Berg GmbH Forecasting electricity consumption with the energy management solution Efficio
inovex has worked with Berg GmbH to develop a prototype solution for predicting energy consumption. The new tool is based on Berg’s powerful Efficio energy management system, which enables companies to record, analyse, and optimise energy usage in all their operations. The prototype uses metered and calculated usage values to predict the consumption expected for each metering point or business unit.
New ways to increase energy efficiencyPREDICTING CONSUMPTION IMPROVES PLANNING
Managing energy consumption involves implementing certain key measures, such as identifying and eliminating inefficiencies in energy use. Greater efficiency enables companies to make better use of resources, increase productivity, and streamline operational processes. Efficio, energy optimiser Berg’s integrated management solution, provides extensive analysis and reporting capabilities to help companies realise these goals.
Another tool for effective energy management is predicting expected energy consumption. Accurate forecasting enables companies to optimise their energy use, resulting in significant cost reductions and greater cost efficiency. The inovex project team worked closely with Berg to create a proof of concept and a prototype forecasting tool. This powerful tool, which was created in a very short space of time, has been designed to enhance the various modules of Efficio’s already successful portfolio.
The goal: maximum efficiency
SUSTAINABILITY FOR COMPANIES
Berg GmbH, based in Martinsried near Munich, is a leading provider of energy, load, and charging management solutions which help industrial and commercial clients to increase their energy efficiency. With over 40 years of experience, Berg GmbH provides a broad ecosystem of services for the sustainable, future-proof transformation of energy systems in Germany, from consulting to metering and communications technology, right through to software solutions for optimising energy costs. The comprehensive Efficio solution combines functions for acquiring and analysing energy data, thus creating transparency and optimising the consumption of electrical, liquid and gaseous media and auxiliary materials, including electricity, gas, water, cooling media, and compressed air.
The innovative company is constantly on the lookout for new solutions and product extensions in order to advance climate neutrality and profitability for its customers.
In a joint discussion, inovex and Berg decided to explore the feasibility of a forecasting tool* to optimally complement Berg’s solutions.
This tool adds proactive functionality to Berg GmbH’s range of products and services. Proactive management of energy consumption and investment in renewable energy sources will, in the future, be key to stabilising long-term energy costs and reducing price volatility. Based on data science and time series forecasts, these predictive insights enable companies to act early, thus effectively controlling costs.
Simple solutions to complex problemsTIME SERIES FORECASTING IN PRACTICE
inovex has extensive expertise and experience in the field of data science, including in mathematical modelling, time series analysis, and forecasting. In developing the proof of concept for Berg, the inovex team focused on core functionality and was quickly able to present a simple solution in the form of a standalone tool which delivers the requisite forecasting functionality.
Flexible, expandable implementationCUSTOMER-SPECIFIC DEVELOPMENT
Close collaboration during the development process resulted in the very rapid creation of a tailor-made prototype solution.
Within the agreed time frame of just four weeks, the inovex team developed a proof of concept, together with an initial baseline model for forecasting time series. This model can be installed as a separate add-on on a Windows Server system running an Efficio instance. The prototype is configurable and expandable and can be adapted to corporate structures mapped in Efficio.
Prototype development by inovexAN EYE TO THE ESSENTIALS
During the one-month development period, inovex worked with Berg to implement a standalone tool. An efficient and promising solution was implemented using modern statistical methods such as Prophet (Facebook’s open-source Python library) and based on thorough data exploration and evaluation of the forecasts using multiple metering points. To ensure that the forecasting tool could be added to Efficio as an individual module if required, proven open-source software was used to develop a lightweight, independently executable tool. This tool queries the consumption data required for forecasting from Efficio via an existing API, calculates forecast models, and provides forecasts via Efficio’s existing CSV interface.
inovex’s proof-of-concept, minimum-viable-product (MVP), or prototype solutions allow companies to clarify application scenarios and verify feasibility without having to invest in large-scale projects. They provide a cost-effective way for potential opportunities to be identified and new projects to be envisioned. In all its projects, inovex works in a technology-agnostic manner and implements solutions based on customers’ existing systems and requirements.
Energy optimisation for the futureTHE NEXT STEP
Prototypes enable the feasibility of a concept or a technical approach to be tested without a great deal of risk, making them particularly valuable in complex projects. Since every company has different types of metering points distributed differently – not to mention a different corporate structure – the Efficio solution is configured specifically for each end customer’s chosen application area. inovex’s prototype can be flexibly configured for different end customers and enables initial experience to be rapidly gained through field testing. Feedback from the pilot customers will be used to refine and expand the add-on solution in the coming year.
In this way, the inovex solution fulfils a key function of prototypes: fostering collaboration between product manufacturers, IT service providers, and users. This approach fosters open discussion, enables a better understanding of requirements, and allows the precise alignment of expectations. As a result, Berg GmbH is well equipped to launch the latest technical innovation in its comprehensive Efficio portfolio in the near future.
*Forecasting models identify consumption patterns, fluctuations, and trends in historical data and predict expected energy consumption. The insights thus gained allow companies to estimate their expenses. They also enable them to strategically plan the deployment of disparate energy resources to ensure uninterrupted operations and minimise downtime. In addition, energy forecasting allows companies to focus their energy needs on renewable sources, thus boosting their environmental sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.