Electricity supply is fundamental in all business and production processes, such as in department stores where they are expected to maintain their lighting, cash registers and other equipment that are critical to store operation. However, in order to make sure your store is energy efficient, it is important to have an energy management system in place to monitor energy usage for equipment, sectors in the store, HVAC units, compressors, etc.
Monitoring energy usage in commercial applications is a field that has arisen due to the need for industry to have a knowledge of the machinery that is being used, and know exactly what the real power consumption is for each process and equipment. An energy management system is better than hiring energy consultants because it is a system that monitors 24/7 and does not have human error. In addition, once a consultant has finished their review of your facility, he leaves and you have a big pile of statistics and recommendations that seem overwhelming. With an energy management system, you choose the reports you want to see, what loads you want to compare, dates, locations, square footage of facility etc. You only get a report on what is critical for that day and information that is useful for the project you are undertaking.
The advantages of using a monitoring systems to control electricity consumption, is to know what equipment is consuming more energy, if any equipment is malfunctioning, as well as automatic control of HVAC, refrigeration, etc.
A technology based company called EG Energy Controls, represented by SunnyCal Solar, has years of experience implementing energy management systems in grocery stores. These systems interface with a Building Management System (CPC, Danfoss, Micro thermal etc.) and monitors energy usage on up to 25 loads in a facility.
Examples of the loads that can be monitored in a store are:
Low Temp. Compressors Med Temp Compressors Main HVAC (Heating / Cooling) Sub HVAC
Deli Department Bakery Department Sales Lighting Décor Lighting Cooler Lighting / Fans
Sales Floor Lighting Parking Lot Lights Main Ovens Water Consumption Gas/Oil Consumption
The Energy Management System from EG Energy Controls has the capabilities to do demand control and energy monitoring in 1 system. The Energy Surveillance System is a web-based system capable of monitoring and providing control of up to 2,500 facilities within the corporate network.
How Does the Energy Management System Work?
The system gathers information from the transducers that can measure the energy use in all electrical loads such as: load compressors, lighting, main meter, heating load, air conditioning load, etc.
Custom designed email messages can alert the Energy Manager of abnormal energy usage or a pending motor failure.
The system contacts the weather station to collect weather information such as wind speed, temperature, humidity, etc. to decide what “normal” energy usage is. In compiling this data, the energy management system can predict the energy use for the next day. This ensures that the user only receives an email about the use of abnormal power.
All this makes it possible for companies small or large to obtain a large decrease in electricity consumption and maintenance costs.
Energy Monitoring Improves Profits
However, there is a proven method of reducing energy consumption and that’s through the use of energy management systems. These systems allow businesses to continually monitor their energy consumption and usage, identifying how that energy is used throughout their business and allowing managers to spot areas where adjustments to efficiency can be made. Every good business owner or manager will always be alert for ways to save their company money. One of the highest expenditures a company will be consistently faced with on a monthly basis is their energy bill; and with energy rates rising annually, doing energy monitoring in this area would seem to be a desirable, if unlikely goal.
Energy management systems are software based and collect data from an installation on a real-time basis, tracking usage throughout every area of a business. The software will include extraneous factors that may affect the business’ energy consumption (such as the weather, time of day or building occupancy) before analyzing the data to identify peak usage times and providing reports with a detailed breakdown of exactly how and where a company’s energy costs are being incurred. This kind of feedback is useful for identifying areas within a business which may be consuming excessive amounts of energy and costing the business money in excessive energy bills.
Trends and Graphs for a Monitored Location
EG Energy Controls energy monitoring system is called ESS and it has been implemented in the grocery sector for over 5 years with incredible results.
How Does it Work?
The Energy Monitoring System (ESS) is a powerful energy monitoring system that is web based and allows you to compare energy usage by equipment type, store location, fuel type or time of day.
The web based energy monitoring software allows remote access to the crucial data for energy savings in different locations. The system is built to monitor up to 17 sub-loads per module within a facility to better detect energy leaks, provide benchmark reports, bill verification, and be alerted when abnormal energy usage occurs
Notification & Alerts!
The ESS energy monitoring software is built to provide only the information required since facility energy managers and financial officers are focused on core responsibilities.
