From my experience in the renewable energy industry, I have discovered that most people have no idea what their electricity consumption in kilowatts is. A prepaid meter unit is equal to one kilowatt. At the very best, some people have a financial indication of what electricity is costing them. If one digs deeper and asks: “what am I paying per kilowatt?”, there is a sense that this may be a trick question. For example, do people buy their meat without knowing what the price is per kilogram. If you are one of those people, then you have no idea what is expensive or value for money.
Depending on your municipality or if your electricity is supplied by Eskom, you would usually receive the first 600 kilowatts at a lower rate. Any consumption over and above 600 kilowatts is often at double the cost. In my area, Table View, I am currently paying R1.99c per kilowatt for any consumption above the 600-kilowatt usage. Therefore any energy saved above the 600 kilowatts usage is very cost effective.
Every household/business has an energy profile, however no two profiles are the same. Before one can install a solar electricity system, I will need to determine what your household/business energy profile is. It is a benchmark to establish where one can start to improve energy efficiency. A solar electricity system should never be sized on historic data only, as real time data is required for accurate sizing.
Carbon Track has a product namely CT200i, that is a plug-and-play system.
It is a little black box with big capabilities.
Installing Carbon Track will reveal where your electricity is utilised in terms of wastage. This will allow you to manage your electricity to become more energy efficienct.
Appliances can be controlled on-line with a timer that can be set from your cell phone. Heavy electricity consumption appliances like electric geysers, air conditioners can be switched on or off with relay switches remotely.
Algorithms calculate how to control power from solar to the grid.
Your monthly electricity account can be verified with accurate data from the Carbon Track dashboard. This is a complete management platform.
Furthermore, real time alerts can be sent via email directly to your cell phone.
It is GSM enabled with a hub that monitors, tracks and reports on various parameters within your household/business.
These parameters are displayed in real time via analytics through an on-line portal.
Here consumption trends, time of day usage, power loads, and performance can be identified. The consumer’s required base load of electricity can then be identified. This information can be accessed with your mobile device, iPad, laptop or desktop.
The on-line dashboard is user-friendly and the data from the daily, weekly or month can be printed in various formats.
Multiple hubs can be linked wirelessly throughout the households/business, thus eliminating the need for an additional meter and communication hardware.
Comparing carbonTRACK to any conventional metering and monitoring solution:
• Embedded GSM module with a patented proprietary telco communication protocol and a 12-hour battery backup to guarantee data acquisition integrity.
• Wireless plug-and-play installation reducing pre-implementation soft-costs and man-hours to audit facilities and survey electrical infrastructures.
• Zigbee & Z-Wave enabled and ready for long-term IoT integration of additional peripherals, sensors and devices throughout your home/business.
• Embedded relays for switching of loads wirelessly through the online portal from any internet connected smartphone/tablet/computer.
• A single solution to integrate power, energy, gas, water and temperature in multiple applications, eliminating the need for additional metering and communication hardware.
• Backend support to the carbonTRACK API to integrate the raw data into an existing API, EMS, BMS or SCADA systems.
Residential and commercial applications can integrate solar power for a holistic overview of consumption and generation trends to track and monitor the performance of PV plants.
Commercial FMCG refrigeration infrastructures can be monitored, regulated and better managed to improve performance and increase efficiency.
It is cost-effective enough for small businesses and scalable for large enterprises with multiple hubs in various locations within a single facility or large portfolios with a national footprint.
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure”.
by Bill Hewitt