Promoted content: SMART BUILDINGS – Socomec and W Foods Market elevating power monitoring to a new level
W Foods Market* is one of the largest supermarket chains in the world, currently operating over 1000 stores. The management team at W Foods Market was keen to identify opportunities to reduce the business’ impact on the environment and to maintain competitiveness, while also increasing customer comfort and building brand sustainability.
Energy is vitally important for the business – not least as their second highest operating expense – but also as an opportunity to drive growth. According to specialist retail studies, a 15% reduction in energy consumption can directly increase profit margins by approximately 1 point.
In common with the majority of their peers in food retail, more than 80% of the energy consumed by W Foods Market is split across three key usage groups: refrigeration, HVAC and lighting.
Despite monthly energy billing by store, it was not previously possible to break this consumption down by usage – preventing meaningful action from being taken. In order to drive a more energy efficient policy, the management team took the decision to install a power monitoring system across 530 stores – more than half the estate – in order to more precisely measure the energy consumption across each of these three key usage areas.
A significant challenge in many aspects – initially in terms of minimising downtime, as it was only possible to retrofit the power monitoring solution in store between midnight and 5am.
Simple and Effective Power Monitoring
Socomec – along with a System Integrator – were identified as the ideal partners to provide the right solution to W Foods Market: DIRIS Digiware system. DIRIS Digiware system is the most simple and effective system to enable building managers to monitor power parameters in real time and understand consumption levels in forensic detail.
In every W Foods Market, the DIRIS Digiware system deployed comprised at least 1 DIRIS Digiware D-70 (local display with Modbus IP communication), 1 DIRIS Digiware U-10 for voltage measurement and 4/5 DIRIS Digiware I-30 with flexible sensors for load measurements. By providing an indispensable tool to really get to know the business’ energy profile and to effectively drive energy policy W Foods Market was able to measure each supermarket’s energy consumption in order to establish a baseline and comparative data set.
Energy management is an integral and significant element of the maintenance of a facility and the ongoing control of costs. One of the biggest issues when it comes to reducing energy costs is knowing precisely where energy is being consumed and, therefore, avoiding energy wastage.
A power monitoring system as DIRIS Digiware system provides W Foods Market with an indispensable tool to really get to know the business’ energy profile and to effectively drive energy policy. This system provides an in-depth picture of energy usage to establish an energy reduction strategy in a more informed manner.
The first step for W Foods Market was to measure each supermarket’s energy consumption in order to establish a baseline and comparative data set. Even if differences between individual supermarkets are apparent, with accurate measurements it is possible to determine energy profiles and to quickly identify supermarkets moving away from more regular profiles.
For example, energy consumption data at three supermarkets in the same area showed a distinct difference in energy cost per square meter for its HVAC chillers. Each supermarket had two chillers of an equivalent design specification and operated at the same ambient temperature. After analysing energy consumption at the individual asset level, W Foods Market discovered that the supermarkets were employing different operating and control strategies for the two chillers. W Foods Market identified the best practice chiller control strategy by benchmarking energy consumption across assets and applied it at the supermarket with the highest consumption with a result of a 20% reduction and several thousand euros in annual savings.
As part of the implementation of actions to improve energy performance, W Foods Market is now able to check the results of these actions, including the ROI. If an action generates the expected savings, it is deployed across all sites. This approach has resulted in the roll out of a high-efficiency lighting installation achieving savings in terms of energy usage of more than 15% – which represents financial savings of several thousand euros.
Socomec’s DIRIS Digiware system is helping W Foods Market to implement a continuous improvement strategy based on their goals and the available energy consumption data gathered. The more detailed information gathered in real time from energy metering devices, the more specifically it is possible to target a strategy to meet and exceed a building’s energy conservation goals.
Finally, DIRIS Digiware system has also enabled W Foods Market to obtain an energy certification – ISO 50001 – which supports a structured approach to energy improvement but also communicates to employees and customers that the business is truly committed to reducing energy consumption and its carbon footprint.