Deploy monitoring for optimal insights at Sligro
Sligro Food Group is a Dutch listed company headquartered in Veghel, The Netherlands. The company supplies over 75,000 food and non-food items to food retailers, hospitality operators, institutional customers, and other large-scale buyers.
Some time ago, the company installed measuring equipment to chart the energy consumption of its installations. However, the measurement results were peculiar: solar panels appeared to consume energy, while heat pumps seemed to be producing energy. “We wanted to identify the possible causes of this unexpected data and get the measurement results validated. We also wanted to avoid these anomalies from occurring in the future,” said Mark Stabel, technical buyer electrical engineering, Sligro Food Group.”
Verify measuring devices are connected properly is vital. You need to know what you are measuring and, in furthermore, you need to interpret data correctly. It is also important to determine what you are not going to measure – and what impact that will have.
- Verification of measurement results
- Identification of causes through data and installation analyses
- Tailor-made training for Sligro installers
As an independent party, HyTEPS checked and validated all measurements, detected historical errors in the installation and provided in-company training. “We found out that inconsistencies in the installation meant that overall findings were wrong, despite the fact that the installers had connected everything exactly as they should have,” explains Menno Spitteler, Electrical Engineer, HyTEPS.
“An installation always has its own unique history. If an installer goes bankrupt, for example, its questionable whether documentation can still be found. In that case, you will have to rely solely on what you find on site and, above all, not assume that a certain color always represents a certain phase, for example. All it takes is just one reversed cable or using the wrong color at one single spot in the installation. It is crucial that the entire installation is set up in exactly the same way, as switching cables can cause the current of the phases not to add up. By checking everything, you will also know exactly what you are actually measuring.”
“All too often equipment is delivered without commissioning support or quality control. Mechanics connect everything according to the manual, without being explained what to look for. If something has been inadvertently switched somewhere in the cabling, or documentation is not in order, measurement results are ultimately unusable. To find out exactly what you do not know requires extensive knowledge of statistics. When measurements indicate strange phenomena such as high levels of reactive power, you might quickly assume this is a PQ problem. However, it is also possible that these measurements are based on an error in the installation! In that case, you must be able to put the pieces together correctly and that requires building up experience. Based on our knowledge, we gave Sligro’s installers tailor-made training on common mistakes and discussed what to look out for.”
Through more accurate measurements and greater awareness of possible issues in an installation, improvements can be planned, and errors are prevented, such as replacing equipment that is, in fact, working perfectly. Ambiguity about the interpretation of measurement results is also avoided. An example: 1% deviation on a kW is 10w, and negligible. But when we measure energy, the error increases over time. That allows an initially small error to build up enormously. Therefore, it is important to detect errors at the source.
HyTEPS has ensured that validated measurement data is now being used. Installers recognize the importance of bringing equipment for validation or asking another party to take care of this. “Because you can only work on items such as load balancing, ‘inspansion’, or optimization if you know that all your data is in order,” Menno concludes.
For Sligro Food Group, this is the first step towards a fully electric transport fleet, the measurement data will eventually be used for the entire of vehicle fleet load management via an API link.