Ethos performance optimisation and energy management saves refrigeration users thousands of pounds
A new performance optimisation and energy management service developed by consultants Star Technical Solutions for refrigeration equipment is helping big energy users to reduce their energy bills and stay compliant. A scheme by consultants Star Technical Solutions, part of the Star Refrigeration group of companies has delivered proven savings of thousands of pounds to customers by making their cooling systems more efficient. The performance optimisation and energy management system called Ethos uses a data-led approach to monitor performance and identify solutions to keep energy consumption at a minimum. Cooling and heating costs are often hidden within an electricity bill, but remote monitoring techniques from Star’s Technical team can help owners of industrial plants understand consumption. The energy management service has already saved one of the UK’s largest retailers £100,000 annually at one site, and a Brewery in Glasgow has also managed to slash its electricity bill by £50,000 a year. Malcolm Dufton, Property and Energy Manager at The Ice Co & Logistics said, “Energy consumption is a large operating expense for us. Add on charges increasingly diminish the control we have on our electricity costs. Therefore we focus on reducing energy usage and already the improvements identified on one system will reduce its energy cost by 10%, encouraging us to roll out the service to our other systems and sites.” “A key feature for us is the online monitoring dashboard, it gives our managers and engineers clear real-time visibility of all our connected systems health and performance and allows them to drive energy savings and preventative maintenance.” Remote monitoring is the key to the STS approach. The refrigeration experts install a number of sensors and an Ethos panel to the customer’s system. These remotely send information to a web portal via the built in 4G mobile connection. Live data can be accessed by both STS refrigeration consultants and customers via an online dashboard which gives details about performance and facilitates communication between the parties. By monitoring performance and energy consumption, owners of refrigeration plants can then take corrective action to make operations more efficient. The data relayed by the system is examined first with complex software and then by the refrigeration experts, who decode and interpret the information to provide the customer with insight and practical advice through the online interface. The information is laid out in a simple way with suggested actions for improvement or to advise on targeted maintenance. The reports also include estimates of potential savings if corrective action is taken which helps to justify investment decisions as well as raising the visibility of the cost to the business of not correcting inefficient operation. John Clark – Refrigeration Consultant Engineer of Star Technical Solutions said, “Ethos remotely monitors and analyses data as well as identifying corrective actions which will save electricity – typical savings are between 10 and 30% -. It also provides data on available plant behaviour and capacity which facilitates future investment planning such as equipment replacement or upgrade.” The reports can also help companies benchmark their success before and after implementing changes, such as after maintenance or replacing a piece of equipment. Reports on a frequent basis from our industry experts will give companies peace of mind that they are doing everything they can to be efficient and keep costs down. John Clark added, “If a large portion of your power consumption and energy costs are accounted for by your refrigeration plant, it then makes sense that your sources of energy waste are controlled by refrigeration experts. The majority of businesses which require cooling can often spend over 50% of their electricity bill on cooling, with figures in the cold store sector shooting up to 90%, so it is an area where efficiency is vitally important.” “Receiving advice on cooling capacity, energy consumption, cooling efficiency and recommended actions on a frequent basis and without the jargon, ensures customers have the information they need to quickly make informed decisions. This allows them to maximise energy savings, justify capital expenditure and have the evidence they require for future investments.” Star Refrigeration can also support customers with the implementation of Frequency Response (FR). FR is where an annual payment is available and is given when refrigeration equipment is kept offline during periods of peak load on the national grid. Star Refrigeration has experience of working with demand management companies and the end user to minimise risk, and potential unplanned downtime.