In this article we are going to learn how to use the Measure and Verification (M&V) Projects feature in the platform. We will also discuss the Measure and Verification (M&V) Groups.
- Available frequencies
- Available energy sources
- How does it work?
- Advanced Use
The Measure and Verification (M&V) projects feature allows us to track energy savings in a project, using a reference consumption as baseline for our analysis and compare it to our real consumption.
The platform is fully compatible with the IPMVP protocol.
The available frequencies for this feature are 30min, hourly, daily, weekly and monthly.
Available energy sources
The available energy sources for Measure & Verification projects are the following:
- Electricity - 402
- Gas - 420
- Water - 901
- Thermal (heating) - 802
- Thermal (cooling) - 810
- Exported energy - 452
- Gas (Vol) - 420
- Gas (NVol) - 419
- Compressed Air Volume - 435
- Liquefied natural gas energy (LNG) - 471
- Biomass - 472
Remember that you can easily activate new Energy Sources going to Settings -> Preferences.
The Measure and Verification projects feature is available for Advanced licenses.
In order to create a new M&V Project you need a few things first:
- To send data to the platform for one of the parameters listed above
- To accept the devices and datapoints generated when the data gets into the platform
- To assign those devices to their corresponding location
How does it work?
You can access the Measure & Verification Projects in the M&V section of the platform. The first screen you will access to is the Project List.
The project list view lists all the projects that have been configured for the account, giving an overview of their state.
This page provides information such as the Project name, the type, the savings target, the % of energy saved so far, the amount of savings, the length of the project and the summary of savings in a bar chart.
The search bar on the top right corner allows to quickly search for projects, and the navigation buttons at the bottom allow you to navigate through the list of projects.
The "plus" sign at the top left allows you to create a new project.
Create a Measure & Verification Project
In the project list view, press the plus sign to display the Create project screen. In this screen, you can create a new project by introducing the relevant information.
In this first section, you can introduce the general project information, and choose the method to calculate the reference consumption (baseline).
- Project name*: Distinctive name of the project. For example, "Office Energy Performance Contract".
- Project key: An identifier for the project. This field can be left blank and the platform will assign and ID number automatically.
- Demonstrative period*: Start and end date where the savings will be tracked.
- Project type*: The type of energy efficiency measure implemented:
- Energy Management
- Air conditioning
- Air handling
- Building envelope
- Energy source*: we select the type of energy of our project among the options previously described
- Resolution*: we select the resolution of our reference consumption. If we have hourly data, the resolution must be "hourly". If we can only generate our baseline monthly, we select "monthly" as frequency. This will depend on the availability of our consumption data.
- Device*: we select through which device or group is going to be tracked.
- Savings target (%)*: The expected savings target for the project.
- Secondary target: This allows to define a second target for the project, that can be used for internal reporting or to test more aggressive saving goals. It is an optional field.
- Reference period calculation method: You can choose how the reference consumption will be calculated from these 2 options:
Once the reference period calculation method has been chosen, the reference period calculation menu will appear below.
Reference period calculation method: Formula
This method allows you to use a statistical formula to calculate the reference consumption. Learn how to calculate a reference consumption (baseline) formula here.
If the selected method was a formula, the following menu appears, which allows you to define the formula to be applied, the uncertainty threshold, the variables for the formula, conditional cases that might periodically substitute the reference consumption and any non-routinary adjustments that will modify the reference consumption.
The reference consumption field allows you to introduce the formula that will be used to calculate the reference consumption. You can use short words to designate the variables in your formula, as well as the following mathematical operations. Please make sure you are using the dot "." as decimal separator.
|a + b||The sum of "a" and "b"|
|a - b||The subtraction between "a" and "b"|
|a * b||The multiplication of "a" and "b"|
|a / b||The division of "a" and "b"|
|Math.sqrt(a)||Square root of "a"|
|Math.pow(a,b)||"a" to the power "b"|
|Math.abs(a)||The absolute value of "a"|
|Math.exp(a)||Exponent of "a"|
|Math.floor(a)||Integer closest to "a", not greater than "a"|
|Math.log(a)||Log of "a" base "e"|
|Math.random()||Random number 0 to 1|
|Math.round(a)||Integer closest to "a"|
|Math.sin(a)||Sine of "a"|
|Math.cos(a)||Cosine of "a"|
The R2adj field allows you to input the R2 for the baseline formula obtained using multiple linear regression.
The uncertainty field allows you to indicate the uncertainty or error that your formula has. This will be taken into account when displaying the savings in the project charts and tables.
To add variables, press the Add variables button and the following menu will appear:
Choose a representative name (that will be used in the formula defined above) and select the parameter and corresponding device to use them in the formula. You can add as many variables as you want. You can remove a variable by pressing the X button next to the device name.
Introducing Routine adjustments
The reference consumption in the project can be modified for specific days or periods of time with the Routine adjustments feature. To start using this feature, click in the "Add adjustment season" button when creating or editing a project.
Define a name for the season and its application period. Any conditional cases created under this season will apply during that period.
Once the season has defined, you can add conditional cases by using the "Add conditional case" button. You can introduce as many conditions as you need. These will be applied by priority order based on the definition.
The conditional cases use the same variables defined in the reference consumption for the project.
You can create conditional cases that apply to specific days of the week, or between 2 days of the week, on a specific month of the year or between 2 given months.
Any conditional cases will substitute the main reference consumption formula for their application period.
In this section, we can add all the non-routine adjustments produced during all the project, such as setpoint temperature changes, maintenance works that affect the operation of the installation, timetable modifications etc. Adjustments could be constant values or a formula based on some variables (degree days, occupancy, etc). The value of this consumption as an adjustment is aggregated to the reference consumption.
You can add as many adjustments as you want. In order to add an adjustment, press the Add adjustments button. The following menu will display:
Each non-routine adjustment will need a Name, a Reference consumption formula (it can be a constant value) and the start and end date during which the adjustment will apply. Any variables used in the formula for a non-routinary adjustment have to be defined in the non-routinary adjustments sections. Press the add adjustment variable button to add variables.
Once the project configuration is finished, hit the save button to save the project. You will be redirected to the project list.
Select the project in the list by clicking on it, and you will be redirected to the Project View screen.
Reference period calculation method: Time range
The Time range calculation method might not be as precise as the Formula, but it allows to simplify the calculation of a theoretical consumption if we have historical available data over a representative period for the device we want to track.
When should we use the option of "Reference period"?
- When we have monitored data, at least, from a representative activity period of the installation
- When we don't have available external data for correlation (degree days, occupation, etc.) or we do not want to use them.
- When energy consumption is independent of any measurable variable
- When the correlation coefficient with external data is very low (less than 20%)
Which is the demonstrative activity period of my facility?
We have to know which is the period of time with a representative cycle of activity in our facility in order to know which is the minimum period of data we should collect before make our baseline. Here, we have some examples:
How does the Time range method work?
This option aggregates data by mean or median based on a time window (day, week, month, year) of the amount of data that the client set.
For example, We are making a substitution of lighting for a more efficient system (like LEDs), and we have 2 months of data of lighting consumption before the LED are installed. Our representative period of activity (supermarket) is a week, we can "overlay" 8 weeks with hourly frequency and make the median, obtaining an "approximate" baseline of our theoretical consumption:
How do I configure a Time range project in the EM Platform?
When configuring the project details, select "Time range" as the calculation method. The following menu will become available:
Here is a brief description of the fields to configure:
- Uncertainty: This field allows you to indicate the uncertainty or error that your formula has. This will be taken into account when displaying the savings in the project charts and tables.
- Time frame: The representative time frame for the activity period of our installation: daily, weekly or monthly.
- Aggregation: Choose between median and average depending on what we think could be better. If our data has a Normal distribution, there won't be any difference. If we have peaks or corrupted data, the median is a more realistic measurement.
- Reference Period: Start and end date of the period that will be taken as estimated reference consumption.
We can also define Non-Routine adjustments, just like in the Formula method.
Once the project is configured, hit the save button to save. You will be redirected to the project list.
This section allows you to write down any relevant information for your project that you would like to track in the platform.
Access the project view by clicking on a project in the project list. In this screen, you can track your project consumption and savings. There are different elements that will help you in your project analysis:
- Project summary
- Real vs reference consumption chart
- Accumulated real vs reference consumption chart
- Accumulated savings % vs. target chart
- Comparison against reference table
- Comparison against target table
This section uses the following colour coding to reflect how the real consumption compares against the reference and the uncertainty. In cumulated charts, the colour indicates the trend for that period, rather than the absolute comparison of values.
- Green: The results will be shown in green in the periods where there have been savings. The real consumption is below the reference consumption and the uncertainty threshold.
- Red: The results will be shown in red in the periods where there have been losses or no savings have occurred. The real consumption is above the reference consumption and the uncertainty threshold.
- Yellow: The results will be shown in yellow in the periods in which the value is within the uncertainty threshold defined upon creating the project. The real consumption is near the reference consumption, but uncertainty does not allow to determine whether there are savings or losses.
- Grey: The results will be shown in grey in the periods where there is consumption data available but some data is missing in the baseline formula. For example, if variable A has been included as a parameter in the reference consumption formula but there is data missing for that variable, the consumption data will be shown in grey over that period, and the reference consumption will not be charted.
- No results: No results will be shown if there is a lack of consumption data.
The project view screen is as follows:
- Project title, demonstrative period and type of project
- Project summary, with the target savings, actual savings and how they compare to the project savings, as well as the elapsed time in the project
- Project edit and delete buttons: use these buttons to edit the project configuration or to delete a project
- Date and resolution selector: Select the period for which you want to visualise data, as well as the resolution. Only the selected project resolution and lower resolutions will be shown here.
