Energy efficiency is about obtaining the same energy goods and services, but with less energy consumption, less pollution and promoting sustainability. Energy efficiency does not mean giving up quality or service, but rather obtaining more and better results with fewer resources, which also means lower production costs.

The need to implement an energy efficiency process in an organisation arises from a growing environmental awareness, a need to reduce operational costs (OPEX) or an obligation to comply with regulations, or all or some of these reasons at the same time.The benefits of implementing an energy efficiency process are the reduction of energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and operating costs. Energy efficiency does not necessarily imply investments (CAPEX) or, at least, a comprehensive renovation of the facilities, but using the strictly necessary energy in an appropriate way by minimising energy waste or increasing the performance of the systems.

According to Articae, energy efficiency is a process of continuous improvement, a 360° virtuous circle, consisting of four steps: MEASURE-ANALYSE-OPTIMISE-CONTROL.

The first step is to MEASURE. In the case of refrigeration systems it is very important to measure losses due to poor insulation, but the most important thing is to measure the performance of the production systems. Why? Because the performance of a refrigeration system is the fundamental indicator of its the efficiency.

Measuring and monitoring the performance of refrigeration systems is the first step towards achieving energy efficiency, saving energy and extending the lifetime of these systems. However, its implementation is not yet widespread in the industry. This is mainly due to the lack of knowledge of its benefits, the lack of technical and economic feasibility, the absence of regulations outside the building sector and the technical difficulty of its calculation, as advanced knowledge of thermodynamics is required.

“To MEASURE is to know. “If you can’t MEASURE it, you can’t improve it.”

William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, one of the fathers of thermodynamics.

But, to measure, you have to install measuring equipment, and this is often the biggest inconvenient. In the case of refrigeration systems, it is very important to measure losses due to poor insulation, but the most important thing is to measure the performance of the production systems. Why? Because the performance of a refrigeration system is the fundamental indicator of its efficiency.

And you, do you know all its advantages? Do you want to discover how performance monitoring of cooling systems can be adapted to your business? We invite you to read on to find out more about the first step to achieve energy efficiency in your HVACR systems.

If you are an owner or manager of a company or industry that uses a large amount of cooling in its industrial process

This is the case for many industries in the food sector, such as the fishing and seafood industry, the dairy industry, breweries, bakeries, pastry and confectionery, meat (slaughterhouses, dryers, sausage factories, cutting plants, fish markets), ice cream and chocolate production, fruit and vegetable production, freezing, canning factories. These industries are intensive in refrigeration consumption and, in some cases, can represent up to 60-70% of total energy consumption.

Performance monitoring is the first step to reduce consumption. It does not represent, itself, a saving if it is not associated with this process of continuous improvement, but it has a series of associated benefits.

Real-time information on energy consumption and associated costs will make you aware of your situation and allow you to make decisions to save and improve energy efficiency. Performance measurement is essential for good energy management. This energy management is achieved through the establishment of energy performance indicators and ratios that allow period comparisons and reporting.

Performance monitoring also results in better use of the systems, better preventive maintenance, longer life and increased reliability of the cooling systems. All these benefits will allow you to reduce the payback period of your investments and to know exactly when to make new investments.

If you are a building manager with high air-conditioning consumption or an Energy Service Company

In addition to the benefits outlined above, which also apply to building air conditioning, these building air conditioning systems have a number of special features. They are generally designed for extreme weather conditions that account for a small percentage of usage, and, under normal conditions operating at partial or low loads, their performance is much lower than what the manufacturers indicate in their specification sheets. In addition, their performance tends to degrade over time, due to coolant changes, poor maintenance, poor hydraulic settings, rudimentary control strategies, misadjustments in configuration or unintentional oversights.

On the other hand, performance monitoring makes it possible to compare performance ratios between different buildings and to compare them with the data provided by the manufacturers. This, together with active energy management, allows for more effective decision making when choosing the most urgent investments and the systems that perform best for our organisation’s operations.

In addition, it allows you to measure and verify savings through one of the IPMVP protocol options and be part of an ISO 50.001 compliant energy management system to achieve your organisation’s sustainability goals.

If you are an energy consultant or auditor or an engineer in the refrigeration or air-conditioning sector

Measuring the performance of industrial refrigeration and air conditioning systems is not easy without the right tools. Installations, like any other system, present pathologies and require energy audits, performance inspections, certifications, commissioning, studies and verifications. In addition, concerns about environmental impact and energy efficiency are growing among refrigeration system owners, who are demanding ever more comprehensive and detailed measurements and surveys to reduce energy consumption and pollutant gas emissions.

Thanks to connected IoT portable devices, you can increase the agility, reliability and accuracy of your HVAC and refrigeration audits and surveys, while saving time and hidden costs. You will be able to produce automated reports immediately, and define a baseline consumption, seasonal performance, and savings potential more effectively and accurately, and improve the quality and productivity of your services, leading to more and better business opportunities.

Thanks to permanet systems, you can manage your customers’ energy, monitor the performance of their facilities, propose energy efficiency and savings measures, measure and verify savings and, with all this deployment of services in your customers’ facilities, obtain recurring revenues.

If you are an installer or maintainer

Well-performed and well-maintained installations are no longer enough, let alone those that do not even meet the minimum standards. Your customers will start to demand the optimum. Isn’t everyone talking about Industry 4.0? Are you going to offer them the same old, same old? How will you differentiate yourself from the competition?

By measuring and analysing performance, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors with an attractive and innovative proposition that will help you win tenders and maintenance contracts.

Performance monitoring will allow you to carry out better corrective and preventive maintenance and detect refrigerant leaks, anticipate problems and offer value-added services (periodic reports, alarms) that will enhance your value proposition and allow you to increase your recurring revenues.

All these and many more are the benefits of monitoring the performance of cooling systems. Do you want to implement them in your cooling installations? Don’t wait any longer and be a pioneer in energy efficiency in this energy intensive sector! At Articae Smart Technologies we offer you a Solutions Ecosystem that will allow you to do it in a simple and accurate way.