ResourceKraft News & Updates

News and updates from the energy sector and everything that goes with it from the latest market trends to the ramblings and insights from the brains of our energy engineers & designers.

SEEE hosted the Student Academic Excellence Awards

SEEE hosted the Student Academic Excellence Awards

D.I.T in Dublin – 10th March 2016.

The Dublin Institute of Technology were exceptionally busy with excited students, proud lecturers and a few corporate sponsors getting ready for a very special event. Indeed, the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering hosted its Student Academic Excellence Awards, where graduates from level 6 (apprenticeship) to level 9 (MSc.) were being honoured for their outstanding achievements.

ResourceKraft’s Frank Casey and Annalisa Di Pietro both had the privilege to sponsor and attend the students’ ceremony awards. The award ceremony was opened and ran by Professor Michael Conlon – Head of School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, who was very proud of his students’ academic achievements.

Frank Casey, VP Business Development & Founder was honoured to offer a prize to Majella O’Grady, who has been awarded the prize for best student on the D.I.T BSc degree in Electrical Services and Energy Management.

Frank added “It is a great pleasure for ResourceKraft to sponsor this award for best BSc degree student on in Electrical Services and Energy Management, and an opportunity to give back to an excellent institution – D.I.T School of Electric and Electronic Engineering. Majella is a fine example of the new generation of engineers skilled in Energy Management, performing a role that is critical to our nations competitiveness and our climates stability.”

About SSE
The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the largest in the discipline area of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in Ireland, provides teaching and research leadership across a wide range of areas, exemplifying the ‘ladders of opportunity’ that are available at DIT. Programmes are offered in Electrical Apprenticeship, Communications Engineering, Computer Engineering, Control Engineering, Electrical Services Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Energy Management and Electrical Power Engineering. Graduates from each of these will receive industry sponsored awards.

About ResourceKraft
ResourceKraft was established in 2007 on a foundation of experience in the electronics, computing and energy industries. It is the intention of ResourceKraft to develop innovative technology-driven products that assist organisations of all kinds, to measure and reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions, to assist with utility bill management and in general, to help enforce corporate policies on all of the aforementioned. ResourceKraft invests in and develops its own intellectual property – ensuring that it drives its own product development roadmap. It is at the forefront of research into energy saving technologies for businesses and maintains substantial links with the best researchers in both industry and academia.

Where does all the energy go?

Where does all the energy go?

Dashing round the house switching off appliances like the dreaded immersion is one thing but what if you had hundreds of buildings to manage and thousands of energy-hungry appliances you had to check?

That’s the scale of the problem facing many large businesses wanting to manage their energy usage wisely.

Who’s using all this energy?

Like any cost-conscious homeowner, the first thing a large organisation needs to do is get an accurate picture of how much energy is being consumed. Even better, they need to get real-time data. With this, they can first establish benchmark figures for consumption of electricity, gas and oil and then watch for patterns of energy use over a day, a week, a year. When is most energy consumed? Are there any unexplained variations?

Remote real-time monitoring

But who has the time to check hundreds of meters every hour never mind working out where the demand for power comes from? Thankfully, the latest and smartest real–time metering and monitoring systems now enable companies to track their use of energy on every site 24/7. And it can all be managed remotely with the real-time data from hundreds of locations supplied to just one central control centre.

The ISO 50001 standard

ResourceKraft has worked with Bank of Ireland for seven years supporting them to achieve the ISO 50001 standard for energy management. ISO 50001 is a continuous improvement initiative, aimed at understanding where energy is used within an organisation’s operations and whether it’s appropriate. For example, ensuring that air conditioning only runs during business hours and isn’t left running through the night.

Understanding variations in consumption

In 2009, ResourceKraft won a tender to provide building energy and water management solutions for the bank’s branch network in Ireland. At the time it wasn’t easy to understand large variations in energy use across the branches. Why did similar sized branches in different parts of the country need widely varying amounts of energy to run? Frank Casey, VP Business Development and Founder of ResourceKraft explains what they did first.

Smart meters

“We ran a pilot in 20 branches, installing our smart meters which measure data every 15 minutes and upload the figures to the cloud from where they can viewed, analysed and interpreted anywhere in the world. Continuous monitoring during the pilot helped establish benchmark usage rates which then helped identify differences from the norm – for example when heating had been accidentally left on over a weekend.”

