The fifth of March sees the celebration of World Energy Efficiency Day, which aims to make us think about the use of energy, the abusive consumption of fossil fuels and the importance of boosting renewable energy sources.
In this context, energy efficiency is understood as the need to develop policies to curb climate change and at the same time to promote healthier and more sustainable societies, without sacrificing quality of life, offering the same energy goods and services but making a more efficient and responsible use of resources.
To achieve a change in the energy culture it is necessary to develop responsible consumption habits, raise awareness, educate, improve processes, make use of less polluting products, promote recycling and reuse, and practise the intelligent consumption of the energy that we really need. This last point is the focus of eQualtiq™, a technology developed by COMSA Industrial that allows the optimising of the energy consumption of commercial, non-residential buildings and facilities.
eQualtiq™ was created as a Joint Venture led by COMSA Industrial and with the participation of Enervalis, a Belgian Smart Grid Solutions company, and is funded by Eit InnoEnergy, a European institution that promotes and supports innovation, entrepreneurship and education in the field of sustainable energy.
eQualtiq™ is a platform that applies artificial intelligence to the optimal operation of cooling, heating and ventilation (HVAC system) in buildings and infrastructures, transforming buildings into Smart Buildings, ready to connect to Smart Grids and capable of accessing Demand Response programs in the future or buying energy directly from the market. In this context, it has been proved that between 40 and 50% of the annual operating expenses generated in a commercial building come from energy consumption, which means that active efficiency technologies quickly result in significant savings that mean very attractive paybacks.
With the use of prediction algorithms to calculate future demands, as well as recommendation tools, eQualtiq™ can propose and implement savings measures. More specifically, it is estimated that its use can reduce the energy bills for a building by between 10 and 20%, achieving this through real-time active control systems, in order to adapt consumption to the real needs of the facilities while maintaining comfort levels.
eQualtiq™, designed as a set of applications to facilitate its use, is targeted at commercial buildings with a total floor area of more than 5,000 square metres, and more particularly at the owners of such buildings, whether these be public bodies, real estate companies, facility managers or maintenance companies and energy managers of facilities. Also, thanks to the Belgian partner of the platform, eQualtiq™ has been developed to operate in the European market.
In fact, the tool has been tested in a transport company in Flanders and in two hotels belonging to a hotel chain, clearly demonstrating its effectiveness, and has been operating in the Institut Català d’Energia (Catalan Energy Institute) (ICAEN) since May 2016, where, after less than a year in operation, it has been shown to achieve a minimum saving of 10% of the cost of the energy used, also having an impact in terms of reducing the amount of energy consumed.