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How to save energy through connected sockets

Even in a well-maintained commercial property with an effective Building Energy Management system (BEMS), advanced lighting controls and highly efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning,  one of the largest sources of avoidable energy usage is often overlooked.

Plugged in devices ranging from computers to phones, printers to heaters and even personal items like hairdryers, hide in plain sight but contribute more than 25% of a commercial building’s energy usage and carbon emissions.

The best approach to managing a building’s energy usage is to have complete control of it, from the small socket-level loads to the high-consumption systems. There are technologies that have provided some level of this in residential settings, but historically there has been no effective way for energy managers in the UK to achieve this in commercial buildings.

With the growing need for businesses to continuously improve energy efficiency and drive down carbon emissions, the leading Honeywell brands, MK Electric and Trend BEMS, worked to develop a solution to this pressing challenge. Drawing on extensive experience of supporting energy managers to improve building energy efficiency, the two brands have developed the first fully integrated small power management system for commercial buildings: Connected Power.

Connected Power automatically brings socket-level monitoring and control into the core BEMS, giving energy managers total control and end-to-end energy management from one central system. If you have a standard socket, the Connected Power can easily be retrofitted.

Each hub can interlink with up to 50 sockets, and as many as 50 hubs can connect to a single system, giving a total capacity of 2,500 sockets or 5,000 individual outlets.

Energy managers have a wealth of functionality to control and monitor each of these sockets. Outlets can be grouped together by location or equipment type, and then schedules can be set accordingly — either by group or for individual sockets. The energy consumption and operating temperature of each socket is monitored, so alerts can also be set for sockets or outlets that exceed defined electrical or temperature thresholds.

For example, if a building has multiple rooms with significantly different levels of occupancy throughout the day at irregular hours, a set schedule might not necessarily be the best option. Instead, energy managers can remotely identify when the rooms are unoccupied and whether any individual outlets have been left on. Outlets can then be remotely turned off, either manually or after a set period has passed, until occupants turn them on again.

The results seen in educational and commercial office sites have been impressive with energy savings of 30-50% on the plug loads, far exceeding expectations.

Tech Talking podcast

Darren and Dave chat with Neil Brown from MK about their smart innovation connected sockets and how they can help save businesses thousands on their energy bills.

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