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Smart buildings drive accelerated growth of sensors market

17 Dec 2013

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A report from Navigant Research indicated that the international market for advanced sensors is demonstrating a healthy rise. This growth is driven by increasing energy costs in most geographies, leading to the quest for more power-efficient solutions, and the establishment of smart buildings.

With commercial buildings representing enormous energy savings potential, smart sensors will become indispensable for more energy-efficient solutions, the Navigant experts say. Today however, most of the sensors in buildings (air conditioning, heating, electricity meters etc.) are dumb—they are incapable of making intelligent decisions in real time.

Advanced sensors could better adapt to changing building conditions. Though the Navigant experts regard the market as "extremely nascent", these sensors have the potential to resolve the most urgent energy efficiency related to buildings. They include room occupancy sensors, CO2 sensors, thermostats and photosensors. Advanced occupancy sensors, for example, can match ventilation rates to the number of persons present in a room which would lead to significant reductions in energy use.

Another aspect of smart sensors is that they can periodically self-calibrate and correct for drift. This in turn enables better, more accurate monitoring and maintenance of equipment and installations. The Navigant researchers believe that advances in sensing technologies are enabling the deployment of low-power wireless sensors deeper into buildings than before. As a result of all these trends, the global shipment of advanced sensors will grow from 1.8 million in 2013 to 28.4 million units.

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