NURNBERG, Germany — Panasonic Corp. and Schneider Electric announced they are partnering to provide 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 wireless interface 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.
“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 Corp. 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.”
“Creating interoperability between major energy consuming systems such as HVAC equipment with building control systems allows facility managers to simplify their operations, better optimize 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.”
The joint Panasonic/Schneider Electric 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 advantage of 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 makes it easy to install and allows system integrators to save time and costs on installation, said the companies. In addition, facility teams have access to comprehensive energy reports and dashboards as well as Schneider Electric’s and Panasonic’s technical support teams to ensure that all systems are running at the highest performance levels at all times.
VRF-based HVAC systems are becoming increasingly popular in commercial buildings 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 significantly 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 capable of providing cooling and heating even when operating at extreme ambient temperatures ranging from -25°C up to 52°C.
Schneider Electric’s SmartStruxure™ building management solution is designed to maximize building efficiency and reduce operating costs across the lifecycle of a facility by integrating customized 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 optimize 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 optimize the energy use of HVAC systems and help reduce operational costs.