Nexus #3 (12/17/2019)

Project Haystack 4.0, advanced supervisory controls, and a few holiday podcast recs

Welcome to nexus, a newsletter for people applying analytics technology in buildings — written by me, James Dice.

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This is an experiment, and I’d love your feedback. If you have thoughts, questions, ideas or tips, send me an email to james.w.dice@gmail.com.

And by the way: if you missed last week’s edition, you can find it here.


My latest ideas

Through writing, I’m hoping to sharpen my own thinking, spark conversation with people like you, and drive faster tech adoption across the buildings industry. Here is one of my latest blog posts:

+ Haystack 4.0 and the battle of open vs. closed ecosystemsa short history of Project Haystack, why 4.0 is a big step up, and what modern analytics projects look like without it.

Does your team use Haystack? If not, why not? Let me know what you think!


News worth knowing

The best of what I’ve seen on the web lately…

1. Analytics

+ SkyFoundry introduced an exciting new developer-centric SkySpark release—it features tools that are built on and enhanced by Haystack 4.0. The beauty of SkySpark, in my humble opinion, is the ability to customize the software to your needs. These new tools add much-needed constraints, quality checking, and process automation to that flexibility.

SkyFoundry also announced a new pricing and licensing option allowing users to divide a software license across a network of edge and cloud devices. Combined with their SkySpark Everywhere distributed architecture (below), this solves one of my biggest gripes in my past life as a SkySpark reseller.

+ Advanced Supervisory Controls—While this is one of the core capabilities of the EMIS framework, it’s still relatively uncommon to see. The world of analytics has always been a one-way street, with data moving from source to analytics. Now it’s becoming a two-way street, with the analytical result being a command back to the underlying system. This is used for automated system optimization (ASO), setpoint compliance, demand management, load-changing control, and automated functional performance testing.

We’ve talked about Prescriptive Data and BuildingIQ in past editions. Another example is Verdigris—their “adaptive automation” software takes in a series of constraints from building operators and adjusts control setpoints within those constraints to find the optimum settings. This is similar to how chilled water plant optimization controllers function, except with virtually any setpoint in the building. And unlike other analytics capabilities, they claim these constraints, when combined with AI, negate the need for a full semantic model and lead to a less-costly integration.

These capabilities will continue to grow in importance with the advent of grid-interactive efficient buildings, an idea to keep an eye on in 2020 and beyond.


2. Smart Buildings

+ My Podcast Recs—if you’re traveling for the holidays, here are a few of my favorite smart buildings podcast episodes for your earholes.

What are your favorite podcasts?


OK, that’s all for this week—thank for reading nexus!

We’re going to take two weeks off for the holidays. See ya next year on 1/7/2020!

Until then, do me a favor and hit reply. Tell me:

What are you excited about for 2020?