Electrical Contracting News (ECN) ECN-Nov2017 - Page 66

SPECIAL FEATURE ENERGY MANAGEMENT DATA IS POWER Shashwat Khare, smart electrical distribution business manager at Schneider Electric, explains why ‘smart’ matters in energy management. T he world of energy is experiencing a paradigm shift as the demand for decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation rockets. A huge uptake in renewable and distributed generation means that our power supply has never been more complex at a time when our need for energy has never been greater. Yet digitisation, the massive growth in the sharing of data across industry and society, holds the key that will enable us to manage our energy needs. In this a new environment, businesses too must learn to manage their power. This is necessary, not simply to keep the lights on but to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. Uptime is critical and at many large facilities power outages can be crippling, costing over £1 million a day while endangering the lives of their occupants. 66 | November2017 In addition, operations and maintenance costs can represent as much as 80% of the total lifecycle of a building’s operation over a 50-year period. This stems from the need for regular check- ups over the course of the life of the building’s equipment. Yet this ultimately results in equipment being checked regardless of its status, where faults are often discovered too late and must be repaired, at great cost and disruption. Against this backdrop, building and facilities managers are under great pressure to cut energy costs whilst growing revenues. The logical course is to limit downtime and the cost of repairs by ensuring a more efficient, reliable supply of power and by improving monitoring practices. Many have struggled to achieve this, but the application of the right strategy and technology can be transformative. Companies can take the opportunities presented by digitisation through switching to a more connected, active energy management. However, to do this companies must first obtain information on their processes and energy usage. The easiest way to do this is through access to the data generated by connected equipment attached to these operations. Yet it is not enough to merely have the data, an organisation must have a Analysing data from smart devices can be key to effective connected energy management