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10 August 2022

Industry 4.0 – Episode 4 : Use local energy for recharging forklift


The price of energy is constantly rising and everyone is looking for ways to reduce their electricity bill… And there are no small savings! Like many companies, we use a forklift to handle our products and components. It has to be recharged every day in order to be operational when it is needed. So far, nothing special. Where it gets more interesting is when you ask yourself the question: when is it plugged in to be recharged?

Why is the timing of the recharge important?

Firstly, because depending on the time and the energy already used by the company, the grid operator can charge more if the consumption is above the tolerated threshold. Secondly, we have photovoltaic panels on the roof which only produce during the day and when there is sunshine.

It is therefore in our interest to charge our forklift when the energy is cheapest and using our renewable (free) energy to the maximum. So that’s what we did!

Prioritize the energy sources used

By adding Wi-Fi connected relays and linking them to our Compas monitoring solution, we can activate the sockets used for charging the forklift when the energy is cheapest.

We have prioritized which power source should be used. By default, if our photovoltaic panels are producing electricity, we use it. If this renewable energy is not available when we need it, we can use the batteries that have been charged by our PV panels. If these batteries are discharged, we wait for the night or off-peak hours when energy is cheaper. We therefore limit the energy taken from the grid and consequently our electricity bill is reduced!

With Compas we have an overview of our total energy consumption per day, month or year, but more importantly, we know which energy sources have been used. This allows us to know if we are using our photovoltaic panels and batteries efficiently and, if not, to change the configuration to solve the problem!

Alpha Innovations power consumption overview

Imagine doing this on a larger scale…

This is a simple example of how our monitoring Compas can help you manage your energy efficiently. Implementing on a larger scale will allow you to shave your peak consumption, use greener energy and reduce your electricity bill!

More info in this video

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