What is Energy Transition?
In 2015, at COP 21 in Paris, an international agreement was signed that set the target of limiting global warming by the end of this century to below 2°C. COP26, which instead took place in 2021 in Glasgow, confirmed the commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Currently our main tool for limiting global warming is the energy transition, that is, the shift from an energy mix based on fossil fuels to one that produces very limited, if not zero, carbon emissions.
A huge contribution to decarbonization comes from the electrification of consumption, replacing fossil fuel-generated electricity with energy generated from renewable sources.
In order to achieve it, on the one hand, there is the replacement of fossil fuels with renewables. On the other hand, we have the development of new technologies such as energy storage, the electrification of certain sectors (transport, HVAC, etc.), digitalization and energy efficiency policies.
Therefore the energy transition will require a major increase in using energy management systems. These two topics are usually treated separately, but are not independent.
Energy Management Systems (EMS) and their Role in the Energy Transition
One of the main pillars of the modern economy is the uninterrupted supply of energy with a reasonable price. Currently the energy production is based mostly on non-renewable energy resources that are getting more expensive progressively.
This increase in energy cost consequently leads companies to a more expensive production of goods and for building tenants to higher costs.
Therefore it is clear that EMS (and energy efficiency) are not only very important for the environment but also for a sustainable and economically feasible production in the manufacturing companies and for affordable energy costs for building tenants.
Effective energy management plays an important role in the necessary increase of energy efficiency in industry. Next to the expansion of renewable energies, it establishes a further pillar at closing the energy supply gap resulting from the energy transition.
Energy management systems improve energy efficiency as well as increase the consumption rate of renewable energies.
Energy management systems can facilitate the implementation of the next phase of the energy transition, which will require flexibility from factories and buildings to adapt energy consumption to more volatile production patterns from renewable energies or to the available energy from storage systems.
Although the ultimate aim of the energy transition is a move to renewables, in the shorter term, energy supply stability and resilience need to be guaranteed.
Today, the Energy Management System is the cornerstone that allows energy efficiency to integrate with the company’s strategic objectives.
It is not just a functional tool for the energy manager, nor just an objective of the stakeholders that deal with sustainability.
It is a critical asset being used by the entire organization for managing the challenges of the energy transition.
Everyone in the company, absolutely everyone, has an impact on energy consumption: from the employee who controls the air conditioning of his office to the recycling plant manager who decides a change in the industrial process or to the purchasing office who rewards the most energetically virtuous offers, and so on.
As a confirmation of their importance, for example, the European Directive on Energy Efficiency indicates the Certified Energy Management Systems (like ISO 50001) as the only option to fulfill the obligation for energy audits for all companies with annual consumption above 100 TJ, and as a priority option, for companies with consumption above 10 TJ / year.
How Electrex can support you managing the Energy Transition
The Electrex Monitoring and Management Solutions are used in the Energy Efficiency and Energy Automation applications, in the industrial, commercial, residential, public buildings and renewable energy systems (PV, Wind, Batteries, etc.) and allow a return on investment in a short time.
They are the ideal solution for energy audits, continuous monitoring (e.g. ISO 50001) and for energy efficiency projects (e.g. EU Directive 2018/2002 and White Certificates or Energy Efficiency Certificates, Directive 2018/844 / EU – the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and LEED certification).
Open architectures, standards, and interfaces used in the management system play a crucial role in controlling the challenges of the energy transition.
The Electrex systems are modular and can expand over time thanks to the multiple connection possibilities of the devices: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, RS485, E-Wi, WM-Bus, ExpBus, NFC.
With a single system (with data synchronization) it is possible to monitor and manage all the energy vectors (electricity, gas, water, etc.), the environmental parameters related to them (temperature, humidity, luminosity, CO2, etc.) the process parameters (compressed air, calories, level, status, etc.), and the operating times.
The energy transition is a shift that concerns the entire system, pushing the development of new technologies, the electrification and digitalization of many sectors (transport, HVAC, etc.).
Electrex for many years has embraced this opportunity, opening the way for new applications and services for our partners and customers.
The Electrex Monitoring and Management Solutions make your manufacturing plant or building accessible for the actual and future developments related to energy transition. Our solutions allow you to share energy data with production software or management systems, increasing the benefits of your monitoring and control system.
Here below you may find a list of the main application areas beyond energy efficiency. Indeed, the technologies made available by the Electrex Internet of Energy (IoE) platform make the difference by promoting efficiency and automation, remote and predictive maintenance, the use of digital and interconnection between systems in the company.
ENERGY COST CENTERS ANALYSIS
Measurement-based energy audits represent a great opportunity for companies. The usefulness of these tools is represented by the possibility of identifying the most relevant energy cost centers in their sites and therefore of increasing their energy efficiency through targeted investments.
With Energy Automation in Electrex we mean the interconnection of machines and systems within company processes, with the aim of managing them better thanks to the Energy Automation functions.
In the Electrex devices of the Net series it is possible to implement these Energy Automation functions by ordering the Net upgrade activation codes (PUKs) in order to add to the instruments the “energy PLC” functionality.