10% electricity savings

“Our measurement and analysis of 15-minute interval data from electricity, fuel oil, gas and water identified an average of 10% of available electricity savings per branch per month. Having proof of actual water use gives us auditable data which allows us to talk to suppliers about the accuracy of their bills and identify simple things like replacing a stopcock to reduce water loss.”

Costing further savings

“Bank of Ireland now has several years’ historical data, they monitor 330 sites remotely and can identify issues very quickly. We can help cost the savings from, for example, replacing old halogen lamps with LEDs or replacing a heating system. And by analysing costs per cubic metre, we can identify high energy users on a like-by-like basis.”

World class energy management

In 2010, Bank of Ireland became the first financial institution in the world to attain EN16001 (ISO 50001) accreditation for the Energy Management Systems at the IT and Operations centres in Cabinteely, County Dublin.

In 2015, the Energy Management systems at their IT and Operations centres had their ISO50001 certification renewed and extended to cover a further three large office buildings in Dublin. Together, these five buildings account for more than a third of the bank’s total energy use.

Neil Cubley, Bank of Ireland

Are government bodies complete wasters when it comes to energy?

Are government bodies complete wasters when it comes to energy?

Frank Casey News & Updates

There is a perception out there that government and state agencies are inefficient with regard to energy management.

So it may come as a surprise that the government performance to 2020 NEEAP targets in 2014 indicate a ~17% reduction, that puts the public sector about halfway towards its 33% energy efficiency target for 2020. That reduced spend saved the taxpayer €120 million!
So who are these notable efficiency reduction performers?

Bord Na Mona 49%
DAA 41%
Irish Rail 36%
DCU 31%
UCC 23%
OPW 19%
Defence Forces 16%

Educational, state commercial and local government bodies, consisting of 62% of the energy use considered under NEEAP, lead the way with an overall 19.4% reduction, pulling up the numbers for all the rest. The emphasis on achieving ISO 50001 certification by most of these bodies bodes well for the future.

As with all performance measurement, there are the underperformers. The most noticeable laggard is the HSE, using 21% of state energy, just reducing use by 11.8%. The good news is the OPW have been brought in to execute their successful Optimise Power @Work program within the HSE.

The worst performers are our schools and ETBS, at just 9.6%, reflecting a total abrogation of responsibility for energy efficiency and procurement by the Department of Education for the primary and second level sectors. Until these efforts are centrally funded and managed, it will continue to be so.

Manage Energy for Profit

Manage Energy for Profit

With the advent of mandatory energy audits for large businesses during 2015; many large companies have been surprised to see how large the transport energy footprint is in their audit reports, which for the first time included transport.

In energy terms, 1 litre of diesel is roughly 10kWh, so when you look at the Litres or Euros, fuel does not always seem as large as electricity; once you multiply by 10, fuel use often dwarfs electricity and heat use.

Has your business retained its 19% fuel cost savings?

Recent oil price reductions have led to a 19% reduction in the retail price of diesel over the last two years. Due to growth in the economy, many companies have failed to retain the savings, as growing business requires increased focus and attention.

How long will diesel prices stay down?

Frankly your guess is as good as ours, but history can help us understand what will drive prices back up, if not when.
As oil prices decrease investment in new oil fields and supply decreases, it will be some time yet before the current record surplus stocks dissipate.

Demand continues to grow across the world, ensuring oil prices will increase: China is predicted to have 1 billion cars by 2050 and the world as whole 3 billion (source IEA).

How can your business profit from fuel?

Transport is uniquely dependent on oil, 100% imported here in Ireland. Heat sources can be swapped for locally sourced renewables and electricity is increasingly green (22.7% renewable according to SEAI for 2015 – ).

Switching company vehicles to electric cars or vans is well worth it, with significant fuel cost savings and corporation tax breaks
_Capital_Allowances_for_EVs/ for example).

But existing fleet vehicles and those with high mileages will continue to use fossil fuel. How will your business grow and reduce its transport energy use?

The key is to manage fuel as you manage labour and other costs, quantify your fuel use in Litres and Kilometres; take a structured approach to managing energy use. Free tools are often available as part of your fuel card service, some fuel card providers now bundle vehicle tracking with their card services and vice versa. These services are similar to ResourceKraft’s metering and reporting services.

