"[The Annex Hotel has] taken a so-called 'high-tech, low-touch' approach to hotel management to the extent where they are able to efficiently run their hotel with an average of just 1.5 staff for 24 rooms." - Operto
The Annex Hotel wanted to quickly motorize and automate their existing roller shades based on room temperature in order to improve the energy efficiency of their building's HVAC system. Specifically, they wanted to motorize and automate their roller shades to reduce the effects of "solar heat gain". Solar heat gain occurs when the heat from the sun emanates through windows or doorways, making a room warmer. This can make HVAC systems work harder to keep rooms cool in the summer months. In colder months, solar heat gain can actually be beneficial to HVAC systems because, if shades are open, heat from the sun can help HVAC systems to heat up a space. Whether in the warmer or colder months, this is where the automated, motorized roller shades of RYSE, and Argentum's temperature sensors come in. We'll explain further how these technologies work to improve the efficiency of HVAC systems at the Annex Hotel in the next section.
Additionally, in order to create the automations, monitor sensor data, and view actionable insights generated from the data, the Annex Hotel needed a comprehensive cloud app that could communicate with their BACnet systems (such as their HVAC).
In collaboration with RYSE, the team at Argentum first decided to support the automation of RYSE's motorized roller shades with sensors. For this project, Argentum implemented thermistors (temperature sensors), as well as indoor environmental quality (IEQ) sensors. IEQ sensors monitor for all the parameters that impact the quality of a building's indoor environment, and how these factors impact the occupants of a space. The sensors that Argentum implemented are wireless, and involve a simple peel-and-stick installation. In order to collect data, the sensors are wirelessly connected to the Argentum SpacrNodes (part of the SpacrGrid), which create a wireless mesh network that is BACnet compatible. This wireless mesh network is able to communicate with BACnet systems because of Argentum's SpacrBAS product, which you can read more about on Argentum's product page for it.
Argentum's Digital Twin software and interactive cloud app, SpacrApp, is also connected to the wireless mesh network (created by the SpacrNodes). This app collects sensor data, visualizes trends in the data, and generates actionable insights based on sensor data. An example of an actionable insight could be: "The east side of your building is generally warmer before 11am, would you like to automate your roller shades to open after 11am?"
The combination of these wireless sensors, SpacrNodes, and SpacrApp, enables the motorized roller shades to support the Annex Hotel's HVAC systems, and make it more efficient.
It was essential that Argentum's products not only connect to each other, and RYSE's motorized roller shades, but also to the Annex Hotel's native HVAC system and thermostats. This is where Argentum's SpacrBAS (Building Automation System) came in. SpacrBAS can be thought of as a language bridge that connects BACnet systems (such as the Annex Hotel's HVAC) to non-BACnet devices (such as RYSE's motorized roller shades).
By integrating these devices with Argentum technology and products, we enabled the client of RYSE (the Annex Hotel) to monitor, control and automate their HVAC systems based on real-time IEQ sensor data. Ultimately, this allows the Annex Hotel to optimize energy consumption, as well as improve the comfort of their guests.
Data collected from indoor environmental quality (IEQ) sensors allow the Annex Hotel to control their motorized roller shades based on room temperatures and time of day. This helps to ensure the comfort of guests, and reduces the negative effects of solar heat gain. Research indicates that as much as 50% of the heat your home generates is lost through windows, so automated, motorized roller shades can make a big difference.
By enabling the technology of Argentum and RYSE to communicate with BACnet through Argentum's SpacrBAS, the Annex Hotel's HVAC system can be monitored and controlled via a cloud app. This cloud app also involves Argentum's digital twin software, and is called SpacrApp.