The Challenge: High Energy Demand Costs
The City of Kelowna’s Wastewater Treatment Facility(WWTF) serves a community of over 100,000, processing up to 40 million litres of water per day. As part of the region’s commitment to sustainability, their focus is on efficient plant operations. As part of a new billing structure from their utility, demand charges have become a significant portion of their monthly expenses. However, the facility staff had no way of visualizing what their patterns of energy usage were, making it very difficult to investigate why the costs were so high.
Cypress Power uses a continual process of Data Acquisition and Modelling; Simulation and Analysis; and Engineered Solutions to help infrastructure organizations understand and control their energy use with the ultimate aim of lowering consumption, costs and finding new potential revenue streams.
Enter Cypress Power and Visual Analytics
Cypress Power had previously incorporated a real-time system to monitor all major process energy and demand levels at the Kelowna Wastewater Treatment Facility. By overlaying a visual analytics tool we were able to simulate the individual energy loads’ impact on overall demand over time. This enabled the Kelowna WWTF staff to improve energy management for their facility.
The new tool utilizes a statistical analytics template that allowed us to time-shift individual loads within the facility. With this tool we were able to create a model of energy usage where we could show our client simulations of the effects of initiating loads at different times during the day and see the effect of these changes on both energy consumption and demand of power. We found that even shifting a load to start up a couple of hours later, could in some cases have a large effect on overall demand.
We then had a conversation with our client showing them the results of our analysis to highlight the times when demand was high. During our discussions they were able to get a visual representation of their energy usage and even found some redundant loads that led to further cost savings.
Understanding Demand Charges
Electric power use is metered in two ways: on maximum kilowatt use during a given time period (i.e., kW demand typically measured in 15-minute or 30-minute intervals) and on total cumulative consumption in kilowatt hours(kWh).
The demand charges are applied to cover the costs of the ability of having an organizations’ peak energy requirement available at any given time; to ensure the infrastructure is there to supply everyone’s energy requirements.
Results for a Data Driven Enterprise
Our visual analytics tool has enabled the Kelowna WWTF to make changes to their operations,
with no loss of quality of operation or output. It also allowed them to find loads that were
redundant or could be rescheduled to lower their demand costs.
Kelowna is a city in the Okanagan Valley, on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake, surrounded by provincial parks, pine forest, vineyards, orchards and mountains. Kelowna is the third largest metropolitan area in the province with a population of close to 200,000.
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