Daikin Applied leads HVAC industry into the internet of things with truly intelligent rooftop units.
When Daikin Applied, designer and manufacturer of advanced commercial HVAC systems, was planning their game-changing foray into the Internet of Things (IoT) with cloud-based analysis and controls for their rooftop systems, they partnered with some of the best known companies in the world. These included:
Intel and Wind River were natural choices for the platform and operating systems, and McAfee’s reputation with software security is well-known. But wait – how was Coherent Solutions, a mid-size software development company, chosen to play with these heavy technology hitters?
“We needed a supplier who had deep experience developing customer-facing software that would be intuitive and easy to use, as well as reliable and scalable to match building owner operational needs in a dynamic 24/7 environment,” explained Paul Rauker, senior vice president of Daikin’s Systems and Controls Division.
Coherent delivered. With five months to go before beta testing, Coherent’s team of 12 analysts, developers and testers delivered an ASP.NET solution that runs on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. The system utilizes a responsive design that makes it viewable on computers, tablets, and mobile devices. After successful beta testing and a key demonstration in early 2015, Daikin launched its Intelligent Equipment™ platform at the 2015 AHR Expo in Orlando, FL. Available as a factory install on the Rebel™ rooftop line, the technology can also be retrofitted to Rebel systems up to eight years old.
Daikin is moving beyond its lead as the #1 air conditioning manufacturer with its new Intelligent Equipment line. Tapping into big data and predictive analytics, and using the cloud to store and give building owners and operators the power to make data-driven decisions, Daikin is setting the stage to move building solutions to a new level.
“With Intelligent Equipment we are moving into new territory,” explained Rauker. “These aren’t just remote building controls accessible via the web. This is using the cloud to interact with our equipment to obtain real-time insight that helps manage maintenance, drive energy and cost efficiency, and improve sustainability.”
The partnerships with technology leaders are key to bringing Daikin’s rooftop HVAC systems into the IoT. Wind River’s embedded operating system makes virtualization possible, while Intel’s expertise with silicon chips delivers real-time monitoring of 4,000 data points on the Daikin systems. Together they constantly monitor equipment performance, providing fault detection and even predicting maintenance needs and system adjustments. For example, if a unit shows decreasing performance over time, the maintenance crew can inspect and resolve it before the part fails. The web-based user interface developed by Coherent Solutions serves all of the information up to building owners, letting users easily interpret it and make adjustments to the equipment to optimize its performance.
Even more impressive, as a cloud-based system it can be synced to things like local weather reporting. Real-time prediction of a big spike in temperature could trigger an automated cooling of the building overnight, taking advantage of off-peak electricity rates and efficiently ramping up equipment usage.
“Our Intelligent Equipment is aimed at ease and mobility for monitoring and adjusting, as well as at optimal operating efficiency,” said Rauker.
Besides bringing Daikin into the Internet of Things, the Intelligent Equipment platform is creating new revenue opportunities for the company, while managing the cost needs of its customer base. As a subscription-based service, it takes the care and feeding of the system out of users’ hands while assuring building owners of the most state-of-the-art systems with continuous updates. Meanwhile Daikin helps customers in new ways, optimizing opportunities for future business.
“It’s a win/win for everyone,” noted Rauker. “Customers can focus on what they’re good at, managing buildings, while we manage the HVAC system. IoT has opened up so many possibilities–this is a really exciting time to be in business.”