REMOTE MONITORING AND REMOTE MANAGEMENT
The Electrex monitoring and management systems can help systems and processes to remain operational by continuously monitoring of machinery (digital twin) and the possibility of having a remote overview of the plants. Data from machines and systems can be collected in real-time, analyzed and managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The sensors with which machines and systems can be equipped and the Electrex devices that allow connection to the LAN / Internet network provide a continuous flow of data. This allows you to remotely monitor the condition of the machinery and to know immediately when one of them is malfunctioning or starts to show anomalies. In case of malfunctions notifications (e-mails, pop-ups, Telegram messages, SMS, etc.), sent directly from the system, will notify the maintenance team.
PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE AND ANOMALIES CONTROL
This is a management modality in which, thanks to the continuous acquisition of data, it is possible to manage maintenance knowing the real operating conditions of the machine. In this way, interventions are no longer at regular intervals, but based on the actual operating conditions and before the occurrence of failures, significantly lowering repair costs.
To know the state of health of the machine, it is necessary to monitor it by using sensors that provide parameters related to the operation of the machine (e.g. vibrations, electrical anomalies, noise, etc.).
With modest investments and low invasiveness, new machines (OEM) can be built or existing ones can be revamped by integrating new technologies with existing systems in order to:
- Quantify and manage energy to reduce its impact on the final cost of the product
- Optimize production management by remotely controlling the machines via mobile devices (tablet, smart-phone, etc.)
- Better manage the use of energy
- Get real time notifications in order to avoid down times
- Apply predictive maintenance policies
Through the numerous functions that can be integrated into the NET series it is possible to:
- Measure and Monitor energy of multiple parts / systems of a building
- Integrate sensors, machine status, alarms and counting signals / impulses
- Make calculations in relation to the pieces produced
- Represent all the quantities on an interactive display
- Log data and events
DIGITIZATION AND INTERCONNECTION
The digitization of business processes and the tools for remote collaboration between management, production and service providers / maintainers, improve the resilience of companies allowing them to react quickly to uncertainties and prepare themselves to manage new scenarios.
The Electrex IoE platform allows you to privilege the use of digital, amplifying remote management methods and interconnection between plants and systems:
- Industry 4.0 production plants
- HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)
- MES (Manufacturing Execution System)
- BI (Business Intelligence)
- BIM (Building Information Modeling)
- and more …
IOE – INTERNET OF ENERGY
With the acronym IoE (Internet of Energy) in Electrex we mean the application of the IoT to the world of energy and energy efficiency.
Electrex IoE is a digital platform through which it is possible to control and manage plants and buildings, which combines the aspects of Monitoring and Energy Automation, in which Electrex has been the market leader for years, with the possibility of interacting in real time with different devices using the possibilities offered by IoT systems.
RENEWABLE SOURCES AND DIRECT CURRENT SYSTEMS
The growing role of DC systems will also drive the demand for monitoring and controlling solutions. In particular, Electrex sees opportunities for direct current measurement systems in electric vehicle charging stations, in power generation systems (renewables), data centers / server farms, microgrids and in peer-to-peer energy sharing.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND PROCESS PARAMETERS
With a single system it is possible to monitor and manage all the environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, brightness, CO2, etc.) and the process parameters (compressed air, calories, level, status, etc.) which are always strictly correlated with energy consumption.
The Electrex Sensing Solutions allow you to monitor key environmental parameters such as Particle / Particulate Material / Fine Dust (PM1.0, PM2.5, PM4, PM10), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), CO2, temperature, humidity and differential air pressure with the ability to create notifications / alarms, control HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems and managing energy consumption in a sustainable way.
POWER QUALITY ANALYSIS
Power quality is already one of the main concerns for electrical systems and PQ analyzers should be included by default in your panels / auditing services. From one side, we have today a higher equipment sensitivity and from the other side the same modern equipment is a source of PQ problems. As a result they fail more often.
Reliability and consistency of electricity supply is one of the most important conditions for the activities of industrial and service companies. Problems originating from poor Power Quality include interruptions, dips or harmonic pollution. Therefore the loads connected to a network with such problems will fail, have a short lifetime and the efficiency of the system will decrease.
Power Quality problems are a major source of:
- Unexpected Business Downtime
- Equipment Malfunction and Damage
A Power quality monitoring solution sized according to your needs serves to identify them and intervene accordingly where the disturbance is located.
Since 1993 Electrex designs, develops, manufactures and markets, Made in Italy, instruments and software for energy management and control.
The Electrex solutions are used in the Energy Efficiency and Energy Automation applications, for the industrial, commercial, public, civil, and renewable energy sectors allowing a rapid return on investment.
The solutions provided up to now allow the management of over 445,000 measuring points and more than 785,000 points are controlled via Energy Automation applications.
Electrex, one of the first companies to operate in these sectors, has acquired over the years a considerable experience and competence that few other companies can claim to have. With over 40% of the staff dedicated to R & D, we demonstrate our strong commitment to innovation and continuous improvement in order to anticipate the needs of our customers.