Control & Automation
AUSTIN, TX – Site Controls, a leading provider of enterprise energy management, facilities intelligence, and grid efficiency solutions, announced yesterday that Michaels Stores has successfully deployed its Site-Command Energy Management System (EMS) at more than 900 retail locations. To date, Michaels has seen energy usage drop by more than 25 percent at stores equipped with Site-Command. The solution helps chain retailers reduce energy and maintenance costs through equipment monitoring and control combined with web-based business intelligence. Site-Command lowers energy consumption and maintenance costs in retail and restaurant facilities through a sophisticated on-site EMS unit which monitors and controls Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, interior and exterior lighting, store signage, refrigerators, trash compactors, solar panels and wind power.  In addition, enterprise-wide issue reporting and asset intelligence are provided through a hosted data center.  Besides lowering costs, Site-Command also improves customer comfort by ensuring corporate standards for temperature and lighting are consistently maintained across the chain.  Michaels initially deployed the Site-Command system in early 2006, achieving immediate energy reductions of 17 per cent through schedule and set point compliance. By utilizing the platform’s above-site visibility to identify and remedy HVAC and lighting equipment issues, Michaels further reduced energy use over time, with sustained reductions now exceeding 25 per cent. Besides lowering energy costs, Site Controls has helped significantly reduce Michaels’ carbon emissions.  By lowering electricity usage by 137 million kilowatt hours annually, Michaels has reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 192 million lbs. This is the equivalent of removing 17,400 cars from the road or powering over 12,900 households for a year. “We are extremely pleased with the results we’ve seen from Site Controls in controlling our store-level energy expenses,” said Rob McClay, VP of Store Development and Construction for Michaels.  “Their enterprise tools help ensure we maintain and increase our savings over time.  Most importantly, they serve as a true partner on our energy management journey.” “We are proud to count leading retailers such as Michaels among our partners,” said Dan Sharplin, CEO of Site Controls. “We look forward to working collaboratively to find additional ways to expand Michaels’ ROI from using the Site-Command platform.” The Site-Command system also features Intelligent Load Management capabilities which allow Michaels to participate in utility-sponsored Demand Response programs to reduce electricity usage during peak periods.  As the leading demand response aggregator for retailers, Site Controls intelligently manages electrical loads during critical grid situations, allowing Michaels to implement load reductions with minimal impact to the consumer shopping experience.  By grouping hundreds of facilities together for Demand Response events, Site Controls can maximize the incentive payments retailers receive from utilities, while maintaining the store environment according to pre-defined business rules.
There are clouds on the horizon and I am excited. The summation of my takeaways from ConnectivityWeek in Santa Clara, California, early in June was that Clouds are OK. In fact the power of data clouds and cloud computing to simplify the presentation and management of extreme amounts of data are truly amazing. We all already use these concepts every time we book air travel online or view Google Earth.
Carlo Gavazzi, a global manufacturer of automation components, presents the Eos-Array, an innovative control solution for solar photovoltaic (PV) applications.
In these tough economic times, it is becoming a requirement for facility managers to pay very close attention to their operation and maintenance budgets. Many are now focusing on energy conservation opportunities that can save thousands of dollars per year with relatively little capital investment. While capital expenditures on equipment may be hard to come by, it’s surprising how much you can free up financial resources through proper maintenance. Following is a helpful checklist of five key areas for inspection and the recommended tools to help you pinpoint potential areas.
Building Automation is evolving to be a web service that presents and connects our traditional industry to the new evolving enterprise energy, economical, and environmental equation. The daily mindless migration of people to places is over. Only connected collaborative services, products, and people will survive by connecting to the web of the future.
E-Mon, LLC, the electric submetering market leader and manufacturer of the widely installed E-Mon D-Mon product line, recently announced the launch of Web-Mon, an internet-enabled energy monitoring device that provides energy data via any standard internet browser. A built-in website right out of the box, Web-Mon requires no add-on software or programming to provide a "dashboard" display of various energy parameters of up to 24 meter inputs. Real-time meter data is displayed alongside historic readings from the previous seven, 30 and 365 days. Typical customers include commercial and industrial facilities, utilities, institutional applications and multi-tenant residential facilities, among others.
A maintenance, monitoring, modernization and management plan can give any facility a step up on its competition. Plant managers today are faced with increasing demands for various performance indicators and equipment health records. In other words, the expectations placed on maintenance managers are growing, due to the increasing sophistication of maintenance technology.
What is middleware? Common definitions are that middleware is the "glue" between software components or between software and the network or it is the slash in Client/Server. Middleware is used to connect applications to other applications.