Having the data is one thing, how will you ensure your business sees the fuel and energy cost savings in your bottom line? The international best practice standard for energy performance management is ISO 50001; funding towards the internal and external costs of 50001 certification is available from Enterprise Ireland and the fuel companies own fund – Enprova

If your business is missing its 19% fuel cost saving, would like to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, or be recognised for its energy saving performance; request a quote ( or talk to ResourceKraft.

24 hours of Data – Part 2

24 hours of Data – Part 2

This investigation was conducted on the Main Incomer for the site, which meant that the reactive (inductive) load could be separately monitored. The reactive loads are important because they cause the current to become out of phase with the voltage. It is the consumer who will pay for the additional current required for inductive electrical loads. Over the course of this single day, we revealed that the sites Power Factor was excellent for the vast majority of the time but dramatically deteriorated as the day drew to a close. Onsite investigation revealed a change in operation from 6pm onwards. This change came in the form of a varied load, unlike the consistently high load of the peak manufacturing time of 8am to 6pm. The supply voltage is increased during this period which in turn increases the magnetising current and causes a decrease in power factor. Several induction motors are used at the low end of their capacity during the 6pm to 10pm time range, for a secondary stage of manufacturing. At decreased load, these motors were exhibiting a very poor power factor of 0.3. This knowledge allowed us to quickly compound our power factor investigation and recommend an upgrade to the appropriate size of motor equipment.

Although this site has power factor correction equipment, it is important to ensure that it is set up for the sites attributes and that it is functioning correctly. Power factor elements or Wattless loads are a billable unit once you surpass the agreed threshold of 1/3 of the kWh load for the site. This is usually seen on your bill as “low power factor surcharge”.

The graph shows us that from 5pm onwards, there is a rejuvenated effort in terms of energy consumption as it begins to rise once more. Querying the company, we were informed that a second shift of the day begins wherein a specialised workforce quality tests new products. This is conducted in a separate area otherwise unoccupied during the day. What the graph shows is the extra lighting being used due to the increase in hours of darkness experienced. However, through multi-variable analysis, we determined natural day light would be adequate for this level of testing and therefore recommended this specialised team be brought in earlier in the day. The testing could then be conducted on day old products rather than freshly produced products and the extra energy on lighting could be saved. This recommendation was only made after the specialised workforce assured us that testing a day later would not make any difference to the quality assurance for the product and is just another small change that could save the company upwards of €10,000/yr.

Overall, this brief insight into what can be achieved with 24hours of energy data enabled us to ask key questions and quickly dive into energy consumption and behaviours found on site. Once questions were derived, simple answers were returned from onsite knowledge and together formed a comprehensive list of energy saving opportunities.

24 hours of Data – Part 1

24 hours of Data – Part 1

Historically, energy analysis has always been time consuming. It required one to undertake hours of data collection over the period of a day, week or even a year. Once data was collected, one could then convert all consumption data into useable standard units i.e. kWh. At this point, data analysis could take place which would involve the production of percentage breakdowns of total consumption and cost. This would allow the user to gain an understanding of where energy use and (more importantly) potential energy waste might occur. This process however, took a significant amount of time to compile and could not conduct with highly granular energy data. These are no longer issues however, thanks to our new analytical tool.

Our data analysis tool Advisor, strips the unnecessary steps from energy analysis and allows users to quickly and easily understand where energy is being used. Advisor takes a snapshot of data usage every 15 minutes and displays it in an easy to read, graphical way. Let’s take a look at what 24 hours of data can show us.

The graph shown below in Figure 1 is 24 hours of data recorded from a site concerned with the production of plastic products. Querying site knowledge, we have found that the working hours for this site are 8am to 10pm and that there are multiple “heavy” loads on site. The largest of these are 2 ovens, 3 industrial grade compressors and a HVAC system.

The graph displays data from the sites Main Electrical Incomer datasource. By looking at the data, we can see that production ramps up from 8 am and slowly decreases throughout the day until late at night. Plant shutdown should be at 10pm and prior to this time, there should be a ramp down period as manufacturing slows to a stop for the night. However, we see immediately that this is not the case. It is admitted that this is a daily occurrence for the company and it is deemed to be an unnecessary behaviour. This poor shutdown policy is costing them approximately €75 a day, which if we run this figure over the course of a year we can see the company can save upwards of €18,000/year with a single change in behaviour.

