How does Mesh technology meet the challenges of smart building?

Published on 24 juin 2020 In: Trend

  • Reading time08 min.
  • LevelBeginner

How the IoT responds to the challenges of smart building? Find out how Mesh technology facilitates large-scale sensor deployment?

How does Mesh technology meet the challenges of smart building?

Smart building, which should represent 24.7 billion dollars in the world by 2021, is a term widely used to speak of the building of tomorrow. But what does it really mean? The term “smart building” is based on the use of different sensors in order to collect a large volume of data: temperature, humidity, brightness, physical presence detection, sound level, air quality, water consumption, electricity, etc. We are also talking about BioT (Building Internet of Things) which is nothing less than the association of Smart Building and IoT.

For building professionals, but also and above all for their users, the main challenges of the smart building are energy consumption management, space optimization, costs reduction, and safety management.

The global health crisis has reinforced these challenges like the massive development of telework and the implementation of strict health rules. Challenges in which managers of tertiary buildings see many opportunities. However, the communication protocols allowing the networking of connected objects are sometimes hard to deploy and can prove to be expensive. In this article, we will show you how the Wirepas Mesh technology integrated in different objects and sensors responds to these challenges while providing a reliable solution simple to install and with low infrastructure cost.

How does Wirepas Mesh technology meet the challenges of smart building?

There are many communication protocols on the IoT market, so it is not easy to find your way around and know which one to choose. So, we show you one of them based on a mesh networking of sensors. Developed by Wirepas, a Finnish company, this solution is currently used by 3 million objects worldwide. This is possible thanks to a very versatile and interoperable solution but also thanks to an ecosystem of 160 partners of which ELA Innovation is a part.

Wirepas is committed to provide its customers with the most reliable, optimized, scalable and easy-to-deploy connectivity solution.

The offer is composed of 4 pillars to form a complete technological offer intended for hardware manufacturers, software editors, integrators, or even end customers

This solution was specifically designed and thought to meet the 2 major challenges of mesh networks which are:*

•    the reliability of the network at scale and density
•    the low energy consumption of routers in the network

 


How does Wirepas Mesh technology connect several different sensors to each other?

Wirepas Mesh is a decentralized radio protocol that can be used in a multitude of objects on any component or frequency band. Thanks to Wirepas Mesh every object on the network is an intelligent router which simplifies the infrastructure and eliminates the need for a repeater or routing table. All Wirepas Mesh intelligence is in the network with objects deciding their configuration locally and dynamically. This local decision-making guarantees the operation of the object regardless of the size of the network.

The “local” Wirepas Mesh network can also be connected to the Internet (or a Cloud) thanks to a gateway whose drivers and APIs are available on GitHub in Open Source. This makes it possible to connect business platforms to operate the network and process the data. Wirepas Mesh is particularly relevant for large-scale industrial applications such as asset tracking, lighting, logistics flow management, and facility management.

 

 

A solution suitable for several applications related to Smart Building

Thanks to its great versatility, Wirepas Mesh can be used in many connected objects such as sensors, lights, and any other type of building object that can support technology. The whole forms a unified network making it possible to mix several applications within the same one. Network is then implemented very easily in the building(s) to make their management smarter.

Finally, the "Over-The-Air" provisioning and update features specific to the Wirepas Mesh solution allow it to implement and maintain the network while keeping OPEX costs under control.

 

MAIN ADVANTAGES

The Wirepas Mesh solution provides many responses to the needs and constraints of building users.

  • Scalability and reliability of the network regardless of its size or density.
  • Low consumption and low latency modes allowing to couple different applications (example: lights / sensors) and benefit from the advantages of both.
  • Inexpensive overall operating cost thanks to an infrastructure that can be mainly based on battery and allows several years of operation.

 

  • Easy deployment and maintenance operations thanks to over the air provisioning and update functionalities.
  • Interoperability with the internet or the Cloud via a simple gateway allowing the use of third-party platforms with business intelligence for all various smart building applications.

DRAWBACKS

However, technology is dependent on its environment like any other comparable technology. In the case of a smart building this means a range which can be reduced depending on the external conditions. But this point is easily removed by adding a new object to the network which improves its coverage.

 

Some of the use cases

As mentioned in the introduction the management of energy consumption, the optimization of space, and the safety of people / goods are major issues for building managers. We will see through 2 use cases how in practice Wirepas Mesh technology is used.

Air conditioning management

Today most tertiary buildings are equipped with air conditioning to cool or heat workspaces. This energy consumption item represents a large part of the expenses linked to the operation of such buildings. It is interesting to be able to manage its use in an automated and intelligent manner. Let us look at how Wirepas Mesh technology allows us to better control this consumption, to reduce the costs as well as the ecological impact linked to this expense item.

It is very easy to couple within the same Wirepas Mesh network lights with temperature and humidity sensors placed in the relevant places of the building. The lighting network is used to structure the Wirepas Mesh network in "low latency" mode. The network of temperature / humidity sensors is on battery and uses the low consumption mode to promote the life of the battery.

The lighting and air conditioning are then managed intelligently for better control of the building's energy consumption.

 

Room occupation

The optimization of spaces is a trendy topic regarding the development of telework or the increase in the price of the square meter in big cities. Companies seek to reduce the area of their premises and it is necessary to be able to computerize the management of the occupancy rates of rooms and offices.

To meet these challenges, it is possible to simply add a set of presence (based on motion), brightness and magnetic (door opening/closing detection) sensors to a Wirepas Mesh network. This makes it possible to better manage the occupation of spaces and dynamically manage the lighting of the building while strengthening the architecture of the network.

To wrap up

Thanks to digital technologies the life cycle of buildings is transformed into a more sustainable, autonomous, and remotely controllable mode of operation. By relying on mature and proven technologies like Wirepas Mesh, building stakeholders will be able to develop preventive maintenance thanks to predictive analysis of the data collected. We then speak of "thinking building". This type of off the shelve and inexpensive solutions make it possible to democratize applications linked to intelligent building and thus participate in the development of this sector.

We thank Eden SUIRE, Business developer at WIREPAS for his contribution to the writing of this article.

 









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