South Africa is a developing nation with significant heavy industry, which is by its nature energy intensive. Many South Africans tend to take energy usage for granted, thus the current consequences of our energy consumption being higher than it should be. Also, historically low electricity price has contributed to us taking energy for granted leading to serious failure on electricity savings. (Energy Efficient Strategy of the Republic of South Africa, March 2005).

In recent years, energy efficiency has significantly gained in stature, and has become recognized as one of the most cost-effective ways of meeting the demands of sustainable development. It is of this strong view that CSI Technology PTY (Ltd) would like to introduce its wireless and integrated energy efficient management solution.

Company and Solutions Background

logo-csi.jpgCSI Technologies PTY (Ltd) is a South African Company that has strongly aligned itself with a German wireless technology provider – ScatterWeb - GmbH. CSI has built up a solid relationship with ScatterWeb Germany over three years of active interaction, resulting from our local understanding of how ScatterWeb technology can be applied in the South African context and beyond.  CSI has also formed a strategic alliance with ACI Technologies, a German IT Company with whom we are working at an operational level.  ACI Technologies has since seconded one of their experts to CSI’s local office resulting in relevant knowledge and skills transfer.

CSI Technologies would like to introduce its Wireless Integrated Information Energy Management Solution called Intelligent Energy (I-Energy), and also provide a brief explanation of this product offering.  

The primary focus of I-Energy’s activities is its capability on integrated information management system. This solution is locally developed, and mainly aims at contributing towards the betterment of our country’s energy crises. I-Energy is built on a network platform called ScatterWeb, a wireless, self-configuring multi-hopping ad-hoc sensor networks for different applications usage, including real time and historical energy monitoring and management.

What is ScatterWeb?

ScatterWeb, a distributed, heterogeneous platform for the ad-hoc deployment of sensor networks offering hardware and open, fully documented software for research and teaching in embedded sensor networks. ScatterWeb consists of sensor nodes and several gateways connecting the sensor network to other wired or wireless networks. Already low power by design, the sensor nodes offer additional energy conservation mechanisms and support energy efficient routing and applications. Even image capturing and transmission is possible with a minimum of energy. Together with auto-configuration and remote reprogramming techniques, these power saving mechanisms enable ScatterWeb nodes to survive many years in real-life scenarios without any in-place maintenance.

Wireless sensor networks are an information gathering paradigm based on the collective efforts of many small wireless sensor nodes. The sensor nodes, which are intended to be physically small and inexpensive, are equipped with one or more sensors, a short-range radio transceiver, a small micro-controller, and a power supply in the form of a battery or mechanisms that try to scavenge energy from the environment. Sensor network deployments are envisioned to be done in large scales, where each network consists of hundreds or even thousands of sensor nodes. In such a deployment, human configuration of each sensor node is usually not feasible and therefore self-configuration of the sensor nodes is important. Energy efficiency is also critical, especially in situations where it is not possible to replace sensor node batteries. In commercial sensor network installations, e.g., intelligent buildings, battery replacement is typically no option as the systems should allow maintenance-free operation.

Many sensor nodes, called (ESB) Embedded Sensor Board, are distributed in the environment for monitoring parameters such as temperature, vibration, light etc. The sensor nodes may forward their data via other sensor nodes towards more powerful data sinks. ScatterWeb uses so-called embedded web servers (EWS) as gateways between the sensor world and classical wired or wireless networks (Ethernet, Bluetooth, GPRS …). ESBs as well as EWSs can be deployed in an ad-hoc manner and after that the nodes perform automatic topology discovery and auto-configuration. The backbone of the sensor network, set-up between the EWSs, can be wireless or wired. Scatter Web’s sensor nodes are low power by design and operate at 868 MHz.

Most sensor network applications aim at monitoring or detection of phenomena. Examples include office building environment control, wild-life habitat monitoring, and forest fire detection. For such applications, the sensor networks cannot operate in complete isolation; there must be a way for a monitoring entity to gain access to the data produced by the sensor network. By connecting the sensor network to an existing network infrastructure such as the global Internet, a local-area network, or a private intranet, remote access to the sensor network can be achieved.

As the name already implies, sensor networks need sensors, typically hundreds or thousands of sensors, to collect data from their environment. All sensor nodes may form an ad-hoc network with some nodes acting as data sources, some as relays, and some as data sinks collecting data. Nodes may act in all three roles at the same time.

