Solar Plant Efficiency Through a Monitoring System

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Defining how efficient a solar plant depends on many factors. This includes dust, pollen, dirt, shadows cast by trees and failure of various parts, connectors and cables. It is important to know the problems and eliminate them on time to maximize the return on investment. Monitoring systems for the equipment of solar plants play a crucial role in taking care of these kinds of problems. 

Some PV inverters have the capacity to monitor the amount of electricity produced or some other parameters. These little features of integrated monitoring solutions are not enough to fully assess the power plant’s efficiency. Monitor and control systems must have the capacity to notice the nuances that influence its performance and efficiency. 

Here are some of the benefits of a monitoring system in a solar plant:

  • By having the efficiencies of your PV arrays at your fingertips, it is easy to find out when and where something goes wrong
  • A monitoring system can give you an alert or instant notification if anything about the system falls outside of preset parameters.
  • Energy saving option
  • Minimization of losses due to shading and other effects on the solar panels
  • Reduced maintenance cost and time.

Monitoring system needed in a solar plant must have automated weather stations that provide important parameters including incoming solar radiation, wind, ambient temperature and module cell temperature. These stations provide owners and operators with site performance data. It ensures that the site is performing as expected during the life of the project. 

Monitoring system in a solar plant is very essential in identifying its efficiency. With real-time data analysis, distinguishing between normal fluctuations and anomalies is very easy. Monitoring and control of PV systems is essential for reliable functioning and maximum yield of any solar power plants. 

Internal Combustion Engines vs. Electric Vehicles

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With the current rise of our Fuel, one would think of switching to an alternative mode of transportation like Mass transport, carpooling, or going green with bikes or our topic this time; Electric Vehicles.

Are electric vehicles viable and cheaper compared to owning and operating an ICE (internal combustion engine) Vehicle?

Operating an ICE would take your costing to measure km per litre. An average daily car would clock at least at 16km/L and a daily travel going to work or other essential affair would take around 48.3km. However, a vehicle’s consumption changes depending on the road condition and of course, the traffic’s volume.

Enter Electric Vehicles, EVs are starting to gain fame for not only being a cleaner alternative to petrol operated vehicles, but also with its claim of being cheaper to run. Recent studies shows that the average cost to operate an EV in the United States is $485 per year, while the average for a gasoline-powered vehicle is $1,117. A really big difference especially now with our current state where prices are continually rising, we need to look for options where we can stretch more of our budget, right?

Electric Vehicles are undoubtedly more expensive than internal combustion engines upfront. However, one should consider that EVs are just starting to become a trend and ICEs have 100 years of head start. Hence, we should expect EVs to become cheaper upfront in the future as the technology becomes common and parts became available worldwide.

“But EVs are no fun, we can’t race of feed our need for speed”

EVs are designed with high respect to Aerodynamics since these cars need to reach further with its batteries. These vehicles are also faster than your average small displacement vehicles (1.3L up) since Electric Motors offers less friction from its moving parts. Hence a whole lot of power going into the wheels.

Another significant difference of EVs to ICEs are their cheaper maintenance cost. ICEs are mostly consisted of 100s of moving parts which can malfunction or break one at a time or worst, in a chain. While EVs only has few moving part, its motors, making it cheaper if not at all a maintenance free vehicle. Considering that you know how to properly maintain a vehicle.

While ICEs are being refuelled at Gas Stations roadside, EVs are also charged at Electric Charging Stations roadside or comfortably being charged at home every time the owner gets home. With this, the owner gets to have a “Full-tank” vehicle every day when he gets up and get ready to work. Envision Monitoring’s EN-CORE device can be attached and control and monitor the operation of the charger and protect against power demand spiking ensuring maximum efficiency and safety.

With all things considered, we think that EVs have a lot of potential given the chance to fight its way into the market. Offering the same range, quality, function, and fun of operating internal combustion engines we all loved but sooner or later can see its end of reign in our daily roads due to the price and emissions hazard of their fuel.

Sources:
https://www.caranddriver.com/research/a32781943/electric-cars-vs-gas-cars/
https://evercharge.com/blog/electric-cars-vs-gas-vehicles-what-you-need-to-know/
https://www.energysage.com/electric-vehicles/costs-and-benefits-evs/evs-vs-fossil- fuel-vehicles/
https://avt.inl.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/fsev/compare.pdf
https://insideevs.com/features/557987/ev-versus-gas-price-comparison/
https://www.reddit.com/r/electricvehicles/comments/8xp5vu/review_honda_clarity_plugin_hybrid/

Are smart devices enough to save energy?

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In the age of technology and innovation, wherein appliances and gadgets (or as you call it “smart devices”) are now interconnected, it is hard to see the line on which consumes more energy and what exactly to do about it.


An assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Public Policy, Mr. Omar Isaac Asensio said that U.S. consumers and businesses already have installed some 3.4 billion connected consumer devices, from color changing light bulbs to streaming security cameras. Though the said devices have minimal physical footprints, they draw enormous amounts of energy, consuming about 15% of the global growth in electricity demand.


In Nature Energy’s September issue, Asensio calls to address consumer misconceptions and wrong perceptions about power usage and to make an action towards energy conservation. He said this in regard to the forecasts about billions of installations for such devices in the upcoming years.


The rise of smart devices is set to outpace traditional consumer electronics. Such events will make it even harder to understand and conserve energy at home. These devices draw power for two-way, on-call communications. Asensio also said,


“This is what economists refer to as a behavioral failure and it brings to center stage the need for behavioral interventions that can correct consumer misperceptions of household energy use.”

A research paper from scholars at Indiana University examined the effectiveness of two types of interventions that are meant to help correct misperceptions of consumers about appliances that use the most energy. A randomized online experiment was done by Indiana University to examine the effect of one intervention called “anchoring” in which the participants were made aware of energy usage across devices that consume power on both high and low ends of the scale, and the other intervention about informing the respondents that large and cooling appliances consume more energy than what is thought of by the majority of people.


The second intervention, in which participants were given simple techniques to estimate energy consumption worked better. The research ended with the conclusion: “simply offering a conservation message may not be as important as how the conservation message is framed to consumers.”


In 2015, Asensio conducted a study using individualized messages sent through websites and emails that highlight the negative impacts of electricity production. These delivered messages resulted in an 8% reduction in power consumption.


Connected devices are indefinitely about to shift patterns electricity use, that is why targeted messages about invisible power are needed ” at the place where it will do the most: built into such devices and the smartphone apps that drive them,” as Asensio put it in his article.


Here at Envision, we believe that energy is the gateway to accelerate sustainable development. Envision is committed to creating scientific & design-driven products that improve the way people interact with energy and nature.

Technology that can Lower your Household Energy Consumption

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With the rise of new technologies almost every day, it may be hard to drown out the noise from all the advertisements around us and see what the practical option is. With prices for utilities such as water, gas, and electricity going higher by the day, the practical option may be the one that can reduce your household’s energy consumption. Reducing your household’s energy use works twofold: it not only helps the environment but also helps you cut down on costs. 

We’ve rounded up some tips for your household whether you’re looking to upgrade or you just want to be smarter with your daily consumption. 

Technology & Appliances

Use smart technology to save energy. This can work because smart home-hubs can turn off appliances when not in use, keeping them out of the “idling” phase that also contributes to energy drain. These technologies can be controlled by the use of smartphone apps which makes it very convenient to use. Using this technology means buying smart appliances and while this upgrade may be costly, it can pay off

Unplug appliances when not in use. Saving energy doesn’t always mean shelling out money for a costly upgrade, and can be as simple as making it a habit to unplug your appliances when not being used. As mentioned above, appliances go through an idle or standby mode which can be deceiving as they still use energy even when not outright used. Examples of these include your computer, TV, and some washing machines. 

Buy appliances with good energy ratings. The rule of thumb here is that the more stars, the better they are. Though be careful to factor in its size too. A bigger appliance may be more energy-efficient and have a better rating compared to a smaller one but because of its size, it can consume more energy than the smaller variant. 

Choose an energy-efficient refrigerator. This is the appliance that will be working non-stop and because of that, it’s energy consumption tends to pile up. 

Use a power strip and reduce plug load. It is said that 75% of the energy used to power electronics is consumed when they are switched off. This is handy in turning off all the devices in one go. This has the same effect as one by one unplugging each of the plugs from the wall and can help reduce that idle time your appliance may be experiencing. 

Water 

Recycle your water. Rainwater collected is ideal for your garden. Investing in a good rainwater tank may be a good option for this. The greywater from showers, laundry tubs, baths, and washing machines can also be reused for the garden and toilets. Devices can be installed in your home to treat this greywater to be reused again around your house water system to your garden or toilet.

Lights

Use energy-efficient bulbs. The use of lights can add to the carbon pollution at the end of every year. Low energy lights such as Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs)  lights can all reduce electricity use by up to 80% compared to the more traditional incandescent lights. While they may come off as more expensive, in the long run, they can cost less because they last longer. 

No energy reduction can be achieved without any form of discipline and a change of routine. While it may be difficult to move away from what we’re used to whether it’s leaving our appliances plugged in when we’re in a hurry or an old appliance with sentimental value, a little effort can go a long way in being more environmentally friendly. It’s a change that not only benefits the Earth but also us as its inhabitants. 

With whatever appliances may be available in your household, there are always tools to figure out where most of your electricity is going. Have more control with your home’s energy usage with a home monitoring system. Let the Envision Monitoring System be your partner with its intelligent system and ease of use. Learn more about Envision here.


