– Brendan Carroll
Brendan Carroll, Founder, EpiSensor Ltd
has been working with venture funded technology companies for over
seven years and is a founder of EpiSensor Ltd. based in Limerick,
Ireland. EpiSensor provides an enterprise-class energy monitoring
system which has lowered energy costs for Fortune 500 customers in
Europe, Australia, Asia, and North America.
Energy management is a
voyage of discovery
Sinclair: What does EpiSensor do?
EpiSensor provides an enterprise-class wireless energy monitoring
system for industrial and commercial environments which is reliable,
rugged and interoperable. Your readers will be familiar with energy
monitoring from an automation system point of view, and also with
energy monitoring for the home - many devices, systems and companies
have launched in this space in recent years.
EpiSensor is bringing the characteristics of a home energy monitoring
system to industrial and commercial environments by making our system
extremely rugged, scalable and accurate, but retaining features such as
ease of use and installation that would typically only be found in a
consumer grade system.
Sinclair: What are they key ingredients for an effective industrial / commercial energy management system?
We have been delivering energy management systems to some of the
world's largest companies and in our experience there are a number of
key factors that contribute to the success of an energy management
system in these environments.
Firstly, the system delivered must be flexible. Energy management is a
voyage of discovery - each stage of monitoring will reveal the next. It
is generally very difficult to specify an energy management system up
front and is best to start with the main feeds of energy into a plant.
Companies are often making the transition from low resolution monthly
energy usage data provided by the utilities and too much information
can be a bad thing. Being able to expand a system by simply pressing a
button on a new meter is essential.
The second key area has to do with IT environments and policies. While
the facilities or energy management team in an organisation might be
driving the procurement of an energy management system, it will always
require approval from the IT department. The system has to be open
enough to be integrated into existing systems, but also conform to the
highest security standards and IT policies.
Finally, the system must be both accurate and reliable. There are many
wireless systems available that look great on paper, but in practice
are not suitable for industrial and commercial environments. Data loss
is not acceptable to our customers, and we have many layers of
protection built-in to ensure that we never lose a data point.
Wireless communications networks will fail, but our wireless monitoring
products have on-board data logging. If the wireless network is not
available, up to 10,000 data points can be stored locally on each
meter, and will be uploaded in sequence when communication have been
Accuracy is also very important when using data from the energy
management system to verify utility bills, for example, and all
EpiSensor electricity monitors are individually calibrated to Class 1
Sinclair: Where do you see energy management going in the next few years?
We believe that we need to change the way we use energy, and that this
presents one of the most significant engineering challenges of our
generation. The way we produce, distribute and consume energy has not
significantly changed for over half a century.
We are faced with a situation where finite energy resources are being
consumed at an alarming pace, with no clear alternative in sight. This
problem will be solved by producing energy more cleanly and
distributing energy more effectively but we also need to consume energy
more efficiently. The first step towards improving how we consume
energy is to get accurate, real-time, accessible information on where,
when and how energy is consumed. This information can then be used to
influence behaviours and drive change, which will have a positive
impact on our environment and reduce energy costs.
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