Peak Shaving - How to Save Thousands of Euros on Energy Costs

Learn how companies can significantly reduce their costs for electricity through the innovative concept of "Peak Shaving." By avoiding peak loads using the achtBytes Monitoring Solution and IO-Link current consumption sensors, an energy-intensive company now saves tens of thousands of euros while gaining valuable insights for future business decisions. Read the success story from the plastics industry here.

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When it comes to paying for power consumption, private customers are billed based solely on their kWh usage. However, for business customers, the billing process is a bit different. Apart from the kWh used, another crucial piece of information is considered – the highest load peak recorded over the past year.

As an energy network operator, ensuring a stable power delivery at all times is vital. However, dealing with load peaks from high-consuming companies poses a massive challenge. Consequently, these companies are also charged for these load peaks. Typically, load peaks are assessed within a year-long timeframe. This means that a single load peak can result in significantly higher costs for the entire year, easily amounting to tens of thousands of euros in additional expenses for an energy-intensive company.

To prevent companies from incurring substantial expenses due to isolated load peaks during the year, the concept of "Peak Shaving" comes into play. As the name suggests, Peak Shaving aims to eliminate load peaks from the power consumption profile. These peaks often occur when heavy machinery starts and results from the simultaneous startup of multiple machines with high inrush currents.

This was precisely the scenario that unfolded for one of our customers in the plastic production industry. One morning, all employees simultaneously started their machines, inadvertently creating a new load peak that cost the company tens of thousands of euros.

achtbytes IoT platform use case peak shaving


To prevent such situations from recurring, we implemented our achtBytes IoT Solution in collaboration with the customer, utilizing IO-Link power consumption sensors. With the support of the analytics module of our IoT platform, the customer can now measure the consumption of each individual machine, and the analytics module calculates the combined power consumption of all machines every second.

As part of the solution, we integrated an IO-Link 3-color segment lamp next to each machine, acting as a traffic light. This lamp indicates whether it is safe to switch on the machine (green), if caution is required (yellow), or if the machine should not be turned on (red) based on the current load conditions.

current telemetry data in achtbytes IIoT platform dashboard


By adopting achtBytes IoT Solution, our customer now proactively avoids load peaks caused by uninformed machine startups.

Additionally, by retrofitting the existing hardware used for peak shaving, the customer can assess the actual power consumption of each machine without incurring any additional cost. This newfound insight may lead to future business decisions that save energy, as a positive side effect, through improved order planning.

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