Case Study

Schneider Electric Uses Stardog to Lead the Smart Building Transformation


Schneider Electric





New SaaS Solutions

The Stardog knowledge graph is the foundation of new products driving ongoing business value

Improved Building Efficiency

Inferencing engine identifies new energy- and money-saving opportunities, at scale

Improved Occupant Experience

Knowledge graph derived insights lead to safer, more comfortable buildings and happier Schneider Electric customers

Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, is partnering with Stardog to create future-ready buildings that are sustainable, resilient, hyper-efficient, and people-centric.

The Challenge

IoT technology has made it possible to capture and make machine-understandable real-world environmental data. Still, when this data is siloed in discrete applications or databases, building managers miss the interdependencies that could genuinely transform how their buildings operate. Buildings are a complex network of interactions between humans and the building — heating and cooling systems that control comfort levels, sensor devices that track whether a space is being used or not, and much more.

Schneider Electric recognized that they were not taking full advantage of the opportunities that the data could provide for increased energy efficiency and occupant comfort because they could not analyze all of these data points together. While it was possible to integrate data for individual buildings, the process did not scale well, and any insights were limited to that building. 

In addition, regulations and physical limitations often made it difficult to move data from multiple buildings to a centralized location for analysis, making it difficult or impossible to create a fully inclusive view.

"Schneider Electric tracks hundreds of thousands of devices, controllers, and sensors. A typical day results in at least 25 million events processed in real-time."

The Solution

To connect data across these various IoT devices and optimize the value of this networked data, Schneider Electric turned to a knowledge graph. The team created a platform called the Building Graph. In this micro-service-based architecture, many sources of building data (digitized floor plans, building management system, sensors, elevators, access control, etc.) are linked using Stardog. The system leverages Stardog’s Inference Engine to connect related data and deliver insights to SaaS applications designed to provide valuable customer outcomes.

The Building Graph links many ontologies or data models using Stardog. Data can be ingested without conversion or normalization and still maintain all relationships between data sources and ontologies. IoT applications require a shared understanding of the data exchanged between connected devices. Schneider Electric chose Stardog’s Enterprise Knowledge Graph platform for the edge control and collaboration between proprietary systems and third-party systems and devices. The flexible data model offers quick IoT-device connectivity for faster commissioning and changes.

Schneider Electric uses Stardog to map the relationships between building spaces and a broad set of data points. While the graph contains the relationships, the actual time-series information is kept in other storage services. Stardog’s Virtual Graph capability allows the relationships to be tied to the time-series data at query time, enabling answers to questions like, “Give me temperature readings for the past month in this particular room on this floor,” to be answered in one query. Schneider Electric tracks hundreds of thousands of devices, controllers, and sensors from building management systems, IoT sensors, controls, and other systems and software operating a building. A typical day results in at least 25 million events processed in real time.

"Schneider Electric uses its Building Graph as the foundation for multiple SaaS solutions, adding business value for themselves and their customers."

The Results

Schneider Electric uses its Building Graph as the foundation for multiple SaaS solutions, adding business value for themselves and their customers. 

The first of these solutions, EcoStruxure Workplace Advisor, helps building facility managers optimize building occupancy and occupant comfort. Workplace Advisor is a suite of flexible digital services to create smart offices through optimized space use, safety protocol implementation, improved comfort and employee experience, enhanced productivity, and reduced facility service costs. Building owners and facility managers derive actionable insights through intuitive dashboards with IoT sensors and systems data. Plus, employees can connect to their smart offices in efficient, convenient ways using office mobile apps.

Another of Schneider Electric’s SaaS solutions, EcoStruxure Building Advisor, is a suite of analytic monitoring services that unlocks a Building Management System’s operational performance so facilities managers can remotely and proactively maintain buildings. It provides key insights into building operations by constantly monitoring systems and identifying faults to proactively address a building’s inefficiencies.

Both of these products are only made possible with a knowledge graph. Schneider Electric connects data across sensors, relates this data to particular locations, and, because of Stardog’s inference and ML capabilities, identifies insights, makes recommendations, and automates processes.

The Future

Schneider Electric is continuing its leadership in smart building management. They are currently working on a global platform to bring in even more data from a wider set of buildings. This data will allow building owners and managers to increase efficiencies and adapt to changing building usage patterns and evolving occupant expectations. As additional IoT devices are added to the networks, the knowledge graph will provide a continuous stream of new insights and recommendations to keep buildings future ready.

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