Rodrigo Calderón
Director General
View from the Top

Monitoring Sensors for Energy Efficiency in Any Operation

By Cas Biekmann | Mon, 06/01/2020 - 13:14

Q: How is Energetika evaluating the effect of COVID-19 and can you identify windows of opportunity?

A: There is quite a bit of uncertainty in the sector. The short-term outlook is somewhat negative, so companies need to look further ahead. At the moment, energy prices are stable, but it still costs more for us to purchase our equipment. This affects the profitability of our projects. It will be a major challenge for projects to generate ROI in the short term. Although some of our energy projects have been put on hold due to the pandemic, we continue to analyze data and search for optimal models we can implement.

On the other side of the coin, new companies are interested in saving energy because they are entering a general downturn in the economy. This makes it essential for companies to cut costs. We can provide solutions in this regard, helping to find areas where companies can save money and become more efficient. For example, presence detectors are among the products we offer. These devices monitor specific areas and sense when a person is present, allowing for light and temperature to be adapted. The sensors also capture presence over time, which allows us to generate heat maps. These maps can determine which areas have the greatest number of people and at what times. We have already installed these sensors for Coca Cola’s distribution centers and Walmart’s stores. For Walmart, we generate daily and weekly reports that highlight a variety of factors, such as the areas that require more cleaning or which areas see the most traffic. Our products generate savings, and allow for easier remote monitoring and control and the creation of data regarding behavior in stores or facilities. Our products also allow for better surveillance, which is another request we are receiving with many factories and offices shut down.


Q: How can Energetika help the public sector be more efficient in its energy use?

A: We can help the government generate greater efficiency in its lighting and water pumping activities at its plants and wells. For example, we monitor wells from a distance, including water level, flow and demand. We can activate or deactivate wells depending on the current demand in communities. This creates savings in terms of energy and water. For instance, we detected that pressure increases significantly at night and in the morning, which indicates that many motors are running. This means there is a large amount of energy being used. If pressure increases, water will continue to flow even though there is no demand, wasting energy and causing leaks. In terms of lighting, we can detect when people are near an area and at what times the light should be brighter. We can calculate how much energy or water normally is wasted, and help resolve it at the same time.


Q: How is your comprehensive app progressing and what have you learned in the process?

A: The app is now operational. It links information, alerts and maintenance documentation to close the holistic circle of efficiency. The app boosts productivity through control and maintenance of equipment, which needs to function optimally to keep operations at their full potential. The app allows you to see how the equipment is operating and detects if it needs servicing. Other options include adding notes and pictures for further accuracy in the communication.

What we learned is mostly related to the front end of the app. People are mostly interested in the status of equipment and in the alerts. Keeping everything as simple as possible with the fewest number of steps was important as well. In the end, the app helps us focus on our data analysis and automation of processes via AI bots.


Q: What are your short-term goals?

A: We will revise our objectives for this year. In general, our driving factor is our sales. For this year, the goal was to achieve MX$300 million in sales, which will have to be changed somewhat due to the pandemic. In terms of technological objectives, our goal is to have our machine learning model 100 percent operational. We also want to implement a functional AI for our control monitoring and predictive maintenance.

Energetika provides energy savings and control solutions. Its energy intelligence solution uses different technologies to achieve operational connectivity that generates unique and specialized information.

Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst