Dear friend of Electrisium,
in this article we will present the Libra product family from ELECTREX, a “Plug & Play” solution with built-in advanced technology for the real-time continuous monitoring and management of electrical loads, energy production from renewable sources, other energy parameters (such as water, compressed air, natural gas, steam) and environmental parameters (temperatures, humidity, brightness, CO2). Also, you will discover the advantages of Libra panel and how it can be easily integrated in an energy management system.
Why implementing an energy management system is necessary?
On the 25th of July 2023, the European Council adopted new rules to reduce final energy consumption at EU level by 11.7% in 2030. The Energy Efficiency Directive adopted by the EU in 2012, and updated in 2018 and 2023, is setting rules and obligations for achieving the EU’s ambitious energy efficiency targets, but it also features some energy efficiency measures in the industrial sector, focusing on making the implementation of an energy management system a mandatory requirement for large industrial energy consumers. It also expands the scope of energy audit obligations to include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Energy audits and energy management are important elements of any energy efficiency strategy. They allow companies to identify their energy-saving potential and hence to reduce their energy consumption significantly. The difference between the energy audit and the energy management system lies in the difference between a one-time procedure and a long-term strategy.
The main technical standards currently used are EN 16247 for the energy audit and EN ISO 50001 for the energy management system. The international standard ISO 50001 was designed to support organizations in all sectors and to provide a practical way to improve energy use, through the development of an energy management system (EnMS).
In the context of these new regulations, as well as due to the global energy crisis, the need for faster action on energy efficiency investments are increasingly urgent and are making the implementation of an energy management system more indispensable than ever.
The energy management system enables continuous monitoring of energy consumption and provides detailed data of energy usage. By analyzing energy data over the course of a period, it is possible to identify the best solutions to reduce consumption by scheduling options to restrict usage during peak demand. Moreover, by analyzing the energy data of equipment, maintenance can be planned and conducted before a downtime caused by an equipment failure occurs, thus ensuring the continuity of manufacturing processes and reducing the operational cost of the company.
Efficient energy management plays an important role in both reducing the CO2 emissions and the operational costs of companies through more efficient use of energy. Besides bringing competitive advantages and economic sustainability, energy management systems are improving the consumption rate of renewable energies, thus increasing their economic efficiency and also are ensuring affordable energy costs for buildings operation or charging electric vehicles.
What is Libra energy monitoring and automation panel?
Libra represents the advanced ”Plug & Play” customizable solution for real-time continuous monitoring and managing low and medium voltage electrical loads, analyzing power quality, measuring direct current of production from renewable sources and measuring environmental, process and/or air quality parameters. It can be integrated in any type of network: single-phase, two-phase, three-phase, symmetrical or asymmetrical, balanced or unbalanced, low and medium voltage.
Libra solution consists of a panel with multiple measurement devices that allows a quick and simple non-invasive integration in existing systems, or, it can be used as a starting point for more complex energy monitoring systems thanks to the multiple possibilities to connect (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, RS485, NFC) with other Electrex devices in the RS485 subnet and/or Ethernet network. The RS485 communication with the slave Electrex devices in the subnet is made through an integrated full compliant Modbus RTU master RS485 serial port. The Wi-Fi version (with connector for external antenna) communicates with the existing Wi-Fi network without the need to be connected to an Ethernet cable, while the presence of the NFC opens the possibility to create specific apps for mobile devices for managing energy.
Libra panel is battery-powered (DC UPS) to ensure continuous power supply to the measurement system, particularly recommended in cases where automated operations and/or alarms are activated and to ensure continuous monitoring of energy quality events. Having an astronomical clock/calendar and non-volatile memory for the synchronous recording of energy and environmental vectors, via its integrated WEB Server, it makes possible the supervision of the system by displaying instantaneous and graphical measurements. Its integrated WEB Server can be used for configuring the device remotely, update the firmware remotely and also makes possible to add and / or replace the features already present with other new and different functions. New features can be implemented by activating upgrades PUK codes.
