September 2008

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Jonathan Cyr-MorinEMAIL INTERVIEW  Jonathan Cyr-Morin & Ken Sinclair

Jonathan Cyr-Morin, Expert Energy Advisor, Cristal Controls.
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Jonathan is expert energy advisor at Cristal Controls in Canada. He is specialized in the energy efficient applications and financial incentives for energy efficiency.

Energy Management

We customize our energy management systems from the hardware to the software and reach our energy saving goals with maximum efficiency.

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Sinclair:  How does Cristal Controls address building automation?

Cyr-Morin:  Due to the constantly rising cost of energy, control has now become a way to save both energy and money. Cristal Controls develops lighting control systems and energy management systems for buildings, in order to use less energy and to use it in a more efficient manner. Because each project is unique, we customize our energy management systems from the hardware to the software and reach our energy saving goals with maximum efficiency.

Sinclair:  Explain why this is important?

Cyr-Morin:  Energy often represents one of the most important expenses for companies. They want to take action and have the opportunity to decrease energy consumption. Saving energy is a step forward for the company, but also for the society in general. By saving energy, we help to keep lower energy rates and contribute to global society energy security.

Sinclair:  What is the role of your energy management system in a building?

Cyr-Morin:  Energy management systems are usually installed in a building to give maximum comfort to occupants by using as less energy as possible. To reach this objective, we have to use energy when we really need it, eliminate losses, and eliminate peaks by distributing energy use in time.

Cristal Controlsí energy management systems can be used to control our own thermostats as well as almost any pieces of electrical equipments, such as motor, HVAC or water heaters. The whole system is supervised by a central software, which assigns schedule and priorities to the use of power in the building. Power is thus used where and when it is the most needed, while charges which are assigned a lower priority level are shed or progressively reduced.

Sinclair:  Can you give us an example of which charges can be assigned a lesser priority in a building?

Cyr-Morin:  Letís take the example of a supermarket. If a peak occurs, the system could assign high priority to the freezers and refrigerators, and low priority to the water heaters and to the lighting and heating of the warehouse. This means that at the moment the peak occurs, low priority tasks would run with a lower power input, to avoid exceeding the limit of consumed power allowed.

Sinclair:  We hear more and more about demand response and smart grids. What is the link between energy management systems such as those manufactured by Cristal Controls and demand response strategies proposed by utilities in Ontario, for example?

Cyr-Morin:  Utilities are implementing demand response strategies at the distribution level, while we are implementing it at the power consumption or building level. Our energy management systems reduce the power consumption of a building by controlling peaks, and can be interesting products to match with utilities demand response programs, for example. By using our products, a building can reach the requirement to access those programs that require a minimum load to be shed in critical demand periods.

Sinclair:  Apart from controlling peaks and saving energy, what other benefits can customers expect from energy management systems?

Cyr-Morin:  Energy management systems are fundamental in a cost-lowering strategy for buildings. They are also a key element in the green strategy of a company. And letís not forget that governments also value those initiatives. Most utilities and governments in Canada and the United States offer financial incentives to promote the use of energy management systems in buildings. Those rebate programs provide interesting control opportunities for almost any building owner who wishes to decrease its energy costs. And we are here to help businesses achieve this goal.

Sinclair:  What is the implication of Cristal Controls after the installation of the system?

Cyr-Morin:  Cristal Controls can develop, during the project, an energy management plan for companies. With a metering system, we can provide companies with detailed reports which, in opposition to utilities reports, specify the amount of energy used but also the way it is used. We inform building operators when detecting anomalies in the power consumption of the building, allowing them to react more rapidly to avoid peaks and save more.

More information on Cristal Controlsí energy management systems can be obtained at


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