There Energy Intelligence it is something quite recent but already so important that the Energy Efficiency Report 2014 of the Politecnico di Milano devotes an entire section to this topic.
The reason for so much importance depends on the fact that the diffusion of Energy Intelligence it is associated with a great potential for energy and market savings that can be translated into advantages for the country system and consequently for citizens. It is therefore good for everyone to become familiar with the subject.
The concept of Energy Intelligence is defined like this: "... creation of know-how thanks to the re-processing of information on the electrical and thermal consumption of an energy user. This knowledge can then be used in order to determine a competitive advantage for the user itself (individual citizens and businesses ed) thanks to the reduction in the cost of the energy bill… ".
Energy Intelligence it is therefore the creation of a 'knowledge' (know-how), but how and with what tools does this 'creation' happen? Through the use of technological solutions consisting of:
- hardware devices that enable the detection of data and information on energy consumption;
- software applications that allow the analysis and reprocessing of the data and information collected.
With reference to hardware devices, those of them that go to configure the systems of Energy Intelligence I'm:
- meter which detect the amount of a substance (solid, liquid or gaseous) that passes into an analysis unit, including: electricity meter; water meter; natural gas meter; compressed air meter; steam meter;
- sensors that detect information on particular physical quantities (for example temperatures, humidity and pressure) that affect the energy consumption of a specific unit of analysis;
- actuators able to adjust the performance of a certain analysis unit following an electrical signal; they are normally governed by a micro-controller similar to a micro-processor.
Hardware devices and software applications together go to configure the systems Energy Intelligence, which can be classified into three groups: monitoring systems; control systems; supervision systems.
Energy Intelligence: monitoring systems. They are the result of a hardware-software configuration that allows you to know the status of an energy user. The typical architecture is given by a monitoring software connected via LAN (radio waves or cable) to the meter / sensor applied to the device that consumes energy. There are two types of energy monitoring systems: Smart Metering System (SMS) and Energy Information System (EIS). Both systems have a scope that goes from the production process to the building.
Energy Intelligence: control systems. Here we mean that hardware-software configuration that allows you to: monitor the performance of energy users (same functionality as the monitoring system); compare information with predefined targets; automatically implement any corrective actions. The typical architecture is given by a control software connected via LAN (radio waves or cable) to the meter / sensor / actuator applied to the device that consumes energy. There are also essentially two types of existing control systems: Building Automation System (BAS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). BASs are used in the building sector, in particular HVAC systems, lighting and glass enclosures. SCADAs are used in the production process, in particular on electric motors and inverters.
Energy Intelligence: supervision systems. This includes the hardware-software configuration which jointly guarantees the functionality of the analysis monitoring system (of the EIS type) and of a control system. A supervision system makes it possible to monitor, compare and automatically implement any corrective actions based on economic analyzes. In practice, the supervision software estimates the economic benefits deriving from possible corrective actions, chooses the best one and implements it automatically. As in the case of control systems, the typical architecture is software - in this case a supervision software - connected via LAN (radio waves or cable) to the meter / sensor / actuator applied to the device that consumes energy. The supervision systems are identified in particular with the name of Energy Management System (EMS). The scope of application ranges from building to production processes.
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