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Sensors for Energy Efficient Buildings & Building Management

  • July 2013
  • 61 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 1610567


Table of Contents

Sensors are a key enabling technology for energy efficient buildings. Output from sensors enables effective demand controlled HVAC and lighting. This enables users to save on utility bills and help in reduction of carbon emissions by efficient energy usage and minimising wastage. The research service offers insights primarily on nine dimensions of sensors for energy efficient buildings and building management.

Research Scope

Energy Efficiency and comfortable environment in buildings are enabled by building automation systems where sensors play a key role. The major aspects are providing lighting and HVAC based on actual demand and occupancy information. Unnecessary usage of devices leads to unwanted usage of electricity which can be curbed using sensing solutions.

This research service covers technology trends in Sensors for Energy Efficient Buildings and Building management. Primary technologies covered include temperature sensing, occupancy detection, motion detection and air quality sensing. These areas are imperative for achieving energy efficiency by having demand controlled HVAC and lighting.

The research service offers insights primarily on nine dimensions of sensors for energy efficient buildings and building management as listed below.
•Year of impact
•Market Potential
•Global Footprint
•IP Activity
•Breadth of Industries
•Impact on Megatrend
•Potential Points of convergence
•Size of Innovation Ecosystem

Key Findings

Year of impact
Incremental Benefits expected in future
Sensors are increasingly used in building automation for such applications as HVAC, lighting control and presence detection. Incremental benefits in terms of accuracy, networking and multisensing capabilities (e.g., CO2/temperature/humidity sensors for HVAC) are expected in the future. Nanosensors are expected to make a major impact by 2019 allowing high sensitivity and multisensing capabilities.

Market Potential
Multi-billion market with high potential
The overall sensors industry approaches a $X Billion market, in 2012, according to Frost & Sullivan. In 2012, the building automation sector accounted for around X% of the total, representing about $X Billion.

Global Footprint
High Technology Development in APAC
Major technological development is seen in the APAC region, which caters to global market. There is a high potential for applications in this region owing to the increased pace of industrialization. Growth of large retail malls, high growth of the building industry, and increased penetration of the building automation systems drives the trend.

IP Activity
Major Assignees located in APAC Region
The majority of the top assignees are located in the APAC region. The number of patents related to sensors for building applications have more or less followed a rising trend over the last decade

Government Initiatives driving research
A number of EU funded projects are being undertaken including public-private projects. For instance the TIBUCON project constitutes organizations from multiple countries in the EU.

Breadth of Industries
Applicable for Multiple Applications
Sensors are targeted to enable cost savings by controlling the energy consumption of systems based on real time demand. Sensors are vital for enhancing building energy efficiency by monitoring key environmental variables, such as temperature, humidity, differential pressure/air flow, carbon dioxide or volatile organic compounds, lighting conditions or human presence. Moreover. Lux sensors can turn lights on or off, depending on the amount of daylight in a n area.

Impact on Megatrend
Impact on Key Megatrends
Sensors have major impact on Mega trends such as Urbanization, Innovation to Zero and ‘Smart is the New Green’.

Potential Points of convergence
Increased opportunities with ICT
The cloud can serve as a platform for data collection, storage and analysis of information generated by the sensors. Sensors can be integrated with other technologies, thus opening up opportunities for product development and applications.

Size of Innovation Ecosystem
Robust standards can promote adoption
The proliferation of standards (rather than the use of proprietary solutions) pertaining to sensors for energy efficient buildings, including low-power wireless sensors and for wireless solutions that include energy harvesters would further boost implementation of sensors for energy efficient buildings.

Technology Snapshot

With the growing interest towards improving energy conservation and reducing the CO2 emission in the environment, a lot of research is being carried out in the area of energy efficient buildings, as buildings are considered to be one of the major sources, and a growing source, of CO2 emission and energy consumption. With the intervention of smart sensors and actuators, the construction of green buildings has become much easier as they help a great deal in reducing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Thus equipping buildings with motion sensors, air quality sensors, etc is observed to be the recent trend in construction sector.

Energy utilized by the building sector accounts for about X percent of the total electricity in US, as noted in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Trends in Residential and Commercial Buildings (August 2010). It was also noted that U.S. buildings currently contribute Xpercent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. In Europe, the building sector is responsible for 35-45 percent of total energy consumption. The statistics show the deep necessity to construct green buildings and save energy. Energy efficient buildings serve all the purposes a man needs by consuming least amounts of energy. Hence these have become increasingly popular in the recent past.

With the deep awareness about energy deficiency in the world, there has already been a significant improvement in the adaptation of energy efficient services such as green buildings. Sensors enable demand based on supply of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning which results in energy savings by turning off devices when not required.

Need for Energy Efficient Buildings

Importance of Building Management Systems and Energy Efficient Building

Increased Savings on Utility Bills: The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), part of U.S. DOE, has indicated that more than X% of the energy used by U.S. homes, buildings and factories (and the money to pay for it) can be saved by reducing waste using such solutions as energy efficient buildings. The saved dollars could help increase service efficiency and increase net revenue.

Longer Lifespan of Component Systems: The decreasing lifespan of the lighting and other components can be reduced by the application of sensors in the buildings and optimizing their use.

Key Component of Sustainability: With the ever increasing population, energy efficient buildings are vital to sustainability through reduction in carbon footprint and pollution. Sustainability is achieved through integrating the building lifecycle with green practice and reduced consumption of natural resources and increased energy efficiency.

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