[Energy] ”  AI can audit factories 24 hours a day  “

Energy management: “Un humans cannot continuously audit an industrial site, unlike an artificial intelligence ”(Sébastien Papouin)

Inescapable allies of the low carbon industry , the software of energy management (EMS) must help manufacturers improve their energetic performance and their competitiveness. In this interview, our technical director Sebastien Papouin returns to the issue of associating human expertise with data and explains, with concrete illustrations, the approach adopted by the software Dametis.

Dametis blog. Day after day, the energy experts at Dametis put their brains in their EMS software . Why do you think this is the right approach?

Sébastien Papouin: “M be our brains in our software allows us to leverage our impact , serving the economic competitiveness of industrialists and the energy transition. Human expertise is essential, but a human cannot audit an industrial site continuously, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, unlike a artificial intelligence .

How is your twenty-year field experience in auditing and industrial energy efficiency useful to you today for the Dametis software?

SP: Take the example of a power plant pressurized air . To know if it is efficient, and what is its margin for improvement (taking into account the specificities of the plant in question), it is necessary to refer to a fork performance, a value in Wh / Nm3. This ability to assess what yield cannot be invented, it is twenty years of field experience that speaks volumes.

Sébastien Papouin, Dametis technical director.
Photo credit: Emmanuelle Guillot/Dametis.

This range is a fairly simple example because it is not really influenced by other parameters, but if we are talking about industrial cold , it’s different. The coefficient of performance (COP) will be much more variable, and will depend on other parameters such as the refrigeration requirement that one wishes to produce, climatic conditions or even the type of refrigerant. There are repositories by product cold temperature levels, which are integrated into the software.

How do you think EMS software should set performance goals for a refrigeration plant?

SP: For a cold installation , it is not relevant to set a single objective for the year, because the performance will be intrinsically better in winter than in summer. Our software establishes a variable goal , depending on the parameters that influence it. Then, we will evaluate the performance by contextualizing the actual COP in a fine way, in real time, using data from sensors (already present or that we are installing on purpose) and / or bases meteorological on the Internet. So when the COP is not at the level it should be, the software can issue an alert.

Does an industrialist who equips himself with an EMS have to install a lot of sensors to supply this software with data?

SP: Let us first remember that there are generally a lot of measures in factories, but manufacturers do not necessarily have consciousness the amount of data already available. When the data is insufficient, we can offer a measurement plan , prioritizing based on cost and interest. Of course, the more data you have, the more precise the analysis will be, but it is not necessary to install a lot of sensors. For example, on a central‘pressurized air with three compressors, just a compressed air flowmeter, a compressed air pressure sensor and a wattmeter per compressor, i.e. five measurements, it is possible to properly monitor energy performance, a prerequisite before optimizing, because we cannot manage what we do not measure.

EMS “sees” compressed air as a whole, from production to use.

What if the manufacturer wants to provide more data to his EMS?

SP: It suffices to extend the measurement plane. If we take the example of the central pressurized air, imagine that it feeds three workshops . The next step would be to install a flow meter per workshop, which makes it possible to establish a distribution of the compressed air in quantity and profile. And to realize, for example, that workshop 3 consumes, between 12 and 12:30, more than workshop 2 – which is strange since these workshops are on lunch break at the same time. We can go even further in the measurements, and install a flowmeter on processes A and B in workshop 3. EMS “Sees” compressed air as a whole, from production to use. And the analysis can be further refined, for example if we look at the discharge pressure of the compressor, the dryer, etc. In addition, the compressor is an intelligent object which can report information such as the oil level or temperature, for example if we connect it to the Dametis box .

The start-up Dametis is an expert in utilities and not in processes. How do you go about optimizing process consumption?

SP: Quite simply by exchanging with process experts within the factory (in addition to paying close attention to the disruptions technologies that improve the efficiency of a process). Take the example of sterilizers , in a factory that manufactures yoghurts and cream desserts. We have analyzed the operation of these sterilizers and succeeded in reducing the cost of sterilizing the products. Very schematically, this process involves heating the product which enters and cooling the product which leaves; it is therefore possible to recover heat from the incoming product for use on the outgoing product. After analysis, we were able to push the heat recovery already in place for this process. Somewhere in the heat recovery loop, it was necessary to cool the hot water loop from 90 ° C to 80 ° C, which was done with ice water at 1 ° C. By optimizing heat recovery from sterilizers, a double economy energy has been generated, on the electricity consumption of the chilled water plant and on the gas consumption of the production of domestic hot water since the sterilizers have become hot water generators.

What are the professions in the industries supported by Dametis that use the software?

SP: Absolutely all trades , but not all will see the same indicators, sometimes for reasons of confidentiality and access authorization, but above all so as not to overload the user dashboard with information that is not useful to them on a daily basis. Our tool makes it possible to create “projects” (on the interface) in which people participate who are not necessarily used to discussing, at least not on the topic of energy.

In which cases, for example?

SP: Imagine … A maintenance manager in charge of a steam boiler can, thanks to the software, come to the conclusion that it is necessary to install a flue gas economizer. He can generate a project on the Dametis platform, where he can enter a cost and the analysis curves leading to this conclusion, or even a photo. He finds a first budget bracket thanks to the database included in our software. Also thanks to the software, it can calculate the energy savings and CO2 emissions that this investment would generate each year. This software being collaborative and shared, the administrative and financial director (DAF) will have access to this information and will be able to focus on the data that concerns it most (in this case, the economic issue and CO2 for example) to make a decision. The new works manager can even help to refine the economizer price data, and conventionally an N + 1 validates the project before sending it to the CFO.

The software thus makes it possible to create a common language, and common references, on the energy theme …

SP: Yes, and in the end, several trades were able to contribute to the building. Let us add, in the same example, that the management control He also has an interest in learning about the project via the software, because the energy savings generated will allow him to reduce the energy expenditure item. Anyone can leave comments on the project – we are not yet in the process of integrating a catin our EMS (maybe one day!) but the social dimension is very deep and facilitates dialogue inter-business.

Sebastien Papouin, who joined Dametis at the end of 2020 as technical director, several years ago designed a solution for the intelligent regulation of refrigeration installations, now used by the largest manufacturers. It had identified this need for in-depth monitoring during its energy audits in France and abroad, and this need also concerns the industrial SMEs that Dametis supports today.


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