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Smart building trend on the rise

By Max Burkhalter
March 26, 2014

While growth of the smart grid-related trend of intelligent buildings has been slow, experts believe it will take a turn by 2017, driving upward as market awareness increases.

According to IDG Energy Insights, the smart building trend is expected to ramp up rapidly by 2017, growing by a CAGR of 28.4 percent from 2013. The market reached a mere $6.3 billion last year, but is expected to exceed a value of $21.9 over the next three.

"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."

For the smart grid market, these efforts mean more than increased investments though. They indicate a rapid shift in direction in the type of hardware companies will be investing in.

Smart grids rely on a variety of terminal servers, serial to Ethernet converters and cabling types to transmit energy and data swiftly and efficiently. Far beyond traditional power infrastructure, smart grids rely on a two-way relay of information to optimize delivery, assess demand during peak time and reduce the overall reliance on non-renewable sources of energy. However, so far investments have been stunted by the economic decline.

As financial situations turn fairer, businesses should consider investing in the Ethernet I/O and related hardware necessary to optimize their power usage and integrate with the smart grid infrastructure increasingly being deployed across the nation. These efforts will pay off over time, delivering higher-quality service, reducing black- and brownout risks and optimizing power costs. However, the initial investment into improved grid infrastructure is a necessity that cannot be avoided.

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.


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