Demand Side Management guidelines

At current energy usage levels and national economic development projections, it is estimated that without any interventions to reduce peak electricity demand, there will be a need to invest in new power generating capacity by around 2007. As the construction of additional generation plant is an extremely costly and lengthy process, Eskom has embarked upon a Demand Side Management (DSM) programme in order to reduce the capacity and costs of such an investment, by using a combination of energy efficiency measures, load management and negotiated interruptible supplies.

The DSM provision in Eskom’s current Integrated Energy Plan is for a peak load reduction target of 1.37GW by 2015. In addition, there is an interruptible supply agreement target of 1.511GW by 2007 and 0.409GW by 2015. This target is likely to change dynamically over time in response to the actual requirement for DSM in South Africa. It is also likely to change in response to the effectiveness of interruptible supply agreements. Presently, however, the load reduction target is comprised of the following elements:

  • 0.81GW from load shifting
  • 0.56GW from energy efficiency measures

Eskom has adopted the ESCO methodology as the key tool to implement the DSM process. Energy efficiency and load management projects are implemented and managed via a third-party (the ESCO) and savings resulting from the intervention are shared between the host site, Eskom and the ESCO in approximately equal proportions. Capital funds are currently gathered through supply tariffs and administered by Eskom.

The NER is responsible for ensuring that Eskom meets its Energy Efficiency and DSM
targets. (The current funding mechanism is under review and discussion between Eskom and NER).

It is acknowledged that this methodology is inherently subject to the constraints and
barriers previously outlined for ESCOs in the section above. Despite this there are 80
ESCOs already registered and projects have been implemented yielding a demand

Energy Management - for use by power generating and transmission organizations and power distributors to control the usage of power.  This tool can also be utilized by property developers and individual households to control energy consumption.

Afro-Utility Trading Enterprise, a joint venture between CSI Technologies and Sasuka Channel, as the sole and exclusive distributer, implementer and support of the I-Energy and related technologies and solutions, will assist ESCO through the use of their solutions to achieve their business as an Energy Service Company (ESCO) by selling energy services and Energy management being one of the most common activities with saved energy as the main product.

The ESCO through the use of the I-Energy Solution will meet client needs to reduce costs, improve energy efficiency, manage risk and enhance a competitive edge.
The ESCO will typically offer this through a package, which includes a comprehensive energy audit service, financing mechanism, equipment procurement, and installation and commissioning, operation monitoring and performance guarantees.

Afro-Utilities will through either a Client based implementation or an outsourced solution, will address those situations where companies do not have the expertise and resources to devote to energy management activities themselves.

A direct benefit in utilising the I-Energy suite of Products will save energy cost that will be typically used to meet the implementation cost of saving energy.

There are several payments options that include lump sum payment or once off payment and performance contracting paid through shared savings where a percentage of the cost savings are split between owner and the ESCO.

Our Solution contribution to benefits in saving energy will ensure that approach above can be used to implement resource management measures, such as energy management in industrial and commercial and even in the residential sectors. The strength of the approach in conjunction with the application of the I-Energy Solution Suite is in the delivery of results i.e. actual energy cost savings by the ESCO enabling the Utilities Service Provider to focus on their core business.

Following from the specific policy objectives of the White Paper on Energy Policy (1998), energy pricing will be based on an assessment of the full economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of policies, plans, programmes and activities of energy production and utilisation. That is to say, a process of moving away from cross-subsidies towards cost-reflective prices will generally be adopted.

The use of the I-Energy Solution Suite will assist the Utility Service Providers to achieve the white paper on Energy policy objectives to ensure that consumption, including non-reflective consumers, are measured and provide input into the corrective actions that can inform on policy and plans for energy production, distribution and utilisation.

The South African energy arena is characterised by a number of diverse role players each with a mandate within the fields of energy supply, conversion, efficiency and regulation.

Afro-Utilities Trading Enterprise in cooperation with the ESCO’s will through well co-ordinated initiative effectively promote energy efficiency to  the different role players.

South Africa will be able to effectively promote energy efficiency Through I-Energy and Afro-Utility Trading Enterprise.

Your attendance will be greatly appreciated and we will endeavour to show you the powerful nature of our solution and give you a sense of comfort in our ability to deliver on your promises.