• Electrical India
  • Jul 5, 2017

Smart Power Driving Energy Efficiency

Safety, reliability, energy efficiency and lower carbon trails are some of the key benefits of smart power in homes, buildings and industries...

- Ashutosh Shukla


 As economies look to grow in size and scale, the focus on efficiency is increasing with each passing day. This is most critical in case of power which is the fuel that drives industrial growth. Be it oil and gas, minerals, metals and mining, automobiles, hotels, hospitals, data-centers or any other industry, optimising energy usage is one of the most critical agenda for a robust growth. Continuity and quality of power, safety against fire hazards, high reliability, minimum downtime, ease of maintenance and cost of energy are some of the major aspects to be kept in mind to achieve operational efficiency. At the same time, there is a need to ensure strict compliance of equipment or processes with predetermined standards and use clean energy sources to ensure reduction in carbon footprints.

Making Power Distribution Smart

  One of the safest and the most reliable option to address all these challenges is through smart power which involves use of smart technologies. For example, power distribution can be made ‘smart’ through integrated solution offering that is combined with energy monitoring software. These software convert data into meaningful analysis and help customers improve the efficiency of their systems.

  Asset management is another important facet of smart power, solutions like equipment, with local, remote and cloud based software ensure smooth management of the entire network. This includes safe electrical distribution, power monitoring and control system, power quality analysis, motor management and diagnostics, crisis management and recovery, and source management. Asset monitoring, asset use optimisation, maintenance management and critical asset management, are some other benefits.

  Utilities across the world also set to gain through use of smart power solutions as it provides cost and efficiency management for energy saving and sustainability through cost allocation, energy use optimisation, green cost optimisation and green standard compliance. These can be achieved through smart offerings for power monitoring and quality, energy management systems, security and surveillance, critical power, renewable energy and field services, amongst others.

Range of Smart Power Offerings

  Smart power offerings are used in various areas. In homes, their deployment assures safety, reliability, connected homes, sustainability and style. In buildings and cities, they ensure urban efficiency, smart mobility, smart grids, renewable power and intelligent, green buildings.

  Even industries have great scope to use smart power technologies. In industries, the use of these solutions can speed up the pace of industrialisation, advance the Internet of Things, promote productivity and process automation, lead to faster modernisation of technology and augment sustainability as well as energy efficiency.

  Similarly, usage of the Cloud offers benefits such as digitisation, content on demand, Big Data aids predictive maintenance and improves asset life, while fostering a partner ecosystem.

Smart Power for Homes and Buildings

  In the case of buildings, major benefits and savings are assured using smart power offerings. Each building is unique in its design and operation, be it an office complex, hospital, hotel, airport or educational complex, since all have different functional requirements and occupancy patterns. Therefore, a smart energy management company such as Schneider Electric adopts an integrated approach to building management to reduce energy consumption by up to 30%, curb capital expenditures, lower operating expenses and boost overall business performance.

  Home solutions are offered through automatic room control as well as HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) and lighting solutions. It is imperative that plans are in place to maximise energy efficiency of all systems in the building even before construction, while other smart offerings are embedded during construction to benefit from these technologies. Engaging the energy efficiency experts during the planning stage itself is the right way to go about it to derive maximum benefits of these technologies. Further, automatic room controls, offer efficiencies to optimise room conditions pertaining to time, access, function and occupancy. Such systems could also provide comfort for occupants while keeping energy costs low.

  Similarly, smart meters regulate energy flow throughout a house, minimising energy use and bills. With CCTVs, motion-sensitive/night-vision cameras and intruder alarms installed in homes, the safety and security of residents is fully assured. In the last case, smart homes equipped with voice command systems can be of immense benefit for bed and wheelchair-bound patients.

  Smart power solutions have an important role to play to minimise daily-life stress in home and office environment by offering both comfort and convenience. This is also beneficial to the society at large as lower use of resources leads to lower carbon trails, thereby mitigating the impact of climate change and global warming.