At last, environmentally conscious consumers looking to completely monitor their renewable energy systems have an option. With the addition of ICP’s GreenMeter to Optimum Energy Products Ltd ever expanding catalogue, consumers can monitor every aspect of energy generation and operations of their Wind or Solar renewable systems. The GreenMeter information can be viewed locally or on-line using its built-in web-server interface. “Renewable energy monitoring is important and will be increasingly important in years to come,” said Grant Meadows, President of Optimum Energy Products Ltd. “For example, look at California’s One Million Solar Roofs plan. That marks a huge increase in potential consumers looking to monitor their energy production.” The ICP GreenMeter allows for continuous monitoring of up to four AC and four DC power sources, and can monitor battery bank status. The Green Meter can also measure wind speed, solar irradiance and ambient air temperature. Included standard with every GreenMeter is software, and battery connection leads that power the unit. Other items are optional. GreenMeter is available for sale now at The GreenMeter is unparalleled in metering for the growing renewable energy market.
Fluke Corporation, the global leader in handheld electronic test and measurement technology, recently announced the new Fluke 416D and 411D Laser Distance Meters, designed to precisely and quickly measure distances up to 200 feet using advanced laser technology. Faster and less cumbersome than traditional tapes or wheels, these pocket-sized, professional-grade tools help electricians, facilities managers and HVAC contractors save time and labour. Instead of walking back and forth across a space with tape or wheel, the user can simply place the meter at the starting point, point the laser at the target, press one button and instantly read the distance, all without the help of a second person to hold the other end of the tape measure. Laser technology makes the Fluke 416D and 411D Laser Distance Meters far more accurate and dependable than devices using ultrasonic technology. The Fluke 411D measures up to 100 feet (30 meters) with accuracy of +/- 0.12 inches (+/- 3 mm); the Fluke 416D measures up to 200 feet (60 meters) with accuracy of +/- 0.06 inches (+/- 1.5 mm). For more information visit
PPM, Inc., a 48-year-old Cleveland-based specialty electronic test equipment firm, introduces the latest product in its line of Electronic Power Loads; the MEL Series Modular Electronic Loads. Electronic loads are a central element in power testing of all kinds, especially with the energy revolution occurring world wide. Electronic loads are key in development and production test of power management components and systems, electronic components, electric generators/alternators, windmills, photovoltaic cells, batteries, fuel cells, etc. Loads let the user precisely exercise the power flowing in devices in precisely controllable ways to determine operating parameters and ensure performance for development, durability as well as production test. PPM configures systems that are a best fit for each customer’s unique application.  Feature sets are selectable, enabling the customer to configure their own system for their requirement.  The result is not only lower cost but also a simpler user interface unencumbered by never to be used features and attendant deep menus.  Individual loads as well as configurable systems are available for sale immediately.  
E-Mon, LLC, have announced the expansion of its wireless submetering family to include a unique industry offering — three-phase kWh submeters with 15-minute interval data recording capability. Other additions include a module for interfacing the installed base of almost half a million E-Mon D-Mon electric submeters to E-Mon’s wireless automatic meter reading system. The family also includes an assortment of wireless interface modules for bringing water, gas or other electric socket-type meters into the energy management system, making E-Mon’s expanded wireless meter family ideal for virtually any commercial, multi-family, industrial and institutional facility energy-monitoring application.
Infor recently announced Infor EAM Asset Sustainability Edition, an enterprise software solution that allows organizations to integrate energy consumption and emissions management into their asset management practices. Infor EAM Asset Sustainability Edition enables organizations to substantially reduce energy costs, while minimizing carbon emissions and the impact of their operations on the environment.
Fluke Electronics Canada announces the new Fluke 9640A-LPN (low phase noise) RF Reference Source, a higher-performance synthesizer designed to simplify RF calibration and improve calibration lab productivity for even more demanding workload coverage.
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has taken a major step forward in making power quality analysis easier, safer and more accurate with the introduction of its Model 806 Power Analyzer. This rugged, hand-held test instrument performs all the measurements needed by large-scale commercial and industrial enterprises to create an effective energy management program. The learning curve for the 806 is not steep, so it represents a gateway product for the industry. Sought-after features of the new tester include: single- and three-phase measurements with auto-configuration to the electrical system specified; true-RMS readings for error-free testing; data logging with 1MB of internal memory and optional FIFO memory to allow continuous recording; a fourth current channel for neutral current measurements; auto-detect clamps for easier setup; a backlit 160 x 160 pixel LCD; and an RS-232 interface for fast data downloading to IDEAL PowerVision analysis software.
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