Access into building automation systems, security, and lighting systems through WiFi is making it possible to utilize more cost-effective applications for energy savings. According to a recent study by Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from wireless buildings control nodes will reach $434 million by 2023, up from $84.8 million in 2013.
Obviously, no wires means significantly less installation costs. The flexibility of wireless sensors and thermostats are particularly suitable for leased spaces and historic facilities, where it is not practical to disturb the original construction in any way. In addition, wireless systems simplify troubleshooting – with web access, alerts can easily be sent to isolate any issues. Wifi also enables the web transmission of energy data – providing a world of real-time energy management data to help control plug, lighting, and HVAC loads.
What about security and reliability? According to a recent article from Building Operating Management (link below), systems that communicate over WiFi are typically more secure than wired systems – because the protocol always requires a user names and password, and traffic is encrypted as robustly as possible. Furthermore, system and sensor manufacturers (like Cortland Research, creators of POUNCE®) have invested considerable R&D into reliability. The concerns have started to dissolve, as education and collaboration between facilities and IT departments become more common. Engaging IT folks early in our own processes has been a valuable learning lesson for us when incorporating wireless solutions.