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5 applications of AI in energy management

Artificial Intelligence is here to stay, but have you ever thought about how many applications it has in energy management? We tell you about them!
Written by
Energy Efficiency
Energy Management

Energy is a fundamental resource in our companies and homes, although it is not always used efficiently. Surely at some point you have experienced having to put on a jacket because of an uncontrolled use of air conditioning in summer, or being in short sleeves in the middle of winter.

This, in addition to not being comfortable, is a great inefficiency that is also reflected in the bill. This is why efficient energy management is becoming increasingly important to reduce consumption without losing performance or comfort.

In this sense, new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are key to achieving better energy management in all types of buildings.

In this article we explain how artificial intelligence helps to improve energy efficiency.

On artificial intelligence and energy management.

When we talk about energy management, we refer to a series of actions and processes that seek to optimize energy use. Thanks to it, important benefits are obtained, such as greater energy efficiency, cost reduction and lower environmental impact.

As for Artificial Intelligence (AI), without going into too much depth and to make it understandable for everyone, we could define it as a series of algorithms that reach or even surpass human capabilities in very specific application areas.

In this case, we are talking about the application of AI to energy management and optimization, which is already a reality. The data processing capacity of this technology makes it possible to reduce energy consumption, achieving lower costs and environmental impact.

This is our DNA: we are a maverick company that offers innovative solutions based on artificial intelligence. At Smarkia we help companies achieve a sustainable energy transition.

Artificial Intelligence applications to energy management.

Let's see what types of application artificial intelligence has in energy management and optimization.

Energy data monitoring and analysis.

In our day-to-day lives we generate an immense amount of data, so much that it was almost impossible to use it in a useful way until technologies such as AI and Big Data came along.

Thanks to them we have the ability to process large volumes of data and transform them into useful and usable information. This is essential for companies and organizations where large amounts of data are collected by sensors of all kinds: air conditioning, electricity consumption, production processes, etc.

Thanks to the monitoring and analysis of this data, AI helps to improve and optimize processes and enables the implementation of new solutions such as predictive maintenance systems, real-time alerts and alarms, and other actions that favor energy efficiency and optimization.

At Smarkia we go further. Our AI-based solutions perform an intelligent monitoring of the energy consumption of the facilities, and also allow to act on them from anywhere and at any time. This remote management system, together with the analysis and prediction capacity of AI, seeks total excellence in energy management to reduce consumption and improve operations to the maximum extent possible.

Energy demand prediction and forecasting.

Another very interesting application of artificial intelligence is the detection of behavioral patterns through data. Once an AI detects a pattern it offers us the possibility of making predictions based on it, something that is very interesting if we talk about energy demand.

Having a reliable forecast of energy demand helps to make better decisions based on data rather than assumptions. This makes it possible to answer questions such as what the electricity demand of a building or factory will be, how much energy a cooling system will need depending on environmental conditions, or even what the costs associated with that use will be.

An example of this application is the sending of smart pre-invoices 1 month before the actual billing, one of the functionalities offered by our platform. These detailed invoices are sent to customers in advance so that they have better control over their energy consumption or possible excess power or reactive energy consumption for which they may be penalized, giving them room to take appropriate action.

Thanks to AI, the accuracy of the forecasts in our tool is 100%.

Optimization of energy consumption.

The combination of all these AI capabilities we have mentioned allows for greater energy optimization. Knowing consumption patterns and having the ability to predict demand gives companies the ability to make data-driven decisions proactively, rather than reactively.

Artificial intelligence can monitor the energy consumption of each area of a company (air conditioning, refrigeration, machinery, etc.) and, based on the data, make decisions to continuously improve and optimize consumption.

The analysis and monitoring of these consumption patterns also allows real-time detection of any anomaly that may occur. For example, if a machine suffers a breakdown that increases its consumption or if the use of refrigeration increases above normal because a door has been left open, the system detects it immediately and issues the appropriate warning for its solution.

This real-time management is not only limited to the internal level. AI can also include external data in its analyses, such as the price of electricity, the number of people or vehicles occupying a space, tickets issued in a store, etc., in order to operate the entire building or industry facility in the most efficient way.

At Smarkia we achieve energy optimization by monitoring all consumption in real time, compiling all the information in dashboards and intuitive reports so that customers have direct and clear access to their information from anywhere. In addition, we act on the installations using our AI-based solutions to optimize energy savings, achieving savings of more than 20% of the energy cost.

Grid and microgrid management.

AI also has an interesting application in electrical grids and microgrids (networks at the local level of a building or industry), turning them into an active element capable of contributing to energy optimization instead of being a passive element that only distributes energy.

This is important because it is increasingly necessary to have intelligent and bidirectional grids, more suited to the energy needs we have today, which have little to do with those we had when traditional power grids were developed.

