A stay at the Crowne Plaza Times Square is in the bucket list of many a traveler. It is ranked among New York City’s most successful hotels with 795 spacious rooms but suffers from a common concern like any other hospitality leader—rising cost of energy. With travelers known for leaving the light on—and the air conditioner running when they leave a room, the Crowne Plaza resents the amount of wasted energy that they pay amounting to big bucks.

”EcoTouch is truly an intelligent thermostat with a microprocessor on board”

Energy is one of the highest operating costs for hotels creating a major impact on their finances. While managing energy usage is vital, there is a dire need that hotels are able to achieve cost-cutting efforts all the while accommodating and delighting its guests. A Wisconsin based company is assisting the hospitality sector by offering a full suite of IoT connected devices capable of creating an in-room energy management network—that can be configured according to a guests requirements. Telkonet has developed a wireless energy management system that comprises of thermostats, controls that power down lights and televisions and even outlets when the room is empty along with occupancy sensors.

The Crowne Plaza has replaced their existing thermostats with Telkonet’s EcoSmart solutions that have been assisting various sectors to reduce energy consumption, HVAC runtime and utility costs. The Crowne Plaza in order to enable remote monitoring and control of the HVAC system in each guestroom installed EcoWave thermostats that connect wirelessly to a robust property-wide network. The hotel also installed Telkonet’s cloud-based EcoCentral Virtual Engineer command center that collects and calculates room-by-room data to assist a facility manager in dispatching maintenance personnel more efficiently and react remotely to temperature change requests. The Crowne Plaza has been able to save thousands annual on utility costs and implementation of the energy management system, while reducing the HVAC equipment runtime.

Energy Saving Wireless Mesh

The company is different from the available fixed energy management systems, due to their Recovery Time Technology. Telkonet’s original Recovery Time technology allows EcoSmart to maximize energy savings without creating a hindrance in comfort for the guest. EcoSmart systems manage the temperature within the room as well as the amount of time taken to bring the HVAC unit back to a particular occupant’s desired temperature. “We are a dynamic company and operate in a flexible environment deploying lean development methodologies. We are able to deploy solutions from ideation to production faster when compared to larger organizations,” says Jason Tienor, President and CEO of Telkonet.

The entire process starts with the thermostat that is not only setting the temperature but collecting minute-by-minute data of a room’s and the guest’s preferred temperature setting. “EcoTouch is truly an intelligent thermostat with a microprocessor on board,” adds Tienor. “It's actually recalculating every second of the day to direct the heating or air conditioning once a guest leaves or occupies the room, and then to recover to the desired temperature at the time guests typically return.”

We are a dynamic company and operate in a flexible environment deploying lean development methodologies

The technology is part of a growing focus in the energy-efficiency sector using high-tech monitoring systems to assist companies save on their energy costs.

The EcoTouch wireless thermostat consist internal occupancy detection method with flexible state-of-the-art energy savings solution and modular design. The wireless remote display gives complete freedom to install the thermostat anywhere, and can be incorporated into just about any PMS system. As soon as a guest checks in, the EcoSmart system will prompt the HVAC unit to start heating or cooling the room to achieve the indoor environment selected by the guest when they enter. When a guest checks out, the EcoSmart system evokes the HVAC unit to enter a deep setback mode with an extended recovery time, offering considerable energy savings.

By incorporating EcoTouch along with the complete EcoSmart network platform, an operator gains full remote control ability down to the individual thermostat level. Room-by-room temperature setpoint or mode can be performed over the secure web-based EcoCentral portal. Global site changes— setpoint ranges, setbacks or even programmed load shed events-are also simple using EcoCentral Virtual Engineer.

Telkonet’s EcoCentral Virtual Engineer functions as a distinctive yet essential part of the overall EcoSmart energy management network. The EcoSmart technology arranged in each room generates considerable amounts of data about the condition and performance of each controlled space. This data is brought to life through EcoCentral Virtual Engineer as each mounted device functions as a wireless repeater, facilitating the thermostats to communicate with each other and accumulate data to a single EcoCommander server—the core of an EcoSmart network.

The company also offers EcoSense, a passive infra-red (PIR) detector, which assesses both body temperature and activity to make certain precise occupancy detection. The EcoSense also includes an integrated photometer light level sensor, which is used to establish the amount of light in the space it is covering. This light level is used in the EcoSense’s internal process for inhabitant’s detection and increases the accuracy of occupant detection in low-light conditions.

In addition, the EcoSwitch is an essential addition to a comprehensive building efficiency strategy. It stops the surge of electricity to lights; conserving electricity that would have been wasted on an unoccupied space and can control lighting with instructions from an EcoSmart thermostat or occupancy sensor.

For Spaces with Unpredictable Occupancy

Telkonet’s technology is getting more widely accepted, and its market focus has expanded thanks to contracts with the armed forces and higher-education institutions. Military barracks and college dormitories have energy-use profiles that are similar to hotels’ making it a broader focus and a natural extension for the company to expand beyond the hospitality sector where it started.

Telkonet has installed intelligent energy management controls in over 300,000 rooms minimizing energy consumption in spaces with unpredictable and intermittent occupancy patterns. To date, Telkonet has accomplished putting in place energy management systems in residence halls at several major military bases and a prestigious military academy. The various add-ons in the EcoSmart solution routinely reduce equipment runtime and energy consumption in unoccupied rooms by 20-45 percent. In addition to providing substantial energy savings, Telkonet's technology gives the facility administration teams the capability to monitor the health and competency of HVAC systems. Similar is the case where dorms or groups of dorms can partake in rewarding Demand Response opportunities available in capacity controlled markets. The EcoSmart approach to participation in demand response aims at unoccupied dorms.

The dorms can also participate in load shed programs, where EcoSmart implements strict guidelines to effectively rotate the load, running the air conditioning units in sporadic shifts to reduce the peak kilowatt usage without impacting dorm temperature and comfort.

Health care buildings such as an assisted living or rehabilitation facility are also being assisted by EcoSmart to ensure resident comfort while calculating energy usage in vacant rooms. With a networked energy management system, the facility manager can remotely send groups of unoccupied rooms or entire unoccupied wings into deep setback to see additional savings.

Marching towards Sustained Success

The company’s strategic focus continues to be centered on top-line growth, through extended market infiltration in targeted domestic markets, international market development, increased channel growth and unrelenting platform innovation. “We believe that we have the opportunity to significantly grow our revenues in the burgeoning IoT industry,” adds Tienor.

By further enhancing their cloud platform, EcoCentral, Telkonet will provide additional billed services in the sector of professional services, integration capabilities and improved analytics. The company will continue engaging their partners, customers and end-users with mobile applications, EcoMobile, presenting them with additional opportunities for revenue through in-app purchases and superior applications. “Lastly, through our EcoCare services, we will continue to monitor our platform deployments ensuring savings and operation while also enabling our customers to cultivate their deployments through additional products and services sold,” asserts Tienor.

According to Tienor, the industry has shown that the future of IoT is in software and services with hardware and sensors owning a shrinking piece of the revenue. He foresees that with an unending amount of hardware being deployed and new devices achieving connectivity every day, the middleware, analytics and services are the value to the end-user and the assurance of the remuneration expected from the deployment of these smart environments. “We intend to play a growing role in the markets that we target by providing the best solutions we can,” concludes Tienor.