Thursday 7 December 2023

Best practice workshop on asset and building energy monitoring held online

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On 24 October 2023, Philippe Stefanos, UIC Sustainability Advisor, welcomed the audience and introduced the workshop on asset and building energy by presenting the agenda.

He gave an overview of electric railway system consumption by field and the energy consumption in rail, taken from the Energy Saving Report’s 2023 survey, and explained why monitoring is useful. Among other things, monitoring helps to understand consumption, and therefore helps better avoid grid congestion, improve distribution, or adapt power management to the evolving electrification. It also allows for benchmarking and helps to understand how efficient equipment really is and identify its best operational state.

Stefanos also shed light on the challenges, such as understanding the measurements used for many devices or how to save energy without impairing the equipment’s function.

Next, Katelijn van den Berg from NS Stations illustrated the Energy Saving programme implemented at Dutch railway stations. She presented NS Stations’ extensive portfolio comprising 400 diverse stations and nearly 200 buildings, including parking garages and houses, and discussed four main asset strategies: maintenance, investment, divestment, and the addition of new buildings to the portfolio. Van den Berg also highlighted that the programme aims to reduce material use, promote a circular outflow, enhance biodiversity, and address climate change. Finally, she described how NS Stations has developed a data driven asset management framework to maximise their energy efficiency and sustainability.

Arnaud Pelud from SNCF Gares & Connexions brought attention to their Smart Station project. He outlined the project’s objectives, focusing on more reliable and environmentally-responsible stations, and also highlighted the integration of connected equipment which improves responsiveness when a fault is detected. Moreover, the Smart Station application was built for large-scale energy monitoring and equipment availability optimisation.

He also emphasised that the smart station application forms part of a customer satisfaction initiative, focusing on improving the availability of equipment and enabling better responsiveness in when a fault occurs, while also detecting blackout risks. Pelud finished by underscoring the depth of commitment from all stakeholders involved in Gares & Connexions.

The following topics were then discussed with the participants during a sharing session:

  • Asset & building energy consumption profiles
  • Monitoring: best practices/lessons learned

The talks resulted in these conclusions and key takeaways:

  • Heating/cooling consumes a significant amount of energy, and is important to monitor and manage for all assets and to ensure customer comfort: overheating or overcooling not only impacts consumption but also passenger satisfaction.
  • Tunnel ventilation represents a high-level of installed power, and is therefore important to control. CO2 levels can be regulated through smart management (cited by Infrabel).
  • When identifying energy saving potential, the proper baseload has to be used as a reference.
  • Additionally, a lot of energy can be saved by acting on the “base” consumption itself. Even outside visible peaks, energy can often be used unnecessarily, therefore reducing latent energy consumption can lead to higher savings in the long run.
  • The interest of using specific (functional) units of measurement e.g., KPI Wh/m2 or specific ratios related to the activity in the asset/building (e.g., Wh/person (Wh/unit))

For further information please contact Philippe Stefanos, Energy Environment and Sustainability Advisor – Sustainable Development Unit:

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