A €3.8 million deal between King & Moffatt and ResourceKraft

A €3.8 million deal between King & Moffatt and ResourceKraft

On the picture, from left to right: Gerry Swan, ResourceKraft Sales & Marketing Director and Pat King, King & Moffatt CEO.

Today King & Moffatt announced a major new strategic partnership with ResourceKraft. The new alliance will catapult King & Moffatt into the Energy Arena. With companies in Ireland and in the UK having the ESOS and S.I 426 EU Directive in mind, monitoring and saving energy usage has become their number 1 priority for compliance – the partnership couldn’t have happened at a better time. It is equally important for King & Moffatt to be in a favourable and competitive position on the market, and offer a complete solution to meet their clients’ ever growing requirements.

“This new collaboration will not only strengthen our business relationship with King & Moffatt but it will also give all of our partners the opportunity to compete on a greater scale, act faster and more efficiently in an eco-type of system, “ said Gerry Swan, Sales & Marketing Director of ResourceKraft.

“King & Moffatt are very happy to join forces with ResourceKraft. We will now be able to offer extensive energy services to our clients. We can now offer a complete solution to meet all of our clients’ needs. With Advisor, the energy monitoring software, our clients will be given the ability to measure, monitor and save on their electricity, fuel oil, gas and water consumption. The energy data will be delivered to our clients in a real-time scenario,” announced Pat King, CEO of King & Moffatt.

About King & Moffatt
King and Moffatt Group is a private limited company engaged in the provision of electrical and mechanical services. Established in 1982, their headquarters are located in Carrick on Shannon, Co. Roscommon as well as an expansion to a UK office located in East Croydon, London. King and Moffatt provides electrical and mechanical contracting services across all sectors of the construction industry, including: Food, Beverage, Industrial, Mining, Pharmaceutical, Medical, Hotel & Leisure, Transport, Public Buildings, Commercial, Power and Energy sectors. With King and Moffatt’s years of experience, knowledge and their competent workforce, they provide clients with a complete installation; including but not limited to design, handover and maintenance. Adding to these benefits, King and Moffatt have a newly founded Energy Engineering division. This allows them to offer clients the most efficient and long-term value solutions their facilities need, while also helping the environment. There are also the qualified Building Information Modelling (BIM) and design teams of electrical and AutoCAD engineers at the company. These teams design new projects on a weekly basis, allowing them to offer cost effective and innovative solutions throughout the project cycle.

About ResourceKraft
ResourceKraft was established in 2007 on a foundation of experience in the electronics, computing and energy industries. It is the intention of ResourceKraft to develop innovative technology-driven products that assist organisations of all kinds, to measure and reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions, to assist with utility bill management and in general, to help enforce corporate policies on all of the aforementioned. ResourceKraft invests in and develops its own intellectual property – ensuring that it drives its own product development roadmap. It is at the forefront of research into energy saving technologies for businesses and maintains substantial links with the best researchers in both industry and academia.

Wireless White Paper

Wireless White Paper

Remote meter reading – It’s easier than you thought

Need real time information on your water, oil, gas, heat, steam or electrical use and finding access an issue? Fed up with climbing down manholes or up access shafts just to read meters?

How do you reduce risks and obtain the quality of data I need?

How do other organisations such as Aer Lingus, Architectural & Metal Systems, The Defence Forces, OPW and others do this so easily and effectively?

How is this done?

When it comes to delivering automated meter reading and reporting systems, it is essential to use the right tools for the job.

The equipment needs to be of industrial specification, be environmentally sealed, so it can work outdoors and in wet areas. There should be options that work in pits sometimes immersed in water, ATEX certified to work for Gas and other inflammable fuels, provide temperature and humidity measurement.

Where access is difficult and there is no power available, a battery operated transmitter is needed. This should be able to transmit every 15 minutes for up to 10 years monitoring energy.

It should be as wireless as possible, both to avoid the difficulties of obtaining a broadband connection and the challenges of obtaining IT approval for connecting to their network.

