Conversation on energy efficiency with Artur Pollak PhD Eng., CEO of APA Group
What challenges do companies and organisations face today in the area of electricity consumption?
This year has turned many business plans and budgets upside down. Ever-increasing inflation, post-pandemic, long-term effects of disrupted supply chains in global markets, and the ongoing war have inflated the price of electricity consumption of gas and other utilities. Added to this are the legal requirements of the European Union and Polish legislators, as well as the need to implement sustainable solutions demanded by the environment and consumer attitudes. Not a day goes by without news reaching us of another business closing down because of excessive utility charges. Those who do not monitor key data and optimise their business on this basis today will fall far behind their competitors tomorrow, because instead of thinking about growth, they will be consuming savings and struggling to survive from day to day.
Besides, it is not only entrepreneurs who are struggling with the energy crisis. All public finance sector units are required to reduce their electricity consumption from the beginning of 2023. Failure to meet the imposed targets will result in the loss of preferential energy prices and financial penalties of up to PLN 20,000 for managers. To this end, we have launched an educational programme www.minus15procent.pl, in which we teach in which areas decision-makers should look for savings.
If local authorities do not show at least 10% savings, the purchase price per kWh will increase by 300% for them. Moreover, the law provides for financial penalties for the managers of these authorities. We have thousands of technology implementations behind us and we know that if we want to achieve a minimum of ten per cent reduction in energy consumption, the target that decision-makers should set themselves is -15%
So, what are the latest energy-efficient solutions offered by the APA Group?
To this end, we have developed the Intelligent Platform for Energy Optimization (IPOE). A tool that offers the entire spectrum of possibilities for energy optimization in a company, regardless of the industry it represents. It enables an uninterrupted energy audit and the analysis and detection of excessive energy consumption, without having to invest in its own IT infrastructure. We have harnessed state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyse the large datasets collected, suggesting in a simple and user-friendly way how to save up to 40% on bills on a monthly basis. And our experience after customer implementations shows that just by knowing where utilities are being over-consumed, employees can generate savings of 13% on their own in the first month after implementing IPOE.
Who should be interested in inviting technology to their company?
On the one hand because of its versatility and ease of implementation, and on the other because of its intuitive and very easy-to-use interface, IPOE is of interest to owners and managers, as well as chief electricians, heads of production, ISO auditors, finance directors or property managers. The platform visualises elements of the energy system, such as current characteristics, electricity consumption or reactive power generation, and the associated cost statistics. The use of algorithms to process and analyse the above data allows conclusions to be drawn which translate into real savings.
Is the implementation of IPOE safe for the energy infrastructure of the company concerned?
We practically do not interfere with the infrastructure. It is a quick, even 24-hour, uncomplicated installation of sensors in any type of device or building. There is no need to invest in additional infrastructure. A plan is selected and APA Group experts guide the client through all stages of the co-operation.
The Intelligent Platform for Energy Optimization has been awarded the “Proven Product” certificate. What does this mean?
According to information on TÜV Nord Polska’s website, the “Proven Product” certification is a voluntary certificate, the programme of which is determined individually for each product. The product must meet all the legal requirements for marketing.
The Proven Product certificate is issued after a positive evaluation of the product documentation, laboratory test results and after inspection at the production plant.
The audit report confirms the compliance of the performance of the IPOE product in terms of the parameters of the measured voltage, which are defined in the PN-EN-50160:2010/A3:2019 standard. This standard stipulates the parameters for the supply voltage in public electricity networks. These specifically include voltage, frequency and harmonic distortion measurements.
In addition, during the audit, other areas that have an impact on the quality of the offered product were also examined – the software development process, the procedures for implementing and launching the platform at customers, the chain of suppliers, the equipment used for conducting measurements and many others.
For us, the TÜV certification is further confirmation of the quality of our proprietary energy optimization platform.
So, what makes this solution stand out in the market?
Two elements. The first is the simplicity of use, despite the embedded advanced technologies, monitoring 150 parameters per second in real time. From day one, costs are reduced, intelligent algorithms are prompted and automatic reports required by EU and Polish law are generated for companies.
The second advantage is the ability to tailor a suitable package: ECONOMIC for those who want to quickly begin the optimization and avoid complex structure, through PRUDENT, being the most frequently chosen, among other things due to its ability to effectively control utility providers; and the EXPERT one, which is mainly aimed at production facilities and entities with a dispersed infrastructure.
The main purpose of installing the IPOE is to be constantly mindful of your consumption of electricity and other utilities and to warn of possible anomalies or threats to the entire organisation. The device is versatile and scalable, which also makes it possible to have constant control over the electricity in the event of factory expansion or the connection of new machines. I encourage you to learn more about how IPOE is used in the facilities of entities such as TESKO Steel or the Silesian University of Technology at www.ipoe.pl
Artur Pollak PhD Eng., CEO of APA Group
Graduated of Faculty of Automatic Control, Electronics and Computer Science, on Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Electronics, specialization: computer control systems. For 14 years he has gained experience in implementations and planning controlling systems, for such clients as VW, GM, Daimler and Siemens. He worked as technical consultant during construction of VW factory in Poznań. He was responsible for standardizations and optimization of the manufacturing process in the factory. Currently he is CEO in APA Sp. z o.o. and APA Innovative Sp. z o.o. He is also a member of Program Board of Electric Department on Silesian Technical University.
Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by Anastazja Lach