Energy management immediately saves Spar supermarkets energy and costs.

electricity efficiency

Albert Burger, owner of three supermarkets in South Africa (1 x Superspar, 1 x Spar & 1 x SaveMor), wanted to get more insights on his energy usage. He wanted to know exactly how much electricity he was taking from the grid, how efficiently he was using his solar energy and finally, exactly how much the cost is on all three his sub DB’s. He also wanted to monitor the paraffin (gas) and water usage of the building. Mr. Burger consulted KoCoS, a South African energy management integrator and specialist, and asked them to supply and install a single building energy management system that would let him monitor all the requested energy data and that would allow him to take action and control over his energy usage in a second stage. KoCoS set up Smappee’s smart energy management system: Smappee Infinity, offering all of that and more.

All-in one building energy management system for all energy flows.

Mr. Burger wanted an energy monitoring system that could let him know how much energy he is importing from the grid so that he can compare that data with his electricity bill. He also wanted to find out how efficiently his solar is being used and whether the solar installation lives up to the technical specifications of the solar company. In addition, he wanted to be able to calculate the running cost of the Cold Room (electricity), Bakery (electricity & paraffin), Administration (electricity) and water usage of the entire building. “As soon as we had a clear view on what Mr. Burger was looking for, we knew that Smappee Infinity was just what he needed”, says Henri Erwin, Product Manager at KoCoS. “Smappee offers data on all energy flows – electricity, solar, paraffin (gas) and waterin one simple and easy to use platform. It can do power monitoring and also sub-meter different loads, such as the generator, and offer detailed insights on its usage. Anyone can easily understand and interpret the data in the user-friendly App. For more in-depth energy data, insights and control, there is the Smappee Dashboard. It offers all the tools needed for the KoCoS team to formulate energy advice and get the results Mr. Burger is looking for.”

Easy installation, immediate results.

KoCoS started by installing a Smappee Infinity in the Savemor supermarket to measure the energy consumption and the solar production. The system also submeters the generator, administration office, bakery and cold room. In addition, there are several Smappee Input modules integrated: one to measure the fuel that is used for the oven, another to measure the main intake for the water usage and one to register whether the generator is on or off. “It took us less than a day to install the hardware”, Henri Erwin said. “Within the first hour after installation we already picked up that the usage on the headman was excessive. After some investigating, we found that the lighting in the administration office accounted for 75% of the total load. This was due to the previous tenant of the building who used electronic ballasts instead of LED. So, our first energy efficiency measure was to change the lighting on the headman. This will reduce the monthly consumption of 5,206 kWh by half.”

“Another amazing example of how continued monitoring can pay off is the following”, Erwin continues. “One day, we picked up an excessive water usage. It turned out to be a small leak. Something that would have gone unnoticed for a long time as there was no historical data and a water usage of 23 liters every 5 minutes is not excessive for a supermarket. Thanks to Smappee Infinity we were now able to pick up on the leak almost immediately and resolve this in no time. We noticed the anomality at 16h00 and at 5h30 the problem was resolved. But in just a few hours already 3.1kiloliters had been lost, so should this have gone on for a long time, this would have cost Savemor a lot more money.”

building energy management system
building energy management system

For Mr. Burger it was really important to get a clear view on where his energy was going. Although the solar inverter company where he purchased his solar installation has an app, it only shows the production. With the building energy management system, Smappee Infinity, he is now able to see all the energy consumption and production. “We were able to map the solar and energy consumption perfectly.” In addition to all of this we could also already do a quick load study. Henri Erwin from KoCoS says. “Thanks to sub-metering we were able to see where exactly the consumption was going and Mr Burger was able to have a clear insight of how he should plan and schedule the operation of the supermarket.”

electricity efficiency

By analysing the Smappee energy data, KoCoS also came to the conclusion that, if they use their energy more efficiently, Savemor could do with a lighter generator than the heavy 180kVA generator they have now. This would save them a lot of money. “Additionally, we have connected a Smappee Input module to the generator that sends a push notification to the App on your phone when the generator is on or off,“ says Henri Erwin. “We have also installed two Smappee Output modules that can be used for control. For example, all the hot water boilers are only allowed to switch on when there’s production from the solar.“

building energy management system

Test energy management locally, copy globally.

The set-up is now running for 2,5 months. Henri Erwin says: “The next step is to have load control when there is import from the grid. But we can’t do that straight away as we need more measurements first. We need historical data and key submetered data to get insights to determine when we are using solar, when the generator is on and when there’s import from the grid. That way, we can see what exactly is using the energy that is being imported and start acting on it.” In the near future the other two Spar stores of Mr. Burger will be equipped with Smappee Infinity. Mr. Burger also made a presentation to the listed company, Spar South Africa, who is looking with interest to this local initiative as it can easily be replicated throughout the entire network of Spar stores.

Customer. Spar SaveMor
Country. South Africa
Industry. FMCG, Supermarkets

The Spar SaveMor brands is the low-cost affordable division of the Spar Group catering for local communities in rural, densely populated regions of South Africa. Mr. Albert Burger is owner of three newly opened SaveMor stores in South Africa.

Albert burger wanted to get an exact overview of what his bakeries are costing them in terms of energy and water use. In addition he wanted to find out if his solar installation met up to the technical specifications of the solar company. And finally he wanted to check how efficiently his solar was being used. All of this he wanted to monitor, see and control in one single platform.

The modular and compact Smappee Infinity can be installed quickly and immediately start monitoring energy consumption solar production, water and gas usage. The modular system allows for flexible submetering of the power generator, cold room, water usage and admin office. The data is easily accessible via the App and Dashboard which give you realtime and historical data. Based on those insights savings could quickly be identified. In a later stage, based on more historical insights the store will be able to optimise its solar energy.

– Water leak detected, avoiding a huge water bill.
– Energy savings by replacing lighting, estimated to reduce the monthly consumption of 5,206 kWh by half.
– Insights that they can do with a lighter & cheaper power generator.
– Based on historical data and control via output modules, more solar optimisation in the future.

Why Smappee?
– Quick & easy installation, low maintenance.
– Data available in App and Dashboard.
– Flexible system: submeter desired loads, extend in the future as needed.
– Load control via Output modules.
– Ability to appoint energy usage and costs to exact loads
– Monitoring and control of energy, solar, gas and water in one single system.

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