IoT Data Lake
The College’s overarching goal was to streamline their data management process by consolidating disparate IoT platforms into a single accessible platform for measurement and research.
Fanshawe College needed a comprehensive data lake for all campus IoT data, beginning with two solar panel arrays. Their existing process involved physically going to each building’s measurement platform to download its data, merge the information in Excel format and perform a manual analysis.
HH Angus served as smart building consultants to the project, providing digital design services. We reprogrammed the PLCs (programmable logic controllers) of the solar panel arrays, enabling data transmission to AWS IoT core. The resulting data is now stored in a data lake where it is presented with analysis on a centralized dashboard, providing a unified and efficient solution to the College’s data management challenges.
One of the challenges of the project centered on communications and technical access. Collaboration with multiple academic and IT departments proved challenging due to communication issues with various stakeholders involved in the original solar panel array. To address this, our team coordinated multi-department troubleshooting meetings, fostering a collaborative atmosphere that was focused on progress.
Also, gaining access to the PLCs for essential programming changes became complicated due to staff turnover at the client. An unintended consequence of this was that new staff members were unfamiliar with the PLCs. To remedy this, our team assumed more of a technical advisory role than had been anticipated originally, to the point of involving technical support from the PLC manufacturer to assist the College’s technicians. Solving these issues underscores the project team’s adaptability in overcoming unexpected challenges.
Smart Building Consultants
Comprehensive data lake for all campus IoT data | Centralized dashboard provides data analysis and data management | Status: Completed 2023, with ongoing maintenance contract
KEY SCOPE ELEMENTS
Hardware-free data retrieval from solar panels | Reprogrammed PLCs for AWS data transmission | Advanced data analysis with local utility rates