Power management for the industrial sector

There are few people who wouldn’t be interested in reducing their energy consumption, but before intention can be converted into action, an accurate measurement of the amount of energy being consumed is needed.

Traditionally, energy measuring systems in industries have been inaccurate andoften inflexible. A solution developed by two brothers who own Ecolibrium Energy in Ahmedabad was named one of the five WWF Climate Solvers and were awarded for their innovation in New Delhi on August 1.

“We know that the industrial sector uses almost 43% of the world’s total power consumption,” explains Chintan Soni, director of Ecolibrium Energy. He and his brother, Harit, both left corporate jobs to become climate entrepreneurs.

“Our solution is a demand side management application called E Grid. The E Grid is a smart virtual platform which hosts different applications which transmit, distribute and manage electricity using information and communication technology. It helps control electricity use by making consumption patterns more visible. This information allows the power plant to cut down the amount of power it generates or the end user can cut down its consumption.”

The E Grid infrastructure comprises of a wireless enabled sensor that can be retrofitted on an existing electric meter. The basic sensor connects up to eight electric meters and provides minute by minute power usage readings for each one. It then transfers this data using wireless technology to a cloud server where an E Grid application called Smartsense tracks and evaluates consumption data according to preset parameters. Because the data is stored on a cloud server, the consumer can access and monitor this information.

Smartsense identifies supply strength and quality, manages demand in peak load periods and can even switch off the devices to prevent wastage. It also sends automated usage and critical situation alerts to management systems.

The E Grid platform acts as an Advanced Energy Management, which can also monitor temperature, water flow and gas pressure. Because it uses a virtual platform, it saves the consumer wiring, operational and maintenance costs, creating savings ranging from 5 to 25 per cent for commercial and industrial users. The data can also be fed back to the energy user, which helps in monitoring, controlling and optimizing energy consumption.

Harit said, "With growing environmental concerns, energy efficiency is more economically feasible than establishing a new power plant for meeting burgeoning electricity demand through traditional fuels."

It is estimated that if the E Grid solution were to be widely installed, there could be a reduction of as much as 21 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2023.