With the help of smart IoT applications, it is possible not only to save energy and costs, but also to make a positive contribution in the fight against climate change. Through data-based monitoring, harmonization and automation of all energy-related processes (e.g. heating, cooling and lighting), energy consumption in buildings can be continuously optimized. For example, electric thermostats can regulate heating according to specific times of day, depending on presence, or based on personal preferences. Automated ventilation systems ensure effective air exchange, and intelligent air conditioning and lighting controls are based on whether and how many people are in the room.
Let's take a closer look at one example: a smart air conditioner.
This year, temperatures in many regions have risen to levels that are difficult to bear or even hazardous to health for many people. This is why the demand for air conditioning is increasing. But this also increases electricity consumption. Climate change makes the problem even more urgent. We urgently need smart solutions.
One such is a smart air-conditioning solution equipped with semiconductors that "see," "hear" and "feel" their surroundings and are connected to the Internet of Things. Sensors detect the location and number of people in a room and turn the air conditioner on and off depending on where they are, or adjust the fan speed and swing mode. The air conditioner can measure temperature, CO2 concentration and air quality to decide when to supply fresh and cool air. Direct processing of the data generated is therefore essential. Thanks to edge computing, the data can be processed locally and only what is necessary is transferred to the cloud. This means that important decisions can be made directly on the device to automate control, while at the same time reducing the air conditioner's energy consumption - and improving the user experience. After all, the air conditioner now no longer blows its cold air stream directly into the user's face or neck.
Innovative semiconductors make it possible to address current and future security, functionality, connectivity, and performance demands for smart HVAC systems.
For example our XENSIV™ family provides manufacturers with best-in-class MEMS sensors to increase design intelligence by enabling smart aircon systems to “see”, “hear”, “feel” and “understand” their environment. CIPOS™ IPMs integrate the latest power semiconductors and control IC technology to create highly integrated, compact power modules capable of driving motors across a wide range of applications. And our PSoC™ 6 microcontrollers provide a secure solution for IoT developments, supporting multiple, simultaneous environments without the need for external memories or system on chips (SoCs). Our experienced technical experts and partners support customers with the tools and know-how they need to easily design and implement future-proof smart aircon systems.
Time and again, malfunctions in HVAC and refrigeration systems interrupt operations and increase maintenance costs. Predictive maintenance, which is a data-based maintenance strategy for predicting system malfunctions before they happen, can be an effective way to avoid unplanned downtime. Therefore, our special attention in the next article will be on the topic of predictive maintenance. Stay tuned!
 European Commission: “Energy efficiency in buildings”; Feb. 2020
 Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE): “Building Controls”; Aug 2022
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