University of Strathclyde
Major Metering Project Completes Ahead of Time
Elcomponent have recently completed the first two phases of a campus-wide sub-metering package at the University of Strathclyde. The company tendered successfully for the business and were awarded the contract in May 2013, and the initial phase comprising data acquisition for almost 200 meters was completed inside a two-week window in July.
It was imperative that the initial phase of the work was completed to a tight timescale to minimise any disruption to the operation of the University, which like most HE establishments sees only a minor reduction in activity during student vacation periods. The University is committed to delivering a 50% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions over the next 5 years and automatic sub-metering is a fundamental step to achieving that goal.
Energy Engineer, David Charles explains that "The installation of automatic metering across campus enables us to get a good grasp of where the University £4M annual spend on electricity is coming from and target areas of energy wastage with a greater degree of accuracy. This in turn will assist us in achieving our ambitious energy demand reduction targets."
The nature of the Strathclyde campus (many separate buildings in the centre of Glasgow) added to the challenge, but according to Elcomponent MD Bill Gysin the LAN-based package that the company supplied simplified the job considerably.
"The time frame was tight" he reports, "but we had maximum co-operation from the Estates team and their colleagues, and although many new meters were fitted, quite a few were already in place. We had to install the communications hardware, and link everything up and test it before integrating it into the campus LAN. Our MODBUS/TCP architecture and Meter Network Controllers made that easy to do, and although we initially thought some radio links would be required, it turned out not to be necessary in most cases, so we were able to control costs very tightly."
Elcomponent say their new Meter Network Controller can talk successfully to just about any meter out there - MODBUS, M-BUS or pulse output, and was used exclusively for data collection & storage on the Strathclyde job to provide a flexible device interface, and improve system resilience.