World-class energy management systems can shape a sustainable future
By Emmanuel Guilhamon, EMEA Process Industries Manager - Strategic Accounts, Rockwell Automation
To reduce their carbon intensity, traditional energy stakeholders, such as the oil and gas sector, and low-carbon energy providers, such as green hydrogen producers, must leverage digital technologies within their strategies to monitor and improve performance.
However, achieving that requires data to be collected, analysed and contextualised to deliver usable insights. The sector is rich with data and process intelligence, but much of that is siloed in proprietary islands of automation, particularly in oil and gas operations, that is often inaccessible or lost with a retiring workforce. Another challenge is that much of the operational infrastructure is old and lacks the connected sensors of modern processes, and data here is usually collected manually.
The sustainability agenda for the oil and gas industry is multifaceted, but the overarching aim is to manage increasing energy demand and the costs associated with evolving the energy mix to drive improved sustainability benefits. The route to achieving this comes from the traditional process metrics – measure, analyse, and improve scenario, and to achieve that leans heavily on the energy management system employed. The range of energy management capabilities is complex, but IIOT and analytics are crucial in any strategy.
The results of a successful implementation can be impressive, with up to 30% improved energy efficiency and a complimentary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The global energy transition agenda catalyses the sustainability agenda, with average wholesale prices climbing 45% in 2022 and forecast to climb another 35% this year.
The maturity level for oil and gas companies ranges from disparate through connected, intelligent right up to world-class. At the lowest level, there is no energy management strategy with limited visibility and siloed data sources, resulting in manual tracking and reporting of energy usage and costs. In the connected scenario, capabilities are enabled to utilise scalable IIOT platforms to analyse energy usage and these capabilities are then integrated with core IT-OT systems. Moving up to an intelligence level adds a central dashboard that allows all facilities to achieve standardisation and consistency across sites and streamline decision-making while adding predictive and prescriptive analytics to optimise energy efficiency.
The holy grail of energy management is to move to world-class. At this level, organisations are leading the way in achieving energy efficiency and setting benchmarkable industry standards. Holistic strategies and cutting-edge technologies allow organizations to gain value, by adding efficiencies to every step of the supply chain. Companies can autonomously improve energy efficiency by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Very few organisations can achieve this state of energy management without expert guidance. Kalypso, a Rockwell Automation company, has been helping companies achieve world-class for many years, with their latest offering, Sustainability Energy Manager (SEM), making the transition to world-class something more readily achievable. SEM is an IT/OT convergence platform-based energy monitoring application providing energy consumption and production information insights based on the underlying processes across facilities and the enterprise. SEM is not a rigid, fixed-specification solution but a dynamic platform that can be developed to suit each use case as decided by an energy consultant.
The OT side of the solution is all about data collection from energy, gas, and water meters, production, and weather data. PTC’s Thingworx platform powers the IT side of the SEM platform and delivers energy monitoring and management dashboards with operations optimised by analytics and an ROI tracker. This is coordinated by the energy management platform SEM, which connects disparate systems, collects and contextualises the data, and maps operations.
The SEM is enterprise-focused, but individual deployments are process-specific. It is designed for scalability, providing insights into the overall enterprise’s performance and accommodating enough to analyse individual processes. Energy-intensive industries such as oil and gas and green hydrogen production can rely on the platform for forecasting, budgeting, risk assessment, and calculating ROI for energy conservation projects.
The solution is flexible enough to perform critical functions for multiple business disciplines. It is hardware agnostic, which is vital because businesses rarely standardise on a single B2B hardware provider. The SEM is flexible enough to work with data from multiple sources, including spreadsheets, IoT devices, SCADA, and smart metering systems.
IIoT energy management solutions combined with AI and machine learning provide the entire energy value chain with better energy management capabilities, delivering both productivity and cost benefits to the enterprise and the environment. Talk to an energy management specialist at the Rockwell Automation stand to learn more about reducing energy costs and managing emissions.
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