With the expansion of renewable energies, more and more consumers are also producers, for example, because they have a photovoltaic system with grid feed-in. The management, integration and optimization of consumption and generation can be made more efficient thanks to these smart grids (smart grids) with AI applications.

If we talk about microgrids, i.e., systems that monitor and manage resources at the local facility (building) level, AI algorithms enable efficient management of all assets, whether they are renewable generation, storage or consumption elements, and all this while integrating external data such as energy prices, weather data and forecasts, etc.

This allows decisions to be made such as postponing high energy demand processes to times when there will be more renewable generation, or increasing storage in the battery system based on the next day's weather forecast.

A good example of this is our service Grid Scale. Selling the energy from a renewable installation with batteries is complex, because even if the market pays you, the degradation of the batteries and their replacement in the long term can dilapidate those benefits. Grid Scale helps to maximize this income because it takes into account the cost of degradation of the batteries, and based on this tells you when it is or is not advisable to inject to the grid.

Sustainability and renewable energies.

The application of artificial intelligence will help solve one of the main problems of renewable energies: their lack of predictability. We are all interested in increasing renewable generation capacity, but depending on something as variable as the weather makes it difficult to manage and integrate with other energies.

The predictive analytical capacity of AI is and will be a great ally of renewables, as it allows us to know in advance how much energy is going to be produced, facilitating its integration into the system and avoiding situations such as the need to disconnect renewable installations from the grid due to integration problems that could lead to saturation and blackouts or breakdowns.

In other words, artificial intelligence will make it easier to increase renewable generation capacity, which is undoubtedly a great step towards increasing the sustainability of our energy system and achieving a real transition towards a new model that is more respectful of the environment.

Challenges presented by artificial intelligence applied to energy management.

We have seen various applications of artificial intelligence in the field of energy management, where it has great potential. But there are also some challenges that will have to be faced in order to make proper use of it.

  • ‍Information securityand privacy.

Artificial intelligence feeds on large amounts of data, some of which are potentially sensitive in terms of user privacy. It is therefore necessary that the companies that manage this data preserve its security and comply with all the privacy policies in order not to expose users.

In this sense, Smarkia is certified in ISO 27001, an international standard that ensures an Information Security Management System (ISMS) that protects the confidentiality, integrity and availability of user data. We are also in the process of obtaining SOC 2 certification from the AICPA(American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), an American standard that guarantees data security.

  • ‍Basic accessto energy resources.

Energy and access to it is a basic need and as such is part of economic-social human rights. The application of AI to energy management should therefore be done in a way that helps to secure and extend access to energy, and not in a way that aggravates or increases differences between different regions or communities.‍

  • ‍Responsibilityin decision making.

Energy is a critical sector for any economy, so any decision affecting its production, management and distribution must be made very carefully. We are talking about the application of a very powerful technology, and without getting to drama or futuristic scenarios more typical of science fiction movies, it is necessary to ensure that its use has positive consequences for everyone at an environmental, economic and social level, and not the opposite.

The future of Artificial Intelligence in energy management.

The benefits of the application of AI in energy management are enormous, something that we at Smarkia have been well aware of for a long time. The use of artificial intelligence is enabling us to make better energy forecasts, integrate more and more renewable generation and, ultimately, create a more sustainable environment.

In this sense, these are some of the lines along which we expect AI to have a greater application in the energy sector:

  • ‍Smart grids.

As we said earlier in this article, smart grids will play a major role in the energy transition by facilitating the integration of more renewable generation and helping to improve the energy management of all connected assets.

  • ‍Energy storage.

This is another of the great technical challenges of our time that AI will help solve. Its processing and predictive capabilities will help to better manage storage usage, helping to decide which times are ideal for storage based on operational planning, renewable production or battery degradation (such as the case of Grid Scale from Smarkia mentioned above).

  • ‍Betterenergy management.

Personalized AI training will make it easier for each company and household to develop its own consumption pattern. This will enable more effective management of all the energy that is consumed and produced, making better decisions at every moment thanks to the assistance of artificial intelligence.

For example, customers of Repsol Gas and Electricity can use the VIVIT application. Thanks to the algorithms developed by Smarkia, through this App customers obtain information such as the energy expenditure of each appliance, comparisons with other similar homes, recommendations for savings and use of their appliances and alarms in case of excessive consumption.

Artificial intelligence and energy management: together for a more sustainable future.

AI's ability to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns and make predictions positions it as a key technology to drive energy management. Its application will enable both businesses and households to improve their energy management.

At Smarkia we work to make this (r)evolution a reality, developing AI solutions that achieve tangible and real energy optimization, with measurable results, to achieve a more sustainable, efficient and respectful future for all.

If you want to join our maverick energy management and discover all that artificial intelligence can do for you and your organization, do not hesitate to contact us.