IoT value-adds: Reduced energy expenditures and improved facility performance
The Internet of Things is the great transformer of our times: It can alter and improve the way we live, work and play.
In our homes, our workplaces and in our global society, the Internet of Things is disrupting:
Our watches are connected to our TVs for personal convenience; our heart monitors can talk to our pedometers for health optimizations; and, in enterprise-level facility management, the IoT enables us to monitor our devices in ways that help our businesses to consume less energy, spend less on utilities and improve the operation of our critical systems and facilities.
How does it work?
In simple terms, the Internet of Things connects our devices to each other, enables them to communicate, tracks and aggregates the data produced, and analyzes patterns and trends to generate insights that drive change and improvement.
New technology available today allows facilities managers to gain unprecedented levels of energy data by equipping each system and device with energy-monitoring sensors. The sensors clamp on to the circuit breaker’s outgoing electrical wire and harvest its magnetic field as a power source. They wirelessly send energy consumption data through a communications bridge every 10 seconds.
That data is then aggregated by a machine-learning analytics engine at which point advanced intelligence systems analyze the data to deliver sophisticated reports and statistical analyses on detailed energy and operational consumption.
How does IoT reduce energy spend?
With device-level granularity and facility-wide visibility available through the Internet of Things, businesses are armed with the information they need in real-time. This level of visibility uncovers devices that operate after hours, BMS schedules that have been overridden, or systems that operate inefficiently (i.e., machine idling).
Once detected, these anomalies can be corrected in real time to realize immediate savings while improving processes.
Though definitely helpful and cost-reducing (in fact, many companies can achieve positive ROI based only on these alerts), these kind of notifications are not the epitome of an IOT-enabled facility.
When it comes to energy efficiency, the real power (excuse the pun) comes from benchmarking the data gathered.
For example, a restaurant chain like McDonalds can measure the energy profiles of fryers at comparable locations to detect anomalies that may signal a need for maintenance or behavioral change. Innovations like these enable them to save over $14 million in energy costs.
Manufacturers like Dow Chemical can learn about production anomalies based on the energy consumption patterns on their equipment. This results in improved product quality and consistency and a higher yield from the same (or lower) energy spend.
With advancements like these, they were able to reduce their GHG emissions from 47 million to 35 million metric tons since 2006 (while increasing revenue from $49 billion to $58 billion).
When the American Society for Quality (ASQ) surveyed manufacturers that had connected devices through the IoT, 82 percent reported increased efficiency, 49 percent experienced fewer product defects, and 45 percent experienced increased customer satisfaction.
How does the IoT improve maintenance?
Preventative maintenance programs are much better than their predecessor, Corrective Maintenance (also known as “reactive”), in which equipment is fixed only after problems ensue.
With the preventative approach, equipment is serviced regularly to avoid problems before they happen. However, this practice is often wasteful as equipment is serviced based on a schedule and not necessarily a need.
With IoT-generated information, companies can transition to a predictive maintenance, which uses energy consumption patterns to predict equipment failures and delivers maintenance only to the equipment that need it. This eliminates the cost of unnecessary maintenance as well as the indirect cost of equipment downtime for that maintenance.
Is the Internet of Things for every company?
Are energy efficiency, cost savings, and improved maintenance only for giant conglomerates like MickeyD’s and Dow? Not at all.
The Internet of Things makes smart devices available to everyone. Just like you can own a smartwatch and a smart TV, your company can reap the benefits of a smart operation.
For more insights on technology and the Internet of Things, check out our sister site, Business Review USA, or click on one of the articles below:
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.