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Article Date: 12th October 2016

Schneider Electric & Panasonic Partner to Simplify Energy Management with Innovative Integration to Optimise Building Efficiency & Installation Costs

Energy Management - HVAC Equipment - Building Management - HVAC Control

Schneider Electric - Smart Buildings

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, along with Panasonic Corporation, the worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions, today announced an integrated HVAC equipment and building management solution that brings new levels of HVAC control and energy efficiency to today’s commercial buildings.

Both companies have developed a new interface wireless solution which enables direct serial communication between Schneider Electric’s building management system and room controllers with Panasonic’s variable refrigerant flow (VRF) -based HVAC systems via the ZigBee® wireless communication standard. This integration allows building owners and managers to view all of their core building systems including HVAC equipment, lighting, security, power and electrical distribution anytime and anywhere via a single interface and delivers actionable insights to reduce energy consumption and drive savings.

"Creating interoperability between major energy consuming systems such as HVAC equipment with building control systems allows facility managers to simplify their operations, better optimise the efficiency of their buildings and reduce energy costs," said Laurent Bataille, Executive Vice President, EcoBuilding Division, Schneider Electric. "By partnering with Panasonic, we’re able to provide complete building management from the device level to the cloud, regardless of building type, size or age. This strong digital backbone provides enhanced visibility of the building environment and is a key component in enabling buildings of the future. Schneider Electric Innovation at Every Level harnesses the power and promise of the Internet of Things to reshape cities, transform industries and enrich lives through connected products, edge control, and apps, analytics and services."

The joint Schneider Electric/Panasonic solution can be installed wirelessly – which preserves existing infrastructure and is ideal for retrofits of older buildings – or it can be wired. The solution takes full advantage of innovative plug-and-play technology which simplifies system configurations for extensive VRF systems – or it can be installed as a part of a stand alone system. This make it easy to install and allows system integrators to save time and costs on installation. In addition, facility teams have access to comprehensive energy reports and dashboards as well as Schneider Electric and Panasonic’s expert technical support teams to ensure that all systems are running at the highest performance levels at all times.
“We have invested heavily in our commercial and residential air conditioning products and support services to fully address our customers’ needs and are excited to deliver additional benefits in building energy management through our partnership with Schneider Electric,” said Toshiyuki Takagi, Executive Officer of Panasonic Corporation and President of Panasonic Air-Conditioner. “By combining the power of building management with cutting-edge VRF technology, we are able to help our customers further reduce capital and operating expenditures and reach new levels of sustainability."

Schneider Electric’s SmartStruxure™ building management solution maximises building efficiency and reduces operating costs across the entire lifecycle of a facility by integrating customised hardware, software, engineering, installation and services to ensure facilities are energy efficient and effectively managed. It breaks down traditional information silos and delivers actionable insights in real-time so facility managers can make smarter decisions to optimise energy management. Additionally, Schneider Electric’s SE8000 Series room controllers, as part of SmartStruxure, combine a thermostat/temperature sensor and programmable room controller in a single unit to optimise the energy use of HVAC systems and help reduce operational costs.

VRF-based HVAC systems are becoming increasingly popular in commercial building settings because of their ability to operate at variable speeds by inverter technology instead of the traditional on/off operation, which drives significant energy savings. Panasonic’s VRF system (ECOi/FSV) is designed to dramatically increase energy efficiency by delivering the highest ESEER rating in all outdoor capacities, as well as high efficiency for part-load operations that accurately match the environment in which it is being used. The system is highly reliable, with strong cooling and heating power, even when operating at extreme ambient temperatures ranging from -25°C up to 52°C.

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