Alerts and notifications can be setup to notify you via email if loads are not running, if a load exceeds kWh usage, if loads are running outside operating hours, or if a failure occurred.
Server & SQL Database
The ESS has a dedicated server installed at the head-office facility that runs the EG WatchNet web interface. The server can communicate with over 200 locations. Having a system on site ensures security for bank facilities and government institutions as well as corporations.
All data is stored on the dedicated server on SQL 2008 database to ensure the fastest data crunching and can be easily interfaced with SAP or other enterprise accounting management system to provide necessary data.
The data collected can then be used to create an energy management plan which can be implemented in an effort to reduce energy consumption and overheads. Simple fixes such as switching production runs to off-peak hours or adjusting the temperature of an air-conditioning system, can quickly add-up to significant savings for a business, with some studies reportedly showing a potential saving of between 5 to 15%.
Of course, another way of greatly reducing your power bill would be to switch to a renewable energy solution, such as a parabolic dish system. These solar powered systems are the perfect answer to reducing commercial energy costs while off-setting dependency on electricity, natural gas or oil.
Parabolic dish solar concentrator systems are perfect for powering air conditioning systems (commercial units can provide as much as 12kW of solar heating per hour at 90 C ) and are a cheap and reliable way of producing consistent hot water for a business. Also, because of the ease of installation of solar concentrator systems (a single unit will usually take just two days to install) adding extra units to your facility as your business grows is simple.
Coupling the benefits of solar generated energy with the oversight and control afforded from the installation of competent energy management systems, means that business owners and managers now have an option to greatly reduce their overheads while utilizing a clean and green means of powering their business.
What is Demand Usage? Load shedding is a means of reducing demand usage in a facility and will reducing energy usage by up to 20%. Many times demand charges exceed 50% of the total electric power bill. This makes demand control a very attractive option to reduce operating costs.
Demand usage is the total amount of electricity being used by a consumer during a defined time period. By performing demand control, huge savings can be achieved.
Demand varies from hour to hour, day to day and season to season. This usage that is expressed in kilowatts (not kilowatt-hours) and is called the demand peak on the system.
The utility records demand over a 15-minute time period. The company is charged for the highest 15-minute usage recorded on the demand meter. After the utility reads the meter each month, demand is reset to zero and the meter starts over, recording the highest 15-minute usage for the next billing period. You will see this charge on your power bill.
kva charge kWh charge (not kW) demand charge demand usage
The demand charges many times exceed 50% of their total electric bill. This makes “Load Shedding” very attractive to reduce companies operating costs.
How Does Load Shedding Work?
In order to reduce demand peaks in a facility, the Maximum Demand Controller monitors the main utility meter in the facility and by measuring every 5 minutes the demand usage, the DemandMiser will perform automatic load shedding when it notices a demand peak is coming. Shown below are example loads that would be connected for demand control:
Compressors Fan Motors (with variable speed systems) Electric Heaters
Pumps Air Conditioners & Other Demand Usage Reporting
Advanced reports show the demand usage and loads being shed for each location. If you would like to reduce load shedding, you can automatically adjust the threshold until you are comfortable with the values.
Graphing capabilities provide information such as daily, monthly, yearly demand usage and can be easy glanced over using various line chart, bar, or pie.
The DemandMiser provides a graph that compares demand usage by location, size,operation, hours etc. A demand usage profile of one facility can be compared with another. This data can be used to negotiate contracts for energy usage and to reward facilities that have reduced their overall energy usage.
Notification & Alerts!
Alerts and notifications can be configured to notify what loads were shed and period of time and current peak demand that can be easily compared to previous demand peaks.
Automatic Load Adjustment
The web interface is easy to use for setup and load shedding configuration.
Custom load limits can be set for each month providing more control. The demand controller has an algorithm that automatically increases the load limit if more energy is needed for the building eliminating excessive demand shedding.
Access Multiple Locations
The DemandMiser Maximum Demand Controller is the only system on the market that can remotely connect to other locations that have Demand Controllers installed.
For companies that have multiple locations, energy managers can easily view data and configure systems from a single location via the web interface.
PG&E’s demand response programs offer incentives for business owners who curtail their facility’s energy use during times of peak demand. Find out how your business can benefit and help make a difference in the state’s energy well being.