Futuristic companies realize the need to be technologically smart in the modern world. GNP Areal, a Norway based energy and power company, is a prime example. Throughout their existence, they have ventured to salvage state-of-the-art technology to build an efficient and sustainable operating model. Staying true to their values of continuous self-improvement, they contacted Smart Plants to explore possibilities of enhancing their office buildings’ energy optimization.
Challenge: Optimizing an Already Energy-Efficient Office Building
Even though GNP Areal has offices spread across Scandinavia, they wanted to start with their 2000m² office building in Sandefjord, Norway. After comparing their office building’s energy comparison statistics with the Scandinavian benchmark, we were amazed to see that it already fell in the middle of the second quartile of the most energy-efficient buildings in the area; with a consumption of 138 kWh/m2/year (See figure below).
GNP Areal was already very efficient with their energy consumption. They knew that. We knew that too. But that didn’t mean there was no room for improvement. There’s always room for improvement. So, our team started studying the blue prints and their infrastructure, day in, day out and together, we embarked on a journey to transform the better into the best.
ClevAir Box for Enhanced Energy Optimization
ClevAir doesn’t require a massive hardware overhaul for installation. You literally just need a single ClevAir box to be up and running; this usually means minimal installation costs. We also identified some costly adapters that were surplus to requirements; this further lowered the spending. The GNP Areal team assisted us in installing the box and establishing connectivity with the current controller of their office building.
A Smart Office Building
As soon as it started receiving data from the main controller, ClevAir started doing what it does best: Analyzing the heaps of raw data and extracting meaningful, actionable insights from it. In addition to the beautiful visualizations, the software also started receiving alerts and errors from the Air Handling Unit (AHU). It forwarded these alerts and errors to the administrator’s email.
Issues Identified During the Energy Optimization Process
After some days of processing data and alerts, ClevAir was able to identify some issues in the building. It was observed that there were cold and warm zones in the building. In a building where the temperature is centrally moderated, this shouldn’t have been happening. To identify the severity of the issue, we deployed some wireless sensors that started reporting data to our main dashboard.
Note: You can find the more technical details about the issue and our findings by reading our official GNP Areal case study here
A More Efficient Temperature Control Approach
Our team religiously studied the data reported by the wireless sensors of the office building for a couple weeks. They were then able to suggest some avenues for energy optimization. We used ClevAir to reprogram the AHU such that it managed the airflow and temperature better. Some of the functionalities we added are as follows:
- Automatically decrease/increase the intensity of ventilation depending on the number of people in the building.
- Control the temperature of the building based on various factors including weather forecast, cooling, and heat exchanger efficiency etc.
- Checking the weather forecast every morning and adjusting the ventilation for the entire day accordingly. For example, if a warm day is forecasted, let the cooling flow normally.
All these changes allowed us to transform the ventilation and AHU systems into flexible, self-sufficient, and energy-optimized ones.
Energy Optimization Results
After collecting the stats for the month of October, we reported an overall energy consumption of 13,925 KW-h. This meant that we reduced the energy consumption by 7,605 KW-h; a whopping 35.3%! Here’s what GNP Arealr had to say about these results:
“We are positively surprised by the initial savings, which are even greater than expected. Because of this we are considering further investments to be able to include more energy sources in the system.”
Espen Halvorsen Nipe
Up till now, we are on track to hit all our initial estimates. We are also hoping to aggregate the energy optimization data over the next few months and calculate the handsome ROI that our customer is guaranteed to get.
Interested in reading more of such success stories? Download all our case studies here.