A wireless energy management system from WEMS is helping ING bank save thousands of Euros every year in energy costs at its Romanian headquarters in Bucharest.
The project, which saw the implementation of 18 WEMS Controller 4s, WEMS I/O with NiagaraAX interface and three JACE controllers, is expected to deliver an impressively rapid return on investment of just two years.
High specification building
ING’s offices are based at the Opera Centre in Bucharest, which comprises a total of approximately 11,500m2 of modern office space spread over eight floors. Constructed in 1999 as a premier standard building A+, the Opera Centre provides a high specification throughout, including a four-pipe HVAC system and suspended ceiling with 500 Lux lighting. However, in an era of record-high energy prices, ING wanted to get proactive about reducing its electricity consumption. The space currently occupied by ING in the building is 3200m2, around 30% of the total available, spread over three floors.
An efficiency study performed in 2012 showed that electricity consumption per square metre was 191.8 Wh per year. The Opera Centre building is supplied with the following:
- 1,600 kWh incoming mains line (from 20 to 0.4 kV)
- Two chiller units
- Four air handling units, each offering 90,000m3/hr capacity
- 38 self-standing fan-coils per floor – for cool/hot air distribution with a 0.8 kWh electrical engine and thermostat
There are also 1,640 lighting fixtures of different wattage, split as following: 860 recessed (4 × 18W) consuming in real terms approximately 92 Wh; and 282 recessed (2 × 18W) with PLC lamps consuming 42 Wh in real terms. The remaining 498 fixtures are various types of 1 × 58W T8, or 3 × 36W, or 2 × 36W.
The way forward
ING commissioned DC Wire Elektro and Innon (the trading name of Dynasoft Control Ltd) to design and implement a complete monitoring and metering control solution based on WEMS technology. Innon has for many years used WEMS products as key components in the delivery of its services. Installed in December 2013, the system controls equipment that includes:
- Ventilation (92 fan coils)
- Lights (on all floors) by schedule and occupancy
- Wall-sockets – by schedule for auxiliary consumers (water dispensers, coffee machines, small boilers, printers, copiers)
The solution monitors the consumption of electrical energy at floor level, offering an insight into loading curve, profile and energy quantity. In this respect, several WEMS Controller 4 units have been deployed to control the light circuits. In total, the project used:
- 18 × WEMS Controller 4
- 3 × JACE controllers
- 3 × Serial Interfaces
For applications which require complex control, and/or the integration of multiple networks, such as BACnet, LONworks, KNX, SNMP and others, WEMS International offers JACE as an alternative site manager. There is an interface node and associated driver which enables various WEMS I/O modules and sensors to communicate with NiagaraAX running on the JACE platform. The JACE offers multiple connectivity options for maximum flexibility and includes an integrated web-server to support customisable graphics visualisation.
Other hardware deployed t ING included 12 contactors to switch the fan-coils circuits on and off; three Modbus I/O modules; and around 90 PIR motion sensors, which were installed in open spaces as well as in meeting rooms, individual offices, and toilets.
4 key reasons for using this concept
The entire installation took five days and used the services of eight electricians. The system was proposed for the following reasons:
WEMS is a wireless solution and therefore ideally suited for a retrofit project such as ING’s offices in Bucharest. No wires meant no hassle and no lost working hours. It was estimated that an equivalent hard-wired solution would have taken around three weeks to install using the same number of personnel.
The solution is totally embedded into the ceilings and the environment. For a glass-steel building, the aspect and the ubiquity is highly appreciated.
Another critical factor is the web-access and simplicity of the system interface. This is a highly innovative solution due to the combination of JACE and WEMS I/O.
Last but not least, the portability of the system means it can easily be transferred at a later date to another location with minimal cost.
Six months after installation it was documented that the lighting system was consuming 26% less electricity.
Previously lighting showed a consumption level of 1.6 MWh daily, which has been reduced to 1.26 MWh (a reduction of 0.34 MWh every day). With the price of MWh at €115, and with 226 working days a year, the WEMS-controlled lighting system can be said to save a total of €8,836 per year (115 × 0.34 × 226). Furthermore, the energy saved from other devices has been estimated at €1,650 a year, hence the total energy saving from the installation is projected at €10,486 per annum. With the cost to install at €24,500, ING will recoup on its investment in a little over two years.