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Improving energy efficiency with Artificial Intelligence

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Globally around 70% of all energy that is generated is used to power factories and buildings. However, around 60% of this energy is wasted due to inefficient systems. As the effects of climate change become more catastrophic, the pressure is on governments and industry to reduce their energy wastage in order to bring down carbon emissions. Already fifteen nations have declared the intention of reaching net zero carbon emissions in or before 2050, including the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the UK, the government’s clean growth strategy is at the heart of its Industrial strategy and the Climate Change Act, passed in 2008, committed the UK to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 when compared to 1990 levels. This means that environmental regulations for businesses will only become stricter in the next thirty years and businesses will need to be smart about their energy usage.

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When thinking about tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions, there is often an emphasis on switching to newer ‘green energy’ sources such as solar and wind power. But many experts think that it is just as important (or even more important) to cut down on energy usage first. As Jonathan Marshall, the head of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit says, ‘reducing demand should be the primary thing you do. It should be the lowest hanging fruit.’

With developments in technology and the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is now possible for all businesses to monitor their energy outputs and become more energy efficient. Being energy efficient means that your company is utilising resources efficiently and producing products at a lower energy cost than your competitors. Not only does this help businesses to comply with environmental regulations, but it also puts them at an advantage by reducing production costs.

We spoke to Maximpact’s Energy Efficiency Expert; Gerard McNulty about the importance of businesses becoming more energy efficient in their operations and how using Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help. Gerard has been working in the energy field for 38 years and has an Honours degree in Engineering Science as well as a Degree in Mathematical Science. He believes that AI is the solution for maximising energy efficiency in all industries.

Energy Efficiency with Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence or “AI” is defined as the ability for artificial systems to solve problems in a similar way to human problem solving. As Gerard explains; “intelligent based computer systems mimic the natural thought processes of the human brain and how natural systems act, in order to solve problems.”

Using AI and your stored data, Maximpact can help your business identify areas of energy usage that need improvement or adjustment. When given sufficient amounts of past history data the AI systems can find patterns in energy usage and business processes to identify areas of good performance and also areas of poor performance. The results of implementing these AI systems can have serious long-term benefits for your business. Gerard says; “by implementing Artificial Intelligence companies can improve their business performance and increase profits in the long term by up to 33%.”

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There are many businesses such as Google that are already using Artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce energy usage, increase sales and improve product quality. Google’s DeepMind project reportedly reduced the amount of energy required to cool Google’s data centres by 40%. With AI and data the system “learned” how the data centre cooling system functioned throughout the year and by the process of “deep learning” was able to identifying opportunities for optimisation of the cooling systems to save on energy usage.

Finding solutions

Another way of saving on energy usage is to install an energy management system to ensure that energy efficiency improvements identified are maintained in the long run.

There are a number of energy solutions available which fall into three broad categories;

  • fine tuning of equipment to eliminate waste – low cost opportunities
  • retrofitting of various energy equipment – medium cost opportunities
  • process substitutions to replace outdated systems – medium to higher cost opportunities

At Maximpact we provide comprehensive services that will analyse all potential solutions and will work with you to find the optimum solutions for your business. According to Gerard; “AI is considered the most effective way to identify energy savings solutions and optimise processes. Maximpact is one of only a few energy efficiency companies that have the skills to do this.”

Contact us today to find out more about energy efficiency solutions for your business.

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