All versions of the Libra series are equipped with connectors and are pre-wired for a Plug & Play solution characterized by a simple and quick installation:
► 5-pole connector for power supply and voltage inputs;
► RJ45 connector for wiring the ECT CTs via data cable cat. 5;
► RJ45 connector for connection to the Ethernet network;
► 5-pole connector for any RS485 network and a 12Vdc output power supply.
Depending on the configuration, RJ45 connectors for the additional modules can be inserted, as well as cable glands and terminal blocks for inputs /outputs. The Libra can be equipped with:
► eight inputs to connect the Electrex environmental sensors (temperature, relative humidity, luminosity, air pressure, CO2, air quality and other sensors on request) and/or additional I/O modules.
► digital programmable inputs often used to count impulses for example from gas meters (a galvanic separator according to ATEX regulation is required), fluid meters, etc.
► transistor outputs programmable for the transmission of impulses or as outputs of internal alarms or as output units controlled remotely via serial line and Modbus commands.
Libra panel is equipped with a high contrast display with white LED backlighting which allows the simultaneous reading of 4 measurements and their identification symbol with high visibility characters. A simple programming from the 6-key keyboard or embedded web page (or from Energy Brain software) allows the setting of all the operating parameters such as type of network, LV / MV, CTs ratio and any VTs (free value), integration time (1-60 min.) and alarms (thresholds, delay, hysteresis).
The available versions of LIBRA
► Libra ECT UPS can be used only with the ECT Electrex current transformers, with high-precision even on small currents, designed for electrical loads up to 50kW and non-invasive connection for easy integration purpose.
► Libra F UPS can be used only with the Electrex FCTS series flexible split CTs that are easy to install, recommended in those cases where it is not possible to use the standard CTs.
► Libra UPS can be used with the standard current transformers having ../5A or ../1A output.
► Libra CCI CEI 0-16 UPS is the Electrex solution for monitoring energy production plants compliant with the Italian CEI 0-16 standard. The Italian legislation requires that all production plants with nominal power equal to or greater than 1MW and connected on medium voltage must be equipped with a Power Plant Controller (CCI – Controllore Centrale di Impianto in Italian). The CCI allows the acquisition of direct measurements on the state of performance of the production plants with the aim of communicating them to the Distribution System Operator (DSO) through the IEC 61850 protocol.
► Libra Expansion is a panel containing several Electrex devices with RS485 port that can be connected in a sub-network as slave devices of the Libra UPS. Having as empty panel the available space equal to 12 + 12 DIN modules, it is the basic panel in which to insert various DIN rail devices when expanding an Electrex monitoring energy system.
Energy monitoring examples using Libra panels for commercial or public buildings
► In the first example shown in the left side of the image, the monitoring solution includes two Libra panels placed in a shopping mall. The first Libra panel retrieves and logs the consumptions of 5 electrical loads (mains, PV system, HVAC, internal and external lighting), the internal and external temperature and humidity. The second Libra panel retrieves and logs the consumptions of 3 electrical loads (refrigerated counters, cold stores and oven) and the alarm status of refrigerated counters and cold stores.
► In the second example shown in the right side of the image, a Libra Net panel for the monitoring of mains, internal temperature, humidity and external temperature, has been installed in a bank branch. While for the lighting and the HVAC systems has been used a Libra Expansion panel.
In both cases, the software Energy Brain is used by the energy manager to monitor and control the energy consumptions, while the real-time measurements and alarm status displayed on the embedded Web interface provide support to the maintenance team. By the activation of the Energy Automation function it is possible to automate the switching (On/Off ) of some loads in order to optimize the system’s management and increase its efficiency.
Energy needs to be managed like any other raw material, and to be able do that, its continuous and real-time monitoring is mandatory. Any company in the industrial, tertiary or public sector can now take advantage of the easy and fast installation of the Libra ”plug & play” solution and thus have the opportunity to manage their own energy consumption.
If you have questions or if you need more information, we would gladly help you, so contact us.
All the best,
The ELECTRISIUM team