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Why is energy tracking so crucial and how does it translate into money saving?

Optimising energy consumption is not just about photovoltaics (PV) or LED lighting. It is a process that essentially requires being totally aware of the energy consumed. At APA, we have recently dealt with a case which perfectly illustrates this principle.

What could possibly be the cause of excessive energy consumption? APA customer case study.

A while back we monitored a facility that was not a manufacturing plant and did not operate on a shift basis. The company’s peak activity was in the middle of the day. The maximum energy consumption (about 90 kWh) was recorded between 12.00 and 13.00 h. And every day, more or less from 18.00/19.00, the building switched to stand-by mode. The minimum values were already during the small hours, i.e. 1.00/2.00, and the energy consumption was approximately 62 to 66 kWh. 

And here the question arises: why does the facility consume nearly 75% of its maximum energy consumption during off-peak hours, when only essential equipment should be running? The difference between peak and night hours is only 28 kWh. In the graph below, it is clear that the energy consumption pattern is „saw-shaped”. You can see the minimums and maximums, but there is also a definite baseline, at around 60 kWh. This consumption is constant, and perhaps this is where the potential for optimisation should be sought. 

 

The reason behind it is unknown. This requires a conversation with the client, an interview, and a deeper investigation. There are certainly two scenarios to consider: 

  1. We are dealing with an actual energy profile of a facility. The values described must appear as such, and there may be various underlying factors. It is worth examining them.
  2. This can be mismanagement. Computers may be running 24 hours a day and the lighting is also on in places where it is not necessary. The same applies to heating. Perhaps air conditioners are also used for heating up, which generates a high level of consumption. 

What does energy optimisation involve?

The conclusions from this case study are self-evident. Optimising energy consumption is something that requires a set of data, also as a function of time:

  • daily schedule 
  • weekly schedule
  • seasonality

Without this knowledge, attempts to optimise costs are just like fumbling in the dark.

IPOE, a reliable answer to many questions 

The solution may be IPOE, the Intelligent Platform for Energy Optimisation. It allows for automated, real-time and reliable monitoring of energy consumption from a variety of angles.  

IPOE means:

  • quick access to data (also from mobile devices),
  • a possibility of filtering results,
  • a functionality regarding filtering results, 
  • an option of defining various criteria for data display.

All of this offers the user a whole new dimension of energy optimisation within the company. The APA tool provides the knowledge that is essential for making key decisions.

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