The need for smart energy management has never been more urgent: 66% of the world’s energy is consumed by cities, and by 2025, 37 cities worldwide will have a population of more than 10 million people! Energy companies have been using smart meters for years, but now, thanks to new Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, companies can not only decrease energy consumption (and cost), but actually make money by reducing their energy consumption. I recently chatted with Scott Shull (Director, Strategic Business Development, IoT Solutions Division, Intel) and learned how companies are putting Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) to work with the help of Intel® Gateway Solutions. ~ David McKinney
Conservation Voltage Reduction
Here’s a little background on how CVR works: Energy utilities are under regulation to deliver within +/-5% voltage to their customers; e.g. in the United States, utilities can fluctuate between 126V-114V in order to maintain the target of 120V. With smart grid technologies and real-time operating systems, utilities can manage the grid down to a 114V load—and the effected equipment works just as well.Customers who take advantage of these smart technologies go into “Demand/Response” contracts with the utility and agree to shed their demand for electricity in response to an automated signal—and the result is big savings
The Heavy Hitter: Capgemini
Capgemini is a systems integrator and a major player in this arena. Together, Intel and Capgemini deploy edge analytics to make buildings and energy grids more efficient—in fact, Capgemini has deployed more smart meters than anyone else. They have over 75 global utility clients representing 113 million metered customers, all of whom are actively engaged in smart energy programs.
Now, Capgemini wants to bring the technology to large pieces of manufacturing equipment.
Smart Energy Sensors at Work
Capgemini has partnered with a large, U.S. electrical utility company on Capgemini Energy Control Service. This program offers commercial customers integrated solutions, including demand management and demand response—and profitable CVR implementation. A major parts supplier in the automotive industry is one of the earliest proof of concept adopters for the service.
The goal? Allow customers to run their plant with higher through-put, and manage equipment in a way that minimizes downtime. With that in mind, Intel designed a highly accurate yet inexpensive energy sensor—which is integrated into Intel® Trend Analytics Software—that provides high frequency samples of voltage and current and phase of key pieces of equipment. As they’re switched on and off, the energy utility can see what’s happening on their grid as a result of those big loads and can suggest big savings for their clients.
The impact of predictive services on a large scale is impressive. For example, an automotive plant might reschedule operations after discovering it can actually make more money at 1 o’clock in the afternoon by selling electricity back to the grid instead of stamping metal at that time. And that’s the Capgemini model in a nutshell: Savings could be in the thousands per year, per piece of equipment.
“Capgemini is standardizing on Intel® Gateway Solutions for IOT to deliver Energy Control Services world-wide and together, Intel and Capgemini will deploy edge analytics to make buildings and energy grids more efficient.” —Perry Stoneman, Corporate Vice President, Global Head of Sectors & Utilities Capgemini
Progress Through Collaboration
IoT solutions depend heavily on intricate layers of technologies, industry leaders, and pilot programs. The energy sensors used in the parts plant incorporate Intel’s reference design, Wind River operating systems, and McAfee security systems. When connected players like Capgemini orchestrate several major application and technology suppliers—like Intel to provide gateways and the edge-to-cloud infrastructure to manage those gateways, Windows and Microsoft Azure cloud service to host the data center—the promise of smart energy, efficiency and profit becomes reality.
1. Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
2. Source: IEEE Standards Association: http://smartgrid.ieee.org/april-2013/842-conservation-voltage-regulation-an-energy-efficiency-resource