Having set ambitious clean energy goals, the University of Hawai‘i’s Mānoa and West O‘ahu campuses have implemented the Internet of Things to recalibrate and connect their multimillion-dollar research enterprise that is housed in over 300 buildings across 200 acres of campus.
The challenge facing the University in terms of their target was that their existing energy generation infrastructure at the time produced only 5 GWh yet more than 200 GWh was consumed across their entire campus in 2017.
After the utility upgraded all their analogue meters to digital utility-grade meters, it became possible to embark on a project to create a data-driven system that would enable them to analyse the full extent of their energy usage in order to guide the rollout of new renewable energy generating systems and energy efficiency upgrade projects.
An essential ingredient in their strategic energy management system was to first get control of their data. “You cannot manage what you cannot measure,” says Miles Topping of the University’s Office of Energy Management (OEM). Therefore, their first step was to create a system that would enable them to have multi-campus energy visibility.
With nearly $1 million in funding support from Elemental Excelerator, a Hawai’i-based start-up—they co-fund and co-develop projects that improve infrastructure sustainably to enhance communities—the OEM selected IoT networking company Blue Pillar as the strategic partner to provide the university with realtime energy data needed from its energy assets.