Solution Overview

The Problem

The primary mission of the electric utility industry is to provide reliable power for the lowest possible cost. But, during peak congestion periods — like those that occur during the hottest days of summer, the grid cannot keep up with demand.

With increasing regularity, demand peaks strain generating capacity and overburden antiquated network management systems. The net result: high-cost reactive maintenance, frequent brown-outs, and power outages.

Why does this happen? Because everyone is asking to use the maximum amount of power available at virtually the same moment in time. In response, the Utilities have been forced to ask you — their customers — to constrain your use of electricity. In other words, turn things off. They will even pay you for the privilege of dimming your lights or allowing the temperature to rise.

By breaking down the month into 2880 fifteen-minute intervals, electric Utilities monitor and calculate the highest average volume of Kilowatts required by each customer to operate everything from computers to lighting to air conditioning systems.

The highest interval measured in a month is factored into each customers demand charge, which can range from $1 to $45 per kilowatt per month. In some markets, over 40% of a commercial/industrial customer's monthly electricity costs are driven by demand charges.

In a typical building with HVAC units on the roof, multiple thermostats and temperature sensors are in control. Statistically, there is a high probability that a significant number of these independently operating sensors will simultaneously call for cooling.

This is the "worst case" scenario from the customer's perspective, since kilowatt demand calculations are based on the single highest average 15-minute usage interval measured during the entire month.

As a result, corporations are spending needlessly on demand charges. Across every region in the US, hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted annually.

Whenever your peak demand for power is high, electricity is expensive.


The Solution

The electric equipment you use every day has unrestricted access to power, regardless of its type or application. Your sensor-automated appliances — such as HVAC systems — respond to environmental factors without human interaction or consideration of potential cost.

When your appliances randomly use power concurrently, they generate a coincident peak demand event — and your cost of operations soars.

The net result: less than 4% of the energy you buy can account for up to 40% of the total cost of the demand charges you pay for.

After working for years with highly efficient forms of information distribution, like those which support the mobile phone infrastructure, we came to the realization that the methods of optimizing a network for maximum throughput had not been applied to the delivery and use of electricity. After several years of work, our patented Queued Power Access technology — QPAC — was born.

eCurv views your instance on the electric grid as a node on a network rather than a drain point on a pipeline that delivers electricity indiscriminately.

The QPAC system characterizes each power-consuming device as having distinct service requirements. Seeing each appliance this way lets us identify its unique characteristics. Then, we develop a model of system-wide behaviors. Those behaviors are modeled into heuristics — a working description of what each appliance needs to do to accomplish its objective (like cool a server room) — in the context of aggregating the service requirements of all appliances across site/campus/regional levels.

Each appliance is then registered — with its unique characteristics — into our database, and can then be acted upon with an additive layer of intelligence to eliminate random instances of peak demand.

Your operational costs of electricity are automatically under control.

Of course, cloud-based systems require a secure “port” on the other end of the wire. Our suite of products and services includes a complete range of both custom and off the shelf components that support machine-to-machine logic (M2M).

Already using one of the major building automation systems? eCurv’s services simply inter-operate with a broad range of BACnet enabled systems to deliver bottom-line value.

For new entrants into building management, eCurv offers a suite of Digital Interface Controllers that continuously evaluate the operational status of each appliance back to eCurv's servers, applying actionable insight to achieve the greatest possible cost reductions for our customers.

eCurv + QPAC = The Solution to Peak Demand


The Results

eCurv’s patented QPAC technology optimizes the runtime of appliances that are the root cause of high peak demand charges.

For example, when applied to commercial HVAC systems, our customers achieve savings of up to 40% off the annual cost of cooling.

We deliver a rate of return greater than 50% on capital expenses and have documented proof of payback in as little as three months.

The people who occupy your properties, your employees, patrons, mission critical equipment or perishable products will not be impacted by eCurv’s services.

Security is core to our mission as a service provider. The data required to execute our service travels over secure M2M channels, not the public Internet.

In addition to the bottom line value we deliver to our customers by driving down the cost of electricity, eCurv's suite of products dramatically improves business intelligence by measuring and reporting the actual in-use status of the loads we control.

We have developed a closed-system approach that accounts for all environmental variables. The result is a dynamically-adaptive grade-of-service for each individual appliance, coordinating its access to power in such a way as to virtually eliminate the most expensive coincident peak demand events.

The field data eCurv acquires is invaluable in providing superior insight into field service operations. We deliver clear indications of actual performance under load of cycling appliances like HVAC systems and pumping stations.

As companies focus with greater intensity on improving lifecycle maintenance, the data that can be resolved from eCurv's analytic engine increases in value, potentially reducing labor, travel costs, and the incidence of catastrophic failures through early warnings of aberrant equipment behavior.

Our just-in-time reporting can deliver operational insight into the execution and effectiveness of maintenance procedures — we help spot the problem, report it to the right people, and evaluate if, when and how well those service calls have been completed. eCurv’s SLA support is available to all our customers as a value-added service.