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How is Soul helping retail chains improve their electrical operations?

Published on Jan 5, 2024
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Most businesses today lose about 32 hours per month in handling unknown inefficiencies in their operations. The unknown/excess/unwanted energy usage due to operational inefficiencies accounts for INR 10,000 to INR 100,000 per month based on the size of the location/ store.

But why is it happening?

In the retail industry where margins play a huge role, it is highly important to keep OPEX in check to maximize profits. One of the ways to do it is to minimize the power inefficiencies. Most of the time, identifying a power inefficiency happens after facing the consequence (machine shutdown, repairs etc) because it can't be known by our naked eyes unless it happens. Added to this, are the design mishaps which could result in equipment failures. This will not only result in repair costs but also customer inconvenience which would lead to negative brand value. Imagine keeping track of all these inefficiencies over multiple stores, in different locations. It almost sounds impossible, right? Hence we came up with Soul.

How is Soul helping?

Soul keeps track of all key electrical parameters of the machine on a minute-to-minute basis and the ML behind will identify any power inefficiencies or operational inefficiencies. But the most important feature is that the ML also generates automated reports with actionable insights to rectify this issue, preventing a potential breakdown of equipment or a repair. On top of all this, Soul even keeps track of your emissions data and helps you with your sustainability goals, if any. 

One of the most important features of Soul, especially for a chain of retail outlets, is the benchmarking feature using EPI. Using this feature, it becomes very easy to spot a store that is not functioning energy efficiently and take relevant action using the ML reports.

But how is Soul installed? Does it require a lot of infrastructural changes?

Absolutely no! Installation of Soul can be done as easily as you install a Wi-Fi router. Here are a few pictures of Soul installed at our client sites. 

 

 

More information about the installation of Soul is here.

Here are a few use cases of Soul that helped our clients in the retail industry. These use cases are from a retail chain that has 70+ stores in over two states in India.

 

Phase Imbalance - 

 

This is a rather peculiar issue. This specific store was divided into 2 zones. While individually both the zones were operating on good power factor values, the overall power factor of the store was as low as 0.60. Soul identified the reason for this to be because of load imbalance in each phase caused by splitting load to each room rather than a distributed load. This was an issue in electrical design.

Contracted Load - 

The contracted load for this store was 5kW but they ended up operating at 18.4kW. Because of this DISCOM was charging high penalties (almost 40% of bill size).

Power Inefficiency - 

 

This store was operating on a significantly low power factor value. PF 0.65 means that only 65% of electricity generated from the grid is being utilized but you’re still paying bills for the wasted 35% as well. Soul identified that this was due to ageing devices and reported the same.

Irregular Operations - 

In this particular store, multiple unscheduled shutdowns were reported. Upon further investigation, the heads realized it was outright operational inefficiency from the store team.

Billing Inefficiency - 

 

This store is part of a bigger building and they don’t have a separate electricity bill. Every month just the units consumed will be conveyed and they pay the bill accordingly. The store owner was always credible about the accuracy. Using Soul they were able to fix any inefficiencies that were happening in billing.

Consumption Vs Output -

A very important metric which would help you correlate energy consumption trends with sales. Helps you understand if the highest consumption days are resulting in the highest sales as well.

All the issues will be mentioned in the ML-generated reports along with the relevant action points to fix them. Also, these points will be segregated into High impactMedium impact and Low impact categories, making it easy for the clients to understand the criticality of the issue.

And we’ve realized that such issues could reoccur or new types of issues over a period of time. We understood that power consumption followed by inefficiencies is a continuous process and developed Soul in such a way that it always puts you on top of the game in terms of predictive maintenance.

 

Please do visit us on the website or contact us at contact@zodhyatech.com for more information and maybe tell your friends about it too. It will go a long way in keeping our energy and environment managed better.

Written by Zodhya

About Zodhya

We are Zodhya, a start-up that provides AI-based tech to reduce energy bills and lower emissions for commercial buildings and industries.