What is eC4?

eC4 (Energy Conservation, Command and Control Centre) is a real-time energy intelligence solution that breaks down the hydro bill on a per equipment/process/department basis by employing non-intrusive means. The resulting granular 24x7 visibility and analytics allows for uncovering hidden inefficiencies contributing to the bill as well as using energy as a symptom of machine failure to enabling proactive maintenance. In essence, eC4 allows energy to be an actively manageable expense instead of an overhead just paid every month and facilitates energy transparency and equipment performance in the enterprise, while ensuring the lowest spend on energy per unit of product made!

Does eC4 only monitor energy consumption in real-time or can it control energy usage as well?

eC4 monitors AND controls energy consumption in real-time. eC4 provides such control actions via customized saving strategies (e.g. load shedding) designed specifically for every piece of critical equipment in a facility that are defined and implemented in the eC4 software. The performance of these strategies are then continuously monitored to ensure continual energy optimization!

Does eC4 replace existing building automation/energy management systems in facilities?

No! This is a huge value of the product. eC4 leverages on, and does not replace, investments in existing building/energy automation infrastructure e.g. BMS, BAS, EMS. eC4 does this by acting as a supervisory controller and resets the “set points” in such systems in order to reduce energy consumption – in essence providing “intelligent and opportunistic control” of energy usage in real-time.

Does eC4 track and control only electrical energy consumption?

No, eC4 can also track water and gas consumption and drive demand control as desired. It can also track critical process variable such as temperature, humidity, vibration, flow, pressure, etc. via integration to existing meters or sensors. In fact, users can also track production KPIs like Energy Intensity (energy consumed per tonne of product produced), and have the flexibility to define their own KPIs in the eC4 analytics dashboard and track them across all critical assets from any location, on a mobile or tablet!

How can eC4 save energy consumption without incurring further capital costs?

eC4 strives to improve energy consumption by improving process efficiency and process effectiveness. While it may be necessary at times to improve the process via refurbishment, repair, or replacement of equipment, the objective of eC4 will be to maximize the gains as far as possible without any capital expenditure by controlling the operation of equipment effectively. eC4 can also improve efficiency by dynamic refinement of set points in the BMS controller based on real time environmental conditions. ec4 provides such control actions via customized saving strategies designed specifically for every piece of critical equipment in a facility.

As part of the eC4 configuration process, will equipment downtime be involved?

No! The eC4 configuration process uses non-intrusive snap-on current transformers at each machine’s supply panel, so the equipment being monitored does not need to be turned off and hence production is not impacted.

How does eC4 measure and control energy consumption of equipment?

The eC4 solution is a combination of intelligent hardware and software. The eC4 solution includes a non-intrusive energy measurement sensor that tracks energy usage on a 24×7 basis and alerts users when an anomaly is encountered. The strategy module of eC4 performs the active real time control action.

How does eC4 combine energy and operational data?

As mentioned earlier, eC4 can track combined KPIs between energy and production. For instance, in a chiller, it can monitor the energy consumed per cubic meter of cool air produced and sent out automated alerts if the KPI crosses a defined threshold. This is achieved in 3 steps – baselining, saving strategy implementation and tracking of the performance of the saving strategy. eC4 connects to its own non intrusive sub-meter on the chiller, and in parallel, to a flow sensor to measure output flow. Statistical modelling is used to establish the “business as usual” baseline. Customised saving strategies for that particular chiller are implemented by interfacing with existing automation systems like BMS or SCADA systems. Therefore, ec4 does not replace these existing systems but complements the existing systems. The output of the strategies is tracked in the ec4 dashboard and the actual savings are compared with planned savings for that strategy. Sometimes the strategies are refined based on their response. This same approach is true for any other process/equipment.

Can eC4 be used for energy audit purposes?

eC4 is in essence a resident 24×7 energy auditor of equipment in a facility that generates periodical reports on various process variables, and thereby allows for continuous instead of spot audits. This means real-time intelligence into energy usage and process variable behavior for compliance purposes. eC4 also enables compliance with ISO 50001.

Can eC4 be used for reducing CO2 emissions?

Absolutely! eC4 can be used to monitor and control the reduction in emissions in tons of CO2 per time duration, or product produced, by making the process run effectively.

What other uses are there for eC4?

As a backward integration, eC4 can integrate to business systems like CMMS or ERP. By such integration, eC4 can drive real time maintenance actions “ahead” of costly failures!

Is eC4 only capable of machine to machine communication? Can users enter usage/process data manually?

eC4 recognizes the need for manual entry of data and allows users to enter process or operational data from a web interface whenever there is a need.

Does eC4 get data only by connecting to meters?

eC4 can connect to most commercial meters, but as stated above, its additional value stems from actively monitoring equipment directly. In other words, eC4 converts every energy guzzler (equipment) in a facility into an energy sensor – thereby allowing the capability to control energy consumption and monitor KPIs of specific equipment.

What is the Cost of Ownership of eC4?

eC4’s investment is an operational expense, not a capital one. The solution is priced as a subscription connectivity on a per equipment basis, along with yearly software support fees and hosting charges (if applicable). Analysis of energy reports are charged on a monthly basis on a software-as-a-service basis.

Customers of eC4 do not pay for the sensors, Intelligent Node or the software but only for the usage. That is, the engagement with the customer is based on an annual “subscription” model wherein the customer pays only for the number of connections ("equipment") at any time at a nominal usage cost per machine/month and can increase or decrease the number of machines as per need. This is by far the most economical model in the industry today.

What is the typical payback period for eC4?

With energy savings of 10-25%, eC4 typically provides a payback period of less than a year. The cumulative annual operational expense of eC4 will always be less than monthly average energy cost of the customer.

What if the savings are not realized?

As mentioned, under the subscription model the customer can terminate the contract if the savings are not achieved within the stipulated (mutually agreed) period.

Does eC4 have credible references? Who owns the technology? Is it state of the art?

Yes. The references can be arranged on request. The eC4 product is owned by 5G Energy Ltd., Canada.

Does eC4 require existing equipment meters in a facility to collect data?

No, eC4 presents the flexibility of being able to collect equipment data (e.g. energy, temperature) in real-time with or without existing meters or sensors. Existing meters or sensors must however be capable of digital data output.

Does 5G Energy offer energy analysis options if a customer lacks the resources to do so?

Yes! We offer comprehensive energy consumption analysis and recommendations based on reports generated in eC4 as a monthly 'service to customers for a nominal fee.

Is eC4 a completely automated system or can users enter data manually?

eC4 recognizes the need for manual entry of data and allows users to enter process or operational data from the eC4 dashboard whenever there is a need. While eC4 can also reset or shut-off equipment based on their operating schedule, this control can be done manually if the client wishes.

Can eC4 be used for energy billing purposes?

No, eC4 is not an energy billing solution. That being said, eC4 can provide a rough estimate of the energy spend or saved in a period by having the tariff rates specified in the software based on which calculations are made.

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