Everything You Need to Know About Using LED Bulbs

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Before you consider changing your LED bulbs at home, go through this article first. 

The reasons behind switching to LED bulbs is pretty coercive –they last much longer than incandescent bulbs, provides interesting features and can save you money with its lower electric consumption.  These benefits are pushing into the demise of incandescent bulbs, which are now being phased out so there’s no better time to make a switch, than now. 

The process of purchasing an LED bulb is far different from buying incandescent bulbs. Before rushing through the nearest hardware, here’s a couple of things you should know:

Lumens, Not Watts 

With incandescent bulbs, we are accustomed to classifying it according to watts which indicates the brightness that the bulb can radiate. However, for LED bulbs, the brightness discovery is determined a little bit differently.    

It is a common belief that watts is an indication of the bulb’s brightness but not quite on point, because it is primarily, the measurement of how much energy the bulb draws. For incandescent, there is an accepted correlation between the watts drawn and the brightness but for LED bulbs, watts cannot predict how bright the bulb will be. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs draw less energy. 

There is no direct conversion of watts to LED watts, instead, a more exact measurement has to be used which is Lumen. 

The Lumen (lm) is the measurement of the bulb’s brightness and is the number you must look into when purchasing an LED bulb. For your reference, here’s a chart of a watt-lumen conversion for different bulb types. 

watt-lumen conversion for different bulb types
Photo by Dallas Builders

Choosing the Right LED Color

led bulb
Photo by Federico Bottos on Unsplash

LED bulbs display a notable color range, from purple to red up to a spectrum of whites and yellows.  If you are looking for the same brightness as the incandescent bulb’s, then choose among the popular white colors such as warm white, soft white and bright white. 

Warm and soft whites produce a yellow hue while a bright white radiates whiter color similar to retail stores. 

There is another measurement of how bright you want your light to go. Look into the color temperature measured in kelvins. The lower the number, the warmer or yellower. As a reference, a typical incandescent light bulb measures around 2,700 and 3,500K. 

Look for a non-dimmable LED Bulb 

Most light bulb dimmers are designed typically to work with incandescent bulbs but not really for LED bulbs. These dimmers work by cutting off the amount of electricity sent to the light bulb. 

There are two ways to make your LED dimmable. One, find LED bulbs that are compatible with your dimmers or two, replace your traditional dimmers with a LED-compatible dimmer. 

When you shop for LEDs, it is best to know first the dimming switch you have or simply search for LED bulbs compatible with your traditional light dim switch. 

Envision Monitoring System: Real-Time Energy Data You Can Check Anytime, Anywhere

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Technology and the internet have given way for users to have more power and control over information and services, making them more informed than they have ever been. With the rise of the informed user, people nowadays want to know more than they ever did before. With this, smart solutions are growing as a way to cater to the informed user in different areas whether it be about current events, delivery services, and the like.


Luckily, energy is now one of those areas. Long gone are the days that you are left at the mercy of your billing at the end of each month. Have the power to check and monitor the energy you use at your fingertips. With Envision Monitoring, we offer our cloud-based energy monitoring system which can be used for businesses both in the commercial and industrial sectors.


What is Envision Monitoring?


Envision provides you with your energy data in a simplified manner by giving you easy access to online tools that can give you both your real-time and historical energy data. Our tailor-fit system monitoring and data analysis reports can suit your business or personal needs.


With its real-time cloud monitoring, you get access to accurate data on your facilities’ energy usage while it also provides you with historical analysis to also look back at the data over periods of time. Convenience is also within your reach with our Alerts and Notifications feature which notify you during alarming events that need immediate attention and downloadable data which you can view anytime, even on mobile.


The Envision System


So how does Envision Monitoring work? Envision provides you with different types of meters to suit your needs. It is flexible and can adapt using hardware that translates commands sent through the system.


This intelligent system can serve as a gateway to transmit and interpret data from the meters to the cloud servers. Being automated, it can be scheduled with instructions being sent to the entire system.
What sets Envision Monitoring apart from other monitoring systems is that it is accessible 24/7 online. Data is stored in the cloud and the system would do the rest of the work, presenting the data visually to you for easier understanding, monitoring, and evaluation.


Lastly, you can take Envision with you anywhere you go as the app can give you easy access to our system for portability and convenience. The app can offer Alerts and Notifications during important events, giving you the option to download data as well.


Whether you’re a business owner from commercial, industrial or manufacturing sectors, owner to private office spaces, or even residential properties, Envision Monitoring is the one for you. If you want to stay up to date and have more power over your energy usage, then look no further.


To know more, visit our website at www.envision-monitoring.com or email us at info@envisionmonitoring.com.