- Export the chart to an xls file, an image or use the chart in a custom report
- The chart area allows you to visualise the project data. By moving the cursor over the graph, we can obtain the detail of the reference consumption, actual consumption and savings at any point on the graph. By selecting a given period from the graph, we can zoom in and see the detail of that period.
- Click on the legend below the chart to hide/unhide the elements of the chart. Please note that exporting a chart to Custom Reports will display all the elements of the chart, even if they are unselected when exporting.
Below the Real vs reference consumption graph, we can see the accumulated consumption and savings graphs, which we can select respectively with the Consumption (kWh) and Savings (%) buttons. Moving the cursor over the graph also shows different information for each point of the graph.
In the accumulated consumption graph, the reference consumption, the real consumption, the consumption target and the savings are shown in cumulative form. The colour of the graph corresponds to the slope of the consumption curve. If the trend is to save, the curve will be green, if the trend is not to save, the curve will be red. The periods where the consumption trend is within the error margins will be shown in orange.
The cumulative savings graph shows the cumulative savings curve and compares it with the savings target. The color of the graph corresponds to the savings trend for each period as in the case of cumulative consumption.
Below the graphs there are summary tables to compare the consumption with the reference consumption and the savings target.
All the charts in this section can be exported to an xls file or image, and both charts and tables can be added to a custom report.
Visualisation of savings
By default, the savings indicated in the graphs are shown against the reference consumption. However, there is an option to plot the target consumption instead of the reference, and display the savings against the savings target, or also against the secondary savings target (optional). This will change the savings figures as well as the colours of the real consumption in the charts to be calculated against the selected target. In the first chart, the plotted line will change from the reference to the target or secondary target accordingly.
To view savings against any of the targets, simply select them from the drop-down menu under the project dates:
If the "Target" option is selected, the graphics and savings figures on the screen will be updated to show the savings against the defined target:
In the same way, if the secondary savings target has been defined when configuring the project, the option to select it will appear in the drop-down menu, allowing the graphics with the savings calculated against this secondary target:
Add reporting units to a project: Primary Energy, Final Energy, Carbon Emissions equivalent
Whether you want to report your projects in Primary Energy, Final Energy or Carbon Emissions equivalent or you are preparing your project to add to a Group of projects for aggregate reporting, this optional feature allows to configure conversion factors and report the project savings in different units.
Once you have configured a Measure and Verification project, or as a final step of the configuration process, you can define conversion factors for the following:
- Primary Energy: Reported in MWh
- Final Energy: Reported in MWh
- Carbon emissions
Once you have defined a conversion factor for any of them, they will appear in the Project view screen, and you can select which concept to use to analyse your project data.
The platform allows to aggregate several projects into a group so that you can track the overall efficiency and savings of a site using several energy sources, or track several sites in a single aggregated vision.
The Groups section is available under the M&V section. You will access the Group list, that hosts a list of all the configured groups and the projects they encompass.
If you click on the > sign next to the Group name, the list of projects of that group will be displayed.
Create a M&V Group
You can click the plus sign button to add an M&V Group. The New M&V Group creation screen will appear:
- Name*: Distinctive name of the group. For example, "2020 Energy Performance Measures"
- Key: An identifier for the group. This field can be left blank and the platform will assign and ID number automatically
- Demonstrative period*: Start and end date where the savings will be tracked.
- Resolution*: Select the resolution of the reference consumption. If there is daily data, the resolution must be "daily". If the baseline is made with monthly data, select "monthly" as frequency. This will depend on the availability of consumption data.
- M&V Projects*: Choose which projects will be included in the group. The minimum available resolution will be listed in brackets next to the project name: H = Hourly, D = Daily, W = Weekly and M = Monthly.
- Savings targets by reporting units (%)*: Choose the expected savings target for each reporting unit available for the group. At least one must be informed. The detail of how many and which projects have reporting units configured will appear.
- Default reporting units*: Choose which will be the default reporting unit for the group. This will be the default selected unit when viewing the group as well as in the group list.
Once all the fields have been completed, hit the save button, to be redirected to the group view screen.
View an M&V Group
After creating a group or by clicking a group in the list, you are redirected to the View group screen. This behaves identically like the project view screen.
To keep in mind
- To track a group that contains projects with different energy sources, such as Electricity, Gas or Thermal, a common reporting unit such as Primary Energy, Final Energy or Carbon Equivalent Emissions must be configured.
- If a group has two or more different energy sources in the projects, and one of them is selected in the group view, only the data available for the projects that use that energy source will be added together and displayed.
- A group containing different projects must have configured a demonstrative period that covers ALL the projects' periods, starting when the first project starts and ending when the last project ends, even if this means covering several years.
- There's no theoretical limit of the amount of projects in a M&V Group, but we have noticed that when the number goes beyond 35 projects there might be issues loading the Group, as several graphs and calculations are done.