How collaboration will help innovate our way out of the carbon challenge

ABB and Samsung will unleash smarter communities through new partnership

The fact that smart technology in private homes and commercial buildings saves energy and cost has been well documented. However, as legislative target dates loom closer, public opinion gets louder, and building stocks get older, more innovation is needed to successfully meet the global energy challenge.

While innovation is a crucial component of decarbonizing buildings, the cornerstone of successful innovation is collaboration. This is the key reason why ABB has partnered with Samsung Electronics to bring to market holistic technologies for energy savings, energy management, and the smart connection of both residential and commercial buildings. The complementary nature of our expertise means that, together, we hold crucial parts of the solution to the energy equation.

The Smart Choice

In our philosophy, “smart technology” is not a byword for added complexity. On the contrary, we see it as a way of simplifying complex processes while enabling increased return on investment (ROI), lower costs and empowering people to meet stringent environmental targets with ease. This approach to smart buildings – and as a result, smart communities – brings with it numerous benefits, including an accelerated adoption of cleaner technology such as electric vehicles (EV) and intelligently integrated solar power—all realized through an intuitive, human-centric interface and design.

For decades, architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control lighting, heating, and ventilation (HVAC). Later systems helped building managers control access to different areas of a site, mitigate fire risk, and protect against power surges. More recently came the addition of Cloud-based platforms to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other to drive energy and cost reductions, also remotely. Simply put, smart buildings mean building smartly to ensure resources are used sustainably.

Good for Business

Building smartly is also good business. More effective and efficient use of power can save money and will quickly repay initial technology expenditures. HVAC and lighting alone can account for about 50 percent of energy use in an average commercial building. By investing in smart automation, building owners and operators may see decreased energy costs of 30 to 50 percent. Comparing energy savings to the (falling) cost of installing a basic smart management system, smart buildings immediately prove their worth. If a smart system delivered an energy cost saving of 25 percent, with an installation cost of $37,500 for a 50,000 sq. ft. building, the annual savings could be $23,000, with a payback period of less than two years*. From the perspective of a private homeowner, simply turning the central heating thermostat down by one degree Celsius could save £85-90 and 350-360 kg of carbon every year.

The Future of Homes and Buildings

Unsurprisingly given the economic and environmental benefits, the number of smart homes is projected to almost double by 2025. In this future, we see our customers enjoying unprecedented carbon and energy savings through the use of fully integrated and easy-to-use smart building technologies. Connecting entire buildings with open and technology-agnostic solutions will deliver comprehensive insights into energy consumption, to heating, through a people-centric, simple, and engaging user experience.

With buildings generating almost 40 percent of annual global CO2 emissions, it is clear that this area has enormous potential for improvement. The collaboration between ABB and Samsung Electronics aims to tap this potential by creating a platform for innovation that draws on smart technology, smart control, and smart devices – and, critically, works seamlessly with existing building management systems.

Doing things smartly

As already mentioned, collaboration will be at the heart of success as we all do our part in addressing the carbon challenge in communities of all sizes. Half the world’s population now lives in towns and cities. We are working toward a future where communities become smarter with the opportunity for more home and building owners to harness and control their own energy usage – while improving air quality and protecting biodiversity for everyone.

For example, together, Samsung and ABB will be able to expand access to home automation technologies and better device management while facilitating electricity load shifting. Homes become smart when connected devices and appliances integrate through a centralized system to save money, time, and energy. By connecting Samsung SmartThings and ABB home automation solutions, such as ABB-free@home® residents will be able to visualize and manage the full spectrum of their appliances—along with their energy, security, and comfort systems—from a single application. Simply by being able to run dishwashers and washing machines during off-peak hours, for instance, assures grid optimization and lower energy costs.

Whatever type of project, a green field or brown field site, a single source for solutions guarantees that products will integrate and work hand in hand together. This holistic approach flows through the entire lifecycle, from installation to the after-sales experience, where predictable and efficient service and maintenance is ensured by the same, trusted provider.

Going farther together

As has been pointed out by many people, when it comes to mitigating climate change, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. For companies like ABB and Samsung, this “something” is substantial, given the material impact our products and technologies have on the infrastructure of modern life. In many ways, this is the impetus and point of departure of our partnership.

In the near term, the collaboration will yield cheaper maintenance and help maintain power supplies. Looking further ahead, we see enormous potential for working together to help everyone do their part towards a more sustainable living and working environment.

Ultimately, real change will only be achieved when we join forces and harness the power of together.

We will be speaking on this topic at the Almedalen event in Sweden on 4 July 2022, alongside speakers from Samsung, Three Sweden, and S. Property Group who are developing the first example of this technology partnership in action for a whole community. Join us at the Business Arena which is located at the Restaurang Burmeister Visby to learn more about how the impact of the partnership will grow.

*HSBC. Smart Buildings Cut Emissions. March 2020

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About the author

Thorsten Mueller

Thorsten received his PhD in physics from University of Duisburg-Essen. He began his professional career at the Bosch Group in the corporate sector research and advance engineering, where he developed inno-vative sensor system for new applications. He then held various management positions within the Bosch Group for around 11 years, including strategy, M&A, R&D and operations. In his last role at Bosch as CEO of Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions he was responsible for strategic connectivity projects for the entire group and successfully implemented new Internet of Things (IoT) business models. This was followed by his position as Group SVP Innovation & Innoventures at Osram, where he led the transformation from a lightbulb towards a high-tech company before he took over the leadership of the global building automation business at ABB in October 2019.
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