Energy Smart Buildings at Microsoft Powered by ICONICS and OPC Connectivity

headshot_melissa_toppBy Melissa Topp, ICONICS

A small, covert team of engineers at Microsoft cast aside suggestions that the company spend US$60 million to turn its 500-acre headquarters into a smart campus to achieve energy savings and other efficiency gains. Instead, applying an “Internet of Things meets Big Data” approach, the team invented a data-driven software solution based upon ICONICS HMI/SCADA software that is slashing the cost of operating the campus’ 125 buildings, saving Microsoft millions of dollars. ICONICS’ certified OPC UA and BACnet connectivity played a key role in making these savings possible.

Microsoft’s Energy-Smart Buildings application includes over two million data points generating half a billion data transactions every day. Over five hundred OPC-enabled Modbus devices, including electric meters, power distribution units, generators, UPS switches and other critical building equipment, generate large amounts of Big Data that are being provided to building managers in real time.

ICONICS GENESIS64™ advanced Building Automation software is truly “OPC-To-The-Core™”. It is built upon ICONICS’ Platform Services, which includes universal connectivity to OPC UA, OPC, BACnet, SNMP, Databases and Web Services. Through this powerful middleware, GENESIS64 can now make available, via its OPC Foundation Lab Certified OPC UA interface, virtually any equipment, operations, maintenance or business data. This built-in technology allows for secure, open connectivity from plants, facilities and corporate real estate portfolios to the enterprise level and is part of what makes Microsoft’s campus function as one interconnected system.

The application has been so successful that Microsoft and its partners are now helping building managers across the world deploy the same solution. And with commercial buildings consuming an estimated 40 percent of the world’s total energy, the potential is huge.

To learn more, download the full solution profile here.

This article was excerpted and adapted from Jennifer Warnick’s feature story “88 Acres: How Microsoft Quietly Built the City of the Future”, which was originally published at http://www.microsoft.com/stories.