Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Smart building boom shaping the future of smart grids
Intelligent buildings are growing in popularity, and utilities need to ensure their smart grid strategies can keep up. Investing in serial to Ethernet converters and smart meters is a good start, but there are several trends that utilities should be aware of that are driving the migration to smarter, more energy efficient buildings.
IDC's recent "Global Smart Buildings Forecast 2013-2018" report outlines that the smart building market is expected to show significant growth during the next few years. Current spending, estimated at about $7.3 billion in 2014, is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 28.4 percent, reaching $21.9 billion in 2018. The nation's smart grids will need to keep up with this growth in order to support the distribution and energy needs of these businesses and their new facilities.
According to SmartGridNews, IDC's report may be a bit bullish, but it still indicates the strength of this trend. For utilities, this means deploying new strategies and strengthening their own investments. The three factors that will weigh the most heavily on this growth will be the availability of high-quality terminal servers and other supporting hardware, the geographic spread of the adoption of smart building systems and federal regulations on the smart grid market as a whole.
"As businesses recover following the 'great recession,' building owners continue to focus on managing their operational energy costs and risks. Often, gathering building data is not the issue, rather combining, interpreting, and prioritizing that data is becoming the key challenge," said Jill Feblowitz, Vice President, IDC Energy Insights. "Smart building solutions are valuable technologies for deploying energy management strategies that generate operational efficiencies, cost containment and sustainability benefits that appeal to key stakeholders across chain of command in building management."
Ultimately, utilities will need to examine their own growth rates, assess the construction and upgrading of smart buildings in their service areas, and adapt accordingly. Not keeping up with the trend could affect customer experience and profits, and providers will want to minimize these risks while balancing their budget for smart grid investments. The right approach will support growth and enable significant ROI, if utilities are able to leverage both trends and offer the support companies need for their own smart building efforts.
Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.