Flipping the Switch on Efficient Backup Power
In our previous study, we discussed the ongoing energy availability and stability issues in India. Though we discussed the easing of energy shortages, the issue has returned with a vengeance, affecting not only local, but global energy consumption. Several global political crises have exacerbated these energy shortages, and prices have skyrocketed accordingly in recent months.
However, an analysis of the situation by Climate Risk Horizons found that if India had met renewable energy commitments of adding 175GW of power, they could have averted this crisis. As grid availability remains as volatile as ever, and coal stockpiles are at all-time lows, minimizing wasted energy while optimizing for energy efficiency and asset durability is paramount.
The Customer and their Challenges
A cell site operator in India was concerned with rising energy costs and generator use at their remote sites. They had little visibility over these sites without a physical presence on-site, and though they had invested in backup batteries, and had generators on site, it was unclear how these assets were performing.
In addition, as the local energy crisis deepened, energy costs jumped month-over-month by over 17% across the cell sites monitored. Considering that India relies on coal to generate over ¾ of its energy, and coal costs continue to rise, this trend would only continue to grow without intervention.LCOE is a calculation used to assess the relative cost of energy-generating technologies. This metric determines the lifetime costs for energy supply according to usage scale, location, and type of energy. That includes the cost per unit of energy generated and the installation costs involved in a similar ratio.
Galooli’s solution is designed to monitor and bring out the maximal and most efficient performance out of a number of energy assets, including generators. We monitor generator performance in real-time, especially metrics regarding generator health and efficiency, like the voltage, kWh, frequency, battery level, and working hours.
Our RMM (remote monitoring management) solution also offers alerts to prevent major malfunctions and even remote controls to fix the issues remotely in some cases. The RMM interface provides a digital twin of your onsite energy assets to monitor all of the equipment simultaneously. Using the real-time data collected, the twin is made more accurate both by increased data volume, and AI-enhanced actionable analytics and insights
Insights and Outcomes
What did we find?
We determined there were several issues plaguing these sites, primarily related to generators, and batteries onsite. The average operating load for generators was only 53%, where 60-75% is considered optimal.
Continued operations at improper loads put undue strain on the machinery and can lead to greater maintenance needs and reduced lifetime. There were also just 5 sites whose generators were operating at optimal loads at all, indicating a widespread need for optimization across the site network.
There was also a stark difference on a site-by-site basis in the breakdown of energy asset usage. Some sites were found using just 8 generators hours monthly, whereas others in the same period used between 45 and 90 hours. This was directly related to each specific site’s usage of backup batteries, and their overall health and state.
This can be seen by looking at a comparison of two different sites. One had a battery that was in use for just 10 minutes during an outage, and as a result, the generator was forced to work for nearly 9 hours. The site with batteries set up properly used just 15 minutes of generator power, and batteries for over 3 hours. The majority of the sites monitored performed similarly to the first site, with many having disconnected or faulty batteries that further complicated the issue.
Lastly, we discovered that even in the case where the grid was available and active, nearly a third of the sites were operating at excessive voltage levels on a daily basis. This compromises the durability of the energy assets, leading to wear and tear beyond expected levels and in the long term create more opportunities for failure.
What has changed?
Through the insights our platform provided, our client was able to create massive change with just a few optimizations. By focusing on the most problematic sites and assets, they were able to reduce their fuel usage by 20% monthly, and their generator runtime by over 15%. Moreover, they will be able to reduce the number of generators requiring replacement by 16%.
Overall, with a wider implementation and continued active monitoring and visibility over their sites and remote assets, our client can expect savings of over $2 million dollars annually just from optimizing their generator use and performance parameters.
- National energy shortage deepened due to rising use and global energy issues
- Energy costs jumped nearly 20% in just a single month
- Continued lack of visibility over remote assets and sites and their historical and live performance
- Generator usage varied widely from site to site, some even working when unnecessary
- Sites operated on a daily basis at excessive voltage levels, potentially causing excessive equipment wear and potential malfunctions
- Galooli helps optimize the operation of energy assets, particularly generators
- KPIs are monitored in real-time including battery and generator operating time, fuel use, and overall site energy use (kWh)
- Individual energy sources can be monitored simultaneously across all of the sites
- Live monitoring provides visibility in terms of site and energy asset performance
- Live alerts to abnormal behavior helps prevent downtime and reduce the need for maintenance
What has changed?
- Generator fuel consumption reduced by 20% / month
- Generator run hours lowered by an average of 15% monthly
- Generator replacement reduced by 15% annually
- Estimated annual savings of over $2,000,000 in operational and energy related-costs
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