The challenge - HVAC use optimization in university lecture halls
Feedback Solutions, a solution provider that accelerates decarbonization initiatives and helps businesses reduce utility costs with its data-driven software to optimize HVAC systems, was approached for a project to reduce HVAC-related energy consumption in a large university in the United States.
The university sought insights on the number of people entering and leaving lecture halls, in order to use accurate, real-time occupancy data to ventilate buildings. Feedback Solutions uses a proprietary occupancy calculation algorithm that enables real-time control of ventilation in buildings.
The company is also part of the Net Zero Accelerator (NZA), from the U.S. Green Building Council–Los Angeles (USGBC-LA). The Net Zero Accelerator focuses on pilot projects in real-world, trackable implementations, to drive adoption of net zero solutions.
Terabee answered the call, with its People Counting L-XL device, which is GDPR compliant by design as it uses Time-of-Flight non-camera technology. Two Terabee People Counting L-XL devices were installed in each lecture hall entrance to capture the movement of people in and out of the spaces.
Almost 2,700 m2 (29,000 ft²) of lecture halls were covered using Terabee and other sensors, with four Terabee People Counting L-XL sensors used to cover two lecture halls for this part of the project. Currently, Feedback Solutions has Terabee sensors deployed across 30 lecture halls in another university building where a similar exercise on energy savings is being done.
Feedback Solutions used the GDPR-compliant Terabee People Counting XL sensor to capture lecture hall occupancy. Easy to install and configure via a Web GUI, the Terabee sensor offers multi-device support for wide door counting. With its powerful people-counting algorithm People Counting L-XL gives 98% accuracy and it is effective in low-light conditions.
About the Feedback Solutions approach
Feedback Solutions’ software pulls raw data from the installed sensors to calculate real-time, zoned occupant counts and sends the data to the building automation system via BACnet to drive HVAC savings. Feedback Solutions works with their customers’ BMS suppliers to define a new sequence of operations to modulate the fan speeds and damper positions. This supplies the optimal amount of outdoor air based on the actual ventilation requirement.
The company uses a sensor-agnostic approach to procure best-in-class sensors based on the design criteria of the space. Its software solution enables data aggregation from multiple sources (for example IAQ sensors and people counting sensors) to further optimize the sequence of operations.
Energy savings of 40%
This “Only pay for what you need solution” has seen energy savings of 40% or more of HVAC-related energy consumption, coming from reduced fan speeds and optimization of the volume of outside air being heated or cooled.
When occupancy data is sent over BACnet/IP to the building automation system in real-time, ventilation rates can be optimized automatically, and 24/7, as the number of occupants of an HVAC zone increases and decreases. Moreover, these sensors don’t capture any personal data, so they are fully compliant with all existing and anticipated privacy legislation. This makes the Feedback Solutions + Terabee solution “futureproof”.
GDPR compliance, Time-of-Flight technology
“We are able to map different sensor technologies to a site based on the ceiling height and width of entrances to be covered. We found that the Terabee sensors were well suited for singular entrances and average ceiling heights,” said Chandan Chowdhury, CTO, Feedback Solutions Inc.
For this project, the Time-of-Flight technology aspect and the GDPR compliance were strongly appreciated, as well as the ease of configuration.
Says Terabee CEO, Max Ruffo, “At Terabee we help smart building players implement a better strategy to save energy in all types of commercial and public buildings, by understanding how to optimize space and energy usage. We are delighted to work with Feedback Solutions to enable significant savings of HVAC-related energy consumption, which in turn, means reduced energy expenses and lower greenhouse gas emissions.”
The collaboration between Feedback Solutions and Terabee was positive. “We are happy with the support we get from the sales and the technical team. We would recommend Terabee’s sensors if the use case is a good fit. We will continue to deploy our solution and if the opportunity presents itself to use Terabee sensors, we will absolutely use them going forward!”
About Feedback Solutions
See more about Feedback Solutions here.
If you’d like to know more about Terabee people counting devices and People Counting L-XL, contact us.