How EMPURON uses Paessler PRTG to create a sophisticated energy management system
Originally published on February 25, 2022 by Patrick Gebhardt
Last updated on May 03, 2022 • 10 minute read
EMPURON is a German software company that develops innovative technical solutions for renewable energy systems, smart grids and enhanced energy efficiency. EMPURON solutions are relied upon by many customers in Germany and abroad. EMPURON EVE is EMPURON's energy management software solution that can be parameterized for virtually any needs. It includes a powerful process data warehouse, forecasting and predictive analytics, storage optimization and much more.
EMPURON EVE is an open system to which almost any hardware module can be connected with its respective protocols. This enables not only the connection of meters and sensors of many hardware manufacturers – such as M-Bus, Modbus, or ICE 104 – to EMPURON EVE, but also storage of the values in the EMPURON Process Data Warehouse. There the data is available for further transfer, e.g. for billing processes or for reporting and analysis.
Let's talk with EMPURON
We conducted an interview with Hubert Medl, CEO of EMPURON AG. In addition to the very interesting market of energy efficiency, we were particularly interested in the application cases of Paessler PRTG in EMPURON's software and how EMPURON's customers have already been able to reduce their energy consumption.
»Matters such as the EED and the various climate targets for 2030 and beyond present challenges for many companies. Could you please describe the situations your customers find themselves in before they contact you. With which of your products can solve which of your customers' problems and challenges?«
Very often, our customers already have plans to save energy. For example, there usually has been an energy audit with an obligatory timeframe for setting up metering and data analysis. But the crucial point is to verify how energy is used and where the losses are. Analysis is important. A main factor counting for EMPURON is the ability to collect data from different sources. It might be energy from local power plants (Solar, Wind, CHP), the utility grid, local batteries or a private local electrical grid in the neighborhood. Then energy control by analysis and forecast is provided with our platform. Finally, energy consumption can be optimized when using EMPURON products. Actually, EMPURON is preparing more and more easy-to-set-up applications, which provide many benefits for our customers.
»Please explain to us what ISO 50001 is all about and how it influences your products?«
DIN EN ISO 50001 is a standard to continuously improve energy consumption. The goal is to minimize the energy that is necessary to produce products. It tries to optimize the whole production process. Important is that this optimization never ends; it is continuous. EMPURON customers can use EMPURON modules when elaborating changes in the energy system according to the 50001 standard. The energy data is collected and continuously evaluated.
»How did you as a software company become aware of Paessler PRTG and how does PRTG's functionality influence your service?«
Paessler is a company which has gotten a lot of attention for doing monitoring and data analysis in the field of automatic controllers and infrastructure systems. Additionally, the existing approaches of PRTG are really convincing. So, Paessler is a good choice for a partnership. While EMPURON provides metering and optimization equipment for the field of electrical energy and CO2 reduction, PRTG can help with improvement and supervision technology for verifying data in this field.
»Please show us with some screenshots and specifications how you display consumption data with PRTG and how you make your alerting as good as possible.«
Together with some hardware equipment, the EMPURON tool C@RTAN provides an easy way to connect consumption data to PRTG and to send alarms according to the situation.
Consumption data is recorded on the basis of meters. In the electrical installation, meters can record the 3 AC phases at a measuring point and transmit them continuously. At the same time, limit value transgressions are determined.
As a local installation unit, the EMPURON tool C@RTAN collects and transfers the values of different meters. C@RTAN uses a simple LAN connection to the meters. Each local C@RTAN can collect the data of many meters – but for a first overview, a single meter on a central point can do a lot. In a setup operation, the transfer to PRTG is created. In the following picture you can see two meters – “Office1” and “CC” – with their status “Limit violation” and “Actual”.
For each meter, a set of statuses is transferred (as shown above):
- (Alarm) Limit violation of consumption value ==> Value is above a defined limit
- (Alarm) Power fault ==> Value is at zero.
- (Warning) Consumption rapidly increasing ==> Value increases faster than a limit value giving the percentage of maximum increase
- (Warning) No Power ==> There is constantly no power
- Startup ==> Power changes from zero to a value above zero
- Value is actual ==> Normal operation
The easy-to-install PhoenixContact EMpro meters are used as metering equipment. The EMpro meters can be ordered from EMPURON. But other meters can also be introduced into the metering as required.
The approach shown here is an important first step to control consumption. Based on the metering later on, a 50001 system can be introduced very rapidly. The approach with PRTG displays electrical and CO2 relevant data at a central point and triggers alarms when required. Local plants can easily be added to the configuration to accomplish a local energy scenario. Energy quality information and analysis can also be monitored and alarms triggered if there are problems.
»Have you already received success stories from your customers who reported not only resource monitoring, but also tangible savings?«
Of course, together with our energy monitoring, there are always significant improvements: reduction of energy losses, better availability of energy resources, optimized service cycles for the equipment and reduction of energy costs and CO² emissions.
»PRTG's comprehensive expertise in the field of classical IT monitoring aside - what improvement options do you expect from Paessler PRTG in the future when it comes to resource consumption monitoring?«
Actually, PRTG provides a lot of features and interfaces, and is easy to use. From EMPURON’s perspective, a display in bar charts with a low resolution would make sense: Monthly values for 10 years on a set of key data sets (e.g. 5 to 20).
How do YOU use Paessler PRTG to monitor resource consumption?
We continue to be on the lookout for exciting, interesting use cases about monitoring as well as saving resources. It is our goal to empower our customers with our products to reduce their resource consumption and thus benefit the environment. With your feedback you can inspire our readers and enable us to make our software even better.