How To Make Good Use of Smart Meter Data
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Can Using Utility Meters Save Facilities Money? Pt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Electric Tariffs Expand Metering OpportunitiesPt. 4: Metering Resources for Facility Managers
Sophisticated users presently employ smart meter data to:
• Pinpoint sources of excess usage, peak demand, and low power factor.
• Improve/correct scheduling of operations and systems.
• Monitor utility voltage drops to prep for possible price spikes and outages.
• Schedule elective loads, such as charging of fork lifts and electric vehicles.
• Optimize sizing, design, and management of on-site power generation, thermal or power storage, free cooling, and other advanced energy systems
• Perform trending analyses of HVAC and other equipment.
• Participate in demand response and peak demand control/limiting programs
A host of other equipment and opportunities exists to enhance such actions.
• Low-cost magloggers attach to motors, relays, etc., and log their on-off cycling by measuring changes to their magnetic fields as they run. Multiplying that information by a device’s running wattage creates a crude form of interval data, usable for optimizing start-stop operations.
• Clamp-on data loggers may be used to temporarily meter individual loads at the circuit breaker level. Such data is often used to verify (or challenge) savings claims by energy equipment vendors working under performance contracts. It may also assist preventive maintenance and assessing loads on equipment.
• Where sub-metering of tenants, departments, or plant equipment is desired, its cost has dropped due to a 2017 DOE-sponsored program to develop the first $100 wireless sub-meter. The winner was Meazon Corp. (www.meazon.com) whose unit looks nothing like a standard meter. Read solely via Zigbee wireless technology and the web, it could be mistaken for a stack of children’s blocks with holes for input/output wiring.
• Facilities seeking LEED accreditation may accrue extra points for metering of energy and water use. In some locales, LEED status elicits property tax breaks and other awards.