NEWS

UBC Building Energy Data

Urban Data Lab (UDL) gained data access to the ION server and the SkySpark platform managed by UBC Energy and Water Services (EWS). The data is stored in UDL’s InfluxDB instance and made available to students, researchers and operational staff at UBC as part of UBC’s Campus as a Living Lab Initiative. InfluxDB is an open-source time series database with high performance on large data loads, and can be accessed using command line interface or client libraries. UDL provides Python tutorials to access and visualize the data on UDL’s GitHub repositories and campus.data catalog.

The ION database on UDL’s InfluxDB instance provides data on power, energy, water, and gas use of each UBC building.

  • UDL gained access to EWS’s ION server which follows the OPC-UA specifications and updates data every 5 seconds. For security and network traffic concerns, direct access to the OPC server is not available to the public.
  • UDL accesses and monitors data from the OPC server using OPC Router, an OPC client for automated data exchange. Currently, every building has “energy” and “power” data streams but not all buildings have “gas” and/or “water”. The data is updated with every 2 kW change in the electricity power values but the trigger threshold can be modified in the best interest of researchers and operational staff.
  • OPC Router stores the data into InfluxDB. UDL provides a Python tutorial to use the data and a Grafana visualization is available here.

The SKYSPARK database on UDL’s InfluxDB instance provides data recorded by the meters and smart devices of each UBC building updated every 15 minutes. The database includes HVAC equipment data, sensor measurements, and weather information.

  • SkySpark is an analytics platform for smart devices and equipment systems. To increase the accessibility and usability of EWS’s SkySpark database, UDL developed a Python program using the pyhaystack Python module to mirror the SkySpark data into InfluxDB.
  • UDL provides a Python tutorial to use the data and a Grafana visualization is available here. However, the data values are stored as strings and Grafana can only visualize the aggregated values such as “count”.

With these two datasets available to the UBC community, UDL will engage students, researchers and operational staff to use the data and gather new campus data. UDL has collected research and operational interests including energy profiling, fault detection, spatial visualizations, and dashboard decision support systems.

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact UDL for more information about the data.

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