Making energy savings measurable (2024)

The idea behind the Cinergy Telecoms Wind Tower is as simple as it is smart: A telecommunications antenna and a wind turbine combined making the base station practically self-supporting when it comes to energy. However, since wind conditions may vary, it can be hard to estimate the exact energy savings.

With the Ewon Netbiter remote management solution, Cinergy’s customers can keep track of their energy savings in real-time. Irish-based Cinergy is a part of the Delmec Group and offers innovative power systems for the telecom industry.

Cinergy offers two main types of power systems. Firstly, on-grid type solutions such as the Wind Tower — a combined telecoms antenna and a wind turbine. The wind turbine supplies wind energy to power the antenna and when necessary, the excess can be fed back to the grid or the shortfall drawn from the grid.

The second type is off-grid solutions where the power is supplied by diesel gensets, renewable sources or by hybrid systems. These telecom sites tend to be in remote areas where a conventional power grid is not easily available.


The problem

Regardless of the power generator being on-grid or off-grid, Cinergy still faced the issue of remote monitoring. Since telecom base stations are distributed over large geographical areas, they can be very time-consuming to maintain and monitor.

Making service trips to all base stations just to check on batteries, fuel, or generator status is very costly and time-consuming. Cinergy therefore needed some kind of remote management solution and started developing this themselves.

The Netbiter solution provides a stable platform from which to monitor our sites from any location.

Andrew Griffin, General Manager, Cinergy

General Manager Andrew Griffin explains: “After testing a number of systems where we were using our own local server and more basic gateways, we were struggling to get a reliable connection that did not require constant attention and site-specific set-up. If our server went offline, we were losing data until the system was reset.” Consequently, when Cinergy heard about the Ewon Netbiter remote management solution, they were more than happy to try it out.


The solution

Cinergy uses the Ewon Netbiter solution for a number of different sensor systems such as power meters, thermometers, solar intensity meters, anemometers, fuel gauges, contact breakers etc.

These communicate with the Ewon Netbiter gateway via the Modbus protocol. “We had already mastered the sensor systems we were planning to use, and integrating them with the Netbiter system was quite straightforward.

We had some initial issues with Modbus codes but these were eventually sorted,” says Andrew Griffin.


How it works

The data from the sensor systems is sent from the Ewon Netbiter remote gateway via GPRS to the Netbiter Argos data center, where the data is stored on secure servers.

Cinergy can access Netbiter Argos to get real-time data on how the generators are performing. For the end customer, this means that they can get immediate statistics and data about the performance of their base station.

“The Ewon Netbiter solution provides a stable platform from which to monitor our sites from any location,” says Andrew Griffin. “The automatically generated reports keep our site owners up to date with the relevant information with minimum input from us.”

Making energy savings measurable (1)

The Netbiter is connected to the control panel using the internal Modbus network. All relevant information is sent to a web interface using GSM/GPRS. The generator parameters can be monitored in a regular web browser.


The effects

Since Cinergy already had an in-house remote management solution in place, the main effects of implementing the Ewon Netbiter solution has been the possibility to focus on their core business instead of remote management.

“Netbiter has enabled us to make savings since we now have a reduced need for remote servers, faster and easier dashboard development, and an all-in-one hardware solution,” says Andrew Griffin.

But it has also meant a better service to Cinergy’s end customers. Many of the clients are major telecom companies which are very conscious about making energy, and carbon savings and want to be able to measure and record these results.

With the Ewon Netbiter solution, they can get detailed reports of exactly how much energy they are saving by using, for example, the Wind Tower.

Andrew Griffin has no hesitation in recommending the Ewon Netbiter solution: ”The setup is really simple, the technical support is good and it is easy to create a front-page dashboard with the most important parameters. It is simply a very clever solution.”

Making energy savings measurable (2024)

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