Investing in a capacitor or photovoltaic panels requires some thought and planning! To make the right choice, quite a few elements need to be considered. In the municipality of Koekelberg, data compiled by NRClick Scan have played a key role in establishing needs and calculating the best possible return on investment.
NRClick Scan is an energy compatibility tool, which municipalities can use to monitor their electricity, gas and water consumption. Each month, we take you to a Brussels municipality to discover the savings made by using this tool.
Annual savings of € 1,320 by using a capacitor
‘Reactive energy’… ring any bells? Unless you are a specialist in electrical power consumption, it is unlikely these words will mean much to you. Yet, knowing exactly how much power you use is important information, not just for households, but also for companies or, in this case, municipal buildings. Reactive energy is generated by using motors, transformers or fluorescent lighting. This physical phenomenon is not directly useful but impacts on the balance of the electrical network. It explains why grid operators charge more to consumers who exceed a certain reactive energy threshold.
"In 2014, Sibelga pointed out that our high voltage consumption at the Victoria Sports Centre was highly penalised during significant consumption peaks due to the reactive energy sent to the grid", remembers Albert Rego, architect with the Public Works Department of the municipality of Koekelberg.
The solution? Invest in a capacitor. The municipality made the most of the data gathered by NRClick Scan to choose the model best suited to the building's needs: "Based on the simulator developed by the NRClick Scan service, we were able to accurately determine the capacitor size required", explains Mr Rego. Ultimately, the investment in this capacitor enables the municipality to save € 1,320/year.
As a second step, the municipality wanted to install photovoltaic panels on the Sports Centre's roof to further drive down the building’s power consumption. Here again, NRClick Scan showed just how useful it is!
"NRClick Scan proved that it is a valuable tool to establish needs. Several simulations calculated the exact ratio between the number of panels to be installed and the length of time it would take to see a return on investment", concludes Mr Rego.
Says Gautier, NRClick Scan Advisor at Sibelga
"NRClick Scan is not just a consumption measurement tool, it can also simulate modifications to the installation and precisely quantify the ecological and economic impact!"