Wireless Energy Monitoring-Getting it done:

Utilising VHF and GSM Wireless technologies, ResourceKraft have been implementing radio based meter data acquisition systems in Ireland for over 8 years. No matter where the meter is, the technology will read it consistently and provide readings to you in 15 minute intervals. All data is transmitted to our ‘Cloud’ servers for storage every 15 minutes, for provision on an energy management information system where we monitor the data quality 24/7 to ensure your data will never be lost.

You can have hundreds of meters, scattered across your worksite, the country or the world, with all metering information linked to one main system. It is quick and easy to install and has a backup battery for mains disconnection warnings.

Why wouldn’t you?

Current Must-Do List for Facility Managers

Current Must-Do List for Facility Managers

The summer/winter reset is upon us again, and companies can now look to set up scheduled reset timers and reprogram their hours of operation. For companies operating in temperate climates, this is the perfect time to take advantage of changing weather conditions and reduce energy waste.

Building managers, it is time to re-think the foolish obedience of BMS schedules. Long, warm summers and early autumn months can send your building’s energy usage into complete disarray. Most commonly we see Air-Con on manual override, and your heating being pumped out of open office windows. The following are some suggestions on what to look at during this transitional time period:

Corridor and stairwell temperatures should be maintained at approx. 16⁰C; ideal for free cooling i.e. neither too hot nor too cold in corridors. Set VAV and Air-Con to lowest air change rates.

This singular action will reduce the energy consumption of a 20,000 m2 building by 6%, for the seasonal changes occurring throughout the spring and autumn months.

Although equatorial regions will not have the option of ‘never cooling’ their corridor stairwells, temperate climate regions will be able to use this method as a simple energy saver. Assuming corridors will not fall below 16⁰C for comfortable working environments; buildings should allow temperatures to rise to ambient levels in order to determine corridor temperature. Companies can heat corridors and stairwells when cold, but beware of cooling them. Instead, utilise free cooling through good ventilation management.

By re-setting Sept 1st to a lower solar aspect, companies can reduce the cooling requirement of the building fabric. If however, sudden spikes or clear days occur, they can have approximately 100 watts of sensible heat gain per meter squared of building fabric. To smooth out these spikes, it is recommended that changes to settings are performed on a week to week basis, rather than pre-setting for worse winter conditions.

Storage Heating

The last solution of energy saving in multi-sites is about storage heating. Many organisations with multiple sites have utilised storage heating as a cheap and simple method for meeting local demand without the expense of capital infrastructure. More often than not, storage heating will turn ‘on’ on a particular date in September regardless of local conditions. To reduce energy waste put in place an end of week and start of week program to start and stop heating when not required. An upgrade to a seven day management local timer or a system such as EnAct that will allow you to schedule these devices remotely as many times as you like and store them in a PLC, will also reduce energy waste in turning off heating for weekends out of hours.

These are just a few good practice points for energy saving in these transitioning seasonal months. But the major message your company should take away should be, to reset your buildings settings for what is appropriate for your building now.

ISO 50001 – complying with Energy Audit deadline

ISO 50001 – complying with Energy Audit deadline

Ireland’s Energy Audit Scheme (EAS) has focussed large companies on the completion of high quality energy audits by 05th December 2015, to avoid a Class A fine (large company means 250+ employees, or €50m turnover and a balance sheet of €43+m).

An energy audit aims to identify energy savings opportunities –which when acted upon reduce operating costs and increase profit.

An alternate route to EAS compliance is to have 70% of your primary energy use certified to ISO 50001, this not only extends your deadline to June 2016, but helps ensure energy savings opportunities are actually delivered.

There are no state aids to comply with laws such as S.I.426:2014 (the basis for EAS), but you can get funding for training provided the project delivers measurable energy savings. Enterprise Ireland’s (EI) GreenPLUS Business Improvement Grant offers 50% funding towards the internal and external costs of training.

To qualify for EI’s GreenPLUS funding, the business requires commitment from the CEO down and the resources to implement the changes needed to deliver measurable energy savings. Very often the first changes are no or low-cost to the company and deliver cost reductions, which help to increase profit and secure internal funding.

To apply for EI funding, talk to your EI Development Advisor first and confirm your business qualifies.

Whether you comply by way of audit or ISO 50001 certification, when you act on the opportunities identified, you can trade the energy savings for funding in the form of ‘Energy Savings Credits’. Talk to us or your energy supplier about funding in this area.

Conor Molloy (Registered Energy Auditor)

Enterprise Ireland