Central Plant Optimisation software – better energy savings than BMS control alone
More than 35 percent of the power required to run a building is consumed in one place: the central chilled water plant. While there is value in connecting the building management system (BMS) to schedule plant run time, very little beats central plant optimisation (CPO) software for true energy savings—it optimises the performance of all components.
While CPO solutions have been available for some time, organisations are often assume that a BMS performs the same function so having both is an unnecessary duplication. While BMS’ can apply general rules, such as scheduling outputs according to occupancy levels, it’s CPO software with its ability to constantly and consistently maximise the efficiency and performance of the entire plant, taking into consideration all plant components, as well as unique variables, that is delivering true breakthrough benefits.
Why is CPO important in South Africa?
South African organisations must lower energy consumption to address the country’s twin challenges of insufficient energy capacity and rising costs. Budgets are under pressure but, at the same time, organisations are being compelled to reduce their carbon footprints.
Many are taking the common-sense approach of replacing old plant equipment and systems with high-efficiency systems, such as variable speed drives and BMS technology. While both offer benefits, they are discovering that it is CPO technology takes optimisation to the next level.
The hands-free relational control technology embedded in CPO solutions is able to constantly, consistently maximise the efficiency and performance of the entire plant. It takes into consideration every component part, including the chillers, pumps and cooling towers, and in addition it factors in primary as well as secondary and tertiary circuit components in large installations, aligning them with demand and site priorities, and optimising performance and outputs.
Setting CPO up
CPO is a stand-alone unit that communicates with plant components and the BMS using standard protocols (BAcnet). It requires some setup. To optimise performance of the plant, it’s important to ensure unique variables are integrated into decision-making and site priorities are set.
CPO software takes multiple variables into consideration, pinging plant components for information but also tapping in the BMS and big data where relevant. Variables may include the combination of equipment on the site and its configuration, equipment conditions and availability, occupancy levels, ambient environment, operating conditions, the weather forecast and more. CPO also takes note of configured site priorities – some sites, such as pharmaceutical manufacture or ICT hosting facilities, may require always-on environmental control; others will happily shut plant equipment down when the building empties.
Because there is now so much information available and the cost of getting it wrong is so high, manual central plant management, which is exposed to human error, has become almost irresponsible. Consider the annual cost of running a plant at even 30% higher capacity than is necessary for a year, or the cost of shutting chillers down even just two hours later than is needed every day.
Benefits of CPO
- Cost effective optimisation based on proven best practices for any system type/configuration (24 standard chiller plant profiles or custom configuration)
- System is configured on-site with no disruption to operations
- CPO is compatible with most building automation systems
- Real-time dashboards to view operating efficiency, and view trends.
The more you know about your plant performance, the more energy you can save. CPO gives organisations immediate access to critical information, giving them the visibility they need to manage energy and operating costs and significantly improve the performance potential of their plant for years to come.
CPO’s web-based, real-time measurement, verification and management dashboards make equipment performance more visible. It will continuously collect, analyse and report on plant operating data, enabling the organisation to view operating efficiency in real time, as well as see both short and long-term trends.
CPO will become critical
CPO is going to become critical to maximise the operational efficiency of chiller plants and lower energy usage and cost. Just take a look at the CPO solution we have deployed at Stanford University. Similar implementations are already happening locally, with great results.
By Russell Hattingh Engineering Manager, Johnson Controls Systems & Service, South Africa
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”