You may have heard of Internet of Things (IoT) applications for restaurant facility management, and you may even have a current building automation solution. However, the HVAC industry is changing quickly, and new IoT solutions that can save you significant time and money are most greatly impacting restaurants and light commercial locations first.
The top trends in IoT and HVAC for restaurants are improving guest comfort, employee retention, productivity and indoor air quality while reducing the energy consumption of HVAC.
What Is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the wireless connectivity of devices, equipment and systems. IoT enables comprehensive, wireless data collection and communication between a multitude of devices simultaneously. It allows facilities managers and restaurateurs to monitor performance, equipment issues and opportunities across multiple locations.
HVAC efficiency can be greatly improved with a cloud computing system that optimizes the benefits of an IoT application. Restaurant owners and operators in the U.S. and around the world are recognizing that HVAC optimization is an immensely effective way to increase energy efficiency and decrease HVAC expenses that eat away at your bottom line.
IoT and HVAC Trends for Restaurants in 2017
Connected systems offer greatly enhanced data collection and management through the Internet of Things.
A multitude of variables affect the operation of your HVAC system on a daily basis. An IoT connected system can intelligently process and act on the data it collects for improved energy efficiency, reduced maintenance and full-system integration.
Building automation goes beyond HVAC retrofits.
While a good HVAC retrofit with an IoT connected system can offer considerable benefits, a fully automated system allows restaurant owners and facilities managers in-depth, real-time visibility to the entire Energy Management System. The ability to control the system remotely alongside improved airflow and outside air optimization make this an appealing option.
The traditional Energy Management System will be replaced by predictive and proactive systems.
The Internet of Things and cloud computing enable more energy efficient restaurants, which translates into customers, kitchen staff and servers who are more comfortable and productive.
Predictive energy management solutions use cloud-based algorithms to log hundreds of variables every minute rather than the small handful a traditional EMS makes use of. The predictive solution factors in variables such as indoor and outdoor air temperature, local weather forecasts, humidity, building usage patterns, geographic orientation and energy in the air (enthalpy) to enable true building automation and restaurant intelligence.
System performance reporting and notifications help predict HVAC equipment failures and verify service actions.
Optimizing entire HVAC systems with smart solutions that leverage IoT and cloud computing means rooftop units (RTUs) shouldn’t be overworked, and system economizers and actuators will function as intended. Combined with right-size RTU selection, maintenance costs are significantly reduced and HVAC equipment life increases.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), studies on predictive maintenance have shown it can reduce maintenance costs up to 30%, eliminate breakdowns 70% to 75% of the time, minimize equipment downtime and increase production.
Despite these obvious advantages, only 12% of commercial buildings are using predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance is defined as measurements that detect the onset of system degradation (lower functional state), allowing causal stressors to be eliminated or controlled prior to any significant deterioration. Predictive maintenance differs from preventive maintenance by basing maintenance need on the actual condition of the machine rather than on a preset schedule.
Of the maintenance resources and activities in an average building, over 55% are reactive and 31% are preventive. Reactive maintenance basically means that you run it until it breaks. Preventive maintenance is defined as actions performed on a time- or machine-run-based schedule that detect, preclude, or mitigate degradation of a component or system to an acceptable level.