At ACE IoT, we are always excited when we can “wow” a customer. It was gratifying to hear from Rede Energy Solutions that, using ACE IoT’s platform, Rede’s engineers were able to generate value—in just a few hours—that had previously taken many weeks or months to create. According to Rede, ACE IoT’s offering has three distinguishing features that makes it uniquely well-suited to support their work: 1) the ability to search and tag infrastructure data by keywords, 2) effective technical support and 3) transparency. In this post, we examine how and why ACE IoT’s data acquisition and data enablement solution is well-suited to support the work Rede’s engineers do for their K-12 customers.
About Rede Energy Solutions
Since 2008, Rede Energy Solutions – based in British Columbia, Canada – has helped 150 rural, northern, and aboriginal schools reduce costs, meet budgets, and use less energy. Rede engages its customers via their Strategic Energy Management Program. Via years-long engagements, Rede partners with its customers and provides services including strategic planning, recommissioning, utility data review/tracking and performance reporting.
For Grand Prairie Public School District (GPPSD) in Northern Alberta, Rede is offering broad energy management services in support of the school district’s audacious building optimization goals. GPPSD is well on its way to reducing its energy usage in 2023 to levels that are more than 25% below a 2013 baseline. To date, GPPSD has saved CAN$2,398,000 in cumulative savings and expects to save a total of CAN$4,433,000 by 2023-24.
Rede + GPPSD Deploy ACE IoT Gateways in January 2022
It is not a surprise that Infrastructure data is a central input into the services that Rede provides for its customers. Over the past decade, Rede utilized several different approaches and solutions to facilitate data acquisition – which Rede’s founder, Matthew Redekopp, politely describes as a headache. A product that Rede had initially used with success was end-of-lifed. An effort to develop a custom solution yielded an offering that was neither cost-effective nor easy for its engineers to use. Rede also piloted several automated on-boarding offerings and concluded that the offerings are either too complicated or use proprietary models/algorithms that the technology provider does not make available to the users. For Rede’s engineers this is a concern because – without access to the underlying assumptions of the model or the algorithms – they cannot validate the outcomes or confirm that outcomes used proper values for its calculations.
In January 2022, Rede and GPPSD agreed to deploy an ACE IoT gateway to enable data acquisition. Following a brief conversation with the head of GPPSD’s IT Department, ACE IoT mailed a pre-configured gateway to Alberta. A member of GPPSD’s facilities department plugged-in the gateway – no electrician or controls vendor required! - and data started to trend to ACE IoT’s cloud platform. Using personalized logins, energy engineers at Rede and the facilities team at GPPSD were able to access real time infrastructure data, set-up dashboards to track key data and download any/all of the acquired data without concern about incurring any additional costs.
Successful Deployment at GPPSD - Three Critical Elements of ACE IoT’s Infrastructure Data Solution: Search, Support and Transparency
ACE IoT’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud platform is designed to operate as a multi-tenant enterprise data lake. To ensure that the team at ACE IoT can deliver the infrastructure data our customers need – and only the data they need, ACE IoT has built tools we can use to sort, tag and trend data. We make these tools available to our customers. One tool that is proving most valuable to Rede is search.
SEARCH. Rede is using ACE IoT’s data enablement platform to search the infrastructure data acquired from the Building Automation System at the GPPSD site to identify all data associated with an air handler unit. In the screen shot below, a Rede engineer has used the ACE IoT’s interface to tag all the data associated with “AHU1” with a single checkmark.
ACE IoT customers can search on device type, room numbers, zones—literally dozens of terms depending on the metadata available via BACnet. Customers can easily tag, download as a CSV or push the data to their preferred system. Rede is trending data that its engineers have tagged using ACE IoT interface to a Grafana dashboard site that ACE IoT sets up for each customer.
Using Grafana, Rede’s engineers can use scatter point graphs to evaluate setpoint reset strategy effectiveness and determine optimal control parameters to be implemented. Real-time data trending to the Grafana site also facilitates measurement and verification of Rede’s interventions. In the graph above, supply air temperature is visualized against room temperature and setpoint over a 7 days period for a VAV supply air temperature reset application.
SUPPORT. ACE IoT provides training on the ACE IoT Cloud Platform interface and on Grafana. Because these tools are part of ACE IoT’s IaaS, ACE IoT provides technical support and is committed to supporting our customers’ specific use cases. After two training sessions, Rede’s team is up and running on the ACE IoT system, using the available tools to support their work with GPPSD.
TRANSPARENCY. A distinguishing feature of the ACE IoT system is that all the data acquired from the GPPSD is available to Rede engineers. According the Matthew Redekopp, this is critically important:
“To stand by our work, we need to be able to verify all the data that we use to develop our recommendations and support our conclusions. ACE IoT’s system does not obscure any data behind proprietary models or algorithms. Using ACE IoT’s platform, we can build and evaluate our own data models. As a PE, I can confidently sign-off on the recommendations and conclusions we develop using ACE IoT. The ACE IoT offering is a gamechanger for us.”
Matthew’s quote is gratifying for us. At ACE IoT, we designed our system to recognize that the data resident in ACE IoT’s platform are not ours—the data are our customers’.
ACE IoT is excited to work with organizations like Rede Energy Solutions – organizations looking to offload their infrastructure data acquisition headaches. Please contact Bill Maguire (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss a pilot deployment of an ACE IoT gateway at one of your client sites.
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