.

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