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December Special Edition 2022

An expert with extensive experience in both demand-side and supply-side energy-management and cost-reduction strategies: SiteWatch

An expert with extensive experience in both demand-side and supply-side energy-management and cost-reduction strategies: SiteWatch

SiteWatch is a game-changer in the world of real-time operations monitoring. It represents a breakthrough in Operations and Energy Management: a flexible, affordable system that enables you to view your equipment operations and energy use continuously – at a level of detail you’ve never seen before. For industrial, commercial, or institutional facilities, SiteWatch shows you the energy consumption and operating patterns of every pump, compressor, chiller, oven, fan, heater or motor of any kind - in real-time. Specifically, it lets you view the performance of your production and HVAC equipment in real-time at multiple levels - i.e. a single machine, a production line, a production floor, an entire facility or multiple facilities - with the data visible on one dashboard. Dedicating labor resources to fixing equipment that doesn't need fixing is obviously wasteful. Worse yet, inadvertently damaging equipment while you are doing the service work is unnecessarily expensive. There is only so much manpower available to a maintenance manager.

With hundreds of critical items in your plant, how can you possibly know what needs immediate attention or repair? An energy-monitoring system can form a solid basis for a comprehensive predictive maintenance plan by linking all critical equipment to an online platform that records and analyzes the condition and energy use of each item. Recently, IOT-based real-time wireless monitoring has become more reliable and affordable. Plant operators can now monitor hundreds, if not thousands, of equipment parameters to determine when problems are occurring. Monitoring systems record operational history, allowing benchmarking and comparisons over time. Knowing how equipment should function by observing ideal operating- or load-profiles allows maintenance staff to troubleshoot unexpected equipment failures by piecing together events leading to the start of any problem. With a dependable monitoring system, a plant can reduce new capital costs by avoiding unnecessary investment in new equipment.

Identify Waste, Reduce Consumption, Improve Sustainability

Energy savings are typically derived from two sources: reduced energy cost and reduced energy usage. How can energy monitoring help achieve both? Lower Peak Demand will result in lower bills from both your local utility and from your 3rd party energy supplier. So it's a double saving. Sitewatch provides the ideal tool for managing your peak demand – a Heat Map — to quickly and easily identify where and how peak demand is set. Lower energy consumption will lower bills by eliminating energy waste caused by human behavior, excessive equipment operation, and even finding machine inefficiency. When does peak demand happen and which machines are contributing? With equipment-level energy monitoring, a site can identify the exact machines running when peak demand is set. This heat map represents a site’s energy use over a month long period, with the green to red color scale representing low to high demand. To avoid peak charges, this customer seeks to avoid high demand between noon and 6 PM on weekdays. SiteWatch can identify the equipment running during those periods, allowing the customer to decide whether to power down equipment.

Are machines required to run continuously due to a critical need, or are they simply left on because that’s how the site has always operated? Do you know the cost of keeping those machines running? SiteWatch typically compares ON (occupied) to OFF (unoccupied) operation to see if there are machines or equipment left to run that do not need to be. Through automated and customized reporting, customers gain insight into potential energy savings from reducing unneeded and unwanted machine operation. For an existing customer, SiteWatch used energy monitoring to find 50 kW in unneeded thermoforming-press energy use during weekends and overnight hours. Reducing the excessive 50 kW during non-production hours at a cost of $0.13 per kWh for 2,150 hours per year results in $14,000 annual savings!

Inefficient Operation

Machine settings and mechanical inefficiencies are significant sources of waste. Compressed air systems are notorious energy wasters due to near-continuous leakage. Since these systems operate around the clock, quantifying the potential savings from addressing leaks (and keeping them repaired) is crucial to instituting energy saving maintenance programs. For one current SiteWatch customer, compressors were a large portion of their overall energy usage. Using active energy monitoring, the site was able to quantify leaks in a baseline period and show how repairs resulted in energy savings. The energy reduction on non-production days is 30 kW, for all future operating hours, amounting to savings of more than $20,000, which paid for their SiteWatch installation in a matter of months!

Preventing Unplanned Downtime

When a motor-driven machine starts to fail, one of the earliest signs is an increase in power draw by that motor – typically well before you can hear a problem or before the motor overheats. SiteWatch has a simple, but effective, early-warning system to identify issues while they are still developing and alerting machine operators or management to the problem – in enough time to do something about it. SiteWatch has a simple, but effective, Alerting system that will warns if a machine's health and performance have begun to deteriorate – for whatever reason - in enough time to address the problem before that machine fails catastrophically. Alerts can be triggered in two ways…

  • By a machine’s power draw moving out of its “normal” range for a period of time that you can set – e.g. 30 seconds, 3 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days.
  • By the length of time a machine is operating – too short or too long.

Improved Operating Efficiency

How can machine monitoring improve efficiency? When a customer understands machine, or production line, or system energy use, that knowledge can be used to build a complete view of manufacturing or operating costs. Without understanding how machines or lines consume energy, only a partial picture can ever be realized. How will additional information effect operations? Data itself does not have an impact, yet it can be used to inform a customer on how and why energy is consumed on a more specific level than a whole-building meter data can provide. Operators will not understand the energy impact of their actions without direct measurement of the machines they are operating. Benchmarking, tracking energy improvements, and helping operators function more efficiently are all direct applications for SiteWatch!

With new wireless IOT technology, facility owners, operations teams, and engineers can gain more detailed visibility into energy consumption, machine efficiency, and machine health at the equipment level – e.g. pumps, compressors, chillers, condensers, heaters, and virtually any other energy consuming device – at a fraction of the cost of traditional SCADA or building management systems. Whether the application is a commercial building, a manufacturing facility, a hospital, or a college campus, detailed energy data will enable savings and improve operations. Gain a comprehensive view of your mechanical and electrical system operations in real-time. This has created a new approach to operations management, focused less on ‘fire-fighting’ and more on proactive management. Inexpensive, clip-on sensors (and clamp-on meters) to measure energy-use and other parameters – natural gas, air, water, temperature, pressure, humidity, CO2, vibration etc. - allow managers to identify operational inefficiencies, reduce waste, and calculate operating costs accurately. These sensors can be installed within hours – not days or weeks – and data flows immediately.

Meet the leader behind the success of SiteWatch

Christopher Gutteridge, CEO of SiteWatch was born in Great Britain. Kit holds a BSc in Economics with focus on Global Energy Economics. He has been a serial entrepreneur in the energy business for most of his career - more than 25 years. He is the visionary leading SiteWatch's successful growth strategy. In 2019, Kit sold his previous company - Applied Energy Partners LLC, an energy efficiency and procurement company founded in 2004 - to South Jersey Industries Energy Advisors, the energy consulting arm of South Jersey Industries (NYSE: SJI), an energy services holding company based in Folsom, NJ.

“SiteWatch provides valuable tools for managing demand in a monitored facility. In addition to identifying demand periods and quantifying major contributors - i.e. panels and machines with the highest energy-use during on-peak and off-peak periods.”

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