Envision: Adapting to the Landscape of Modern Energy Monitoring

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In the past few years, the inclusion of technology in different industries has become the norm. The pressure to create efficient processes, invent new machines and use artificial intelligence in our daily business tasks is creating an era of technological change. Without these nonstop and simultaneous changes, our lives would not have improved. It goes to show how effective innovation is these days. And it’s not ending yet, but rather,exponentially growing and expanding. As such, the energy industry is taking quick steps like modern energy monitoring systems to adapt to the ever growing changes in the advancement of technology.

As simple as they may seem, modern Energy Monitoring Systems use technology that are quite complex. Internet of Things, fast processors for data monitoring and even artificial intelligence to predict energy-efficient opportunities are just a few of the recent developments surrounding the energy industry. Energy monitoring before was done manually, and even the most expensive monitoring systems record just a few data points on energy consumption. Nowadays, real-time monitoring is possible – minute by minute recording of data that gives more accurate graphs. And data analysis has never been easier.

This is what Envision does. It’s real-time monitoring capability exceeds the current manual and slow monitoring processes found in industries. And the best part is, data monitoring now becomes mobile; data analysis can now be accessed anywhere you go even if you’re not on site. This is where the beauty and ease of use comes in; you’ll know if you’re exceeding your energy consumption target way before the monthly electricity bills arrive at your door. Therefore, you’ll be able to mitigate inefficient energy uses as early as possible.

If you’re curious about how Envision Monitoring works, it starts with your meter. We capture real-time data from your meter and send it to the cloud using devices that transmit data. Our software then receives data and stores it in a database, where data can be analyzed. You’ll get your daily energy statistics, including parameters that will be useful for further calculations.

The devices used in the Envision Monitoring System are all industrial-grade; you’ll never have to worry about its durability and weatherproof capability. Aside from that, they’re also flexible;you can connect it to different ports,and there are different sets of devices for unique environments. All these allow us to ensure that what we are offering is fully customized to our customer’s needs. We believe that every system is complex in itself,and what makes us unique is we always take the challenge of solving complex systems and processes.

To sum it all up, installing the Envision system will be beneficial for you in the long term especially with energy conservation and energy use efficiency. Who wouldn’t want less bills every month from utility companies? That’s our major goal – to make sure energy waste will be reduced and energy use will become clearer for all our customers.

If you are interested to know more about Envision, leave us a message below or send us a note.

5 Useful Tools for Energy Management

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With the continuous increase in demand for energy around the globe, energy management is a practice that will be of great benefit for us, especially for the future. Energy conservation is not just about limiting the use of resources so it can last as long as they can, it is the process of reducing demand on a limited supply and enabling that supply to begin to rebuild itself.

Turning off the lights when you leave the room, unplugging appliances that aren’t in use, and getting rid of old appliances are just some of the energy-saving habits that one should practice. In addition to this, there are useful tools in the market that are easily available.

LED Lighting

LED bulbs are known to be the most energy-saving and quality lighting available in the market. Upgrading to LED lighting at your facility can reduce energy consumption by 75% compared to incandescent or flourescent lighting. LED technology produces a brighter light while consuming less power since it can convert approximately 95% energy into light and only 5% into heat.

In addition, utilizing LED lighting means better quality of light distribution. This means that less lighting is needed to achieve the best lighting in your facility. Fewer lights mean less energy consumption and more energy conservation.

Energy Star Certified Appliances

Appliances with the Energy Star label means that the product is guaranteed to consume less energy during use and when on standby as compared to non-energy efficient products. On average, home appliances account for a large percentage of a utility bill. Most Energy Star certified appliances come at a premium price but are investments that will reduce your utility bill in the long term, which is especially important since electricity rates are increasing every year.

Energy Monitoring Systems

An energy monitoring system, such as  Envision, can greatly help improve energy management since it shows a facility’s daily energy consumption. Envision can provide not just a facility’s real-time energy data, but also its historical data. Studying this information allows a facility to maintain its balance between electricity supply and demand. And with this information, one can then make more informed decisions on the facility’s energy usage.

Charging Stations

One common cause of energy waste is from electronics that are kept plugged in but not turned on. It can consume as much as 8% of a facility’s power for nothing. Charging stations that automatically turn off are a useful tool that can help conserve energy; some charging stations automatically turn off when gadgets are fully charged, while others shut off after a specific length of time.

Upgrade Old Appliances to New Ones

Household appliances approximately consume about 30% to 40% of the utility bill. Using old televisions, refrigerators, air-conditioning units, and other appliances can increase that percentage more and more as times goes on, as newer appliances have energy-saving features which old models don’t have. Upgrading appliances may be an expensive up-front cost but because of the many improvements companies have done to upgrade appliances in the market which will you save you money and energy in the long run.

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