18. August 2022

How your energy management benefits from artificial intelligence: Automated consumption monitoring and pattern recognition in IngSoft InterWatt

When we talk about artificial intelligence (AI), we hear many buzzwords: machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), neural networks, big data and many more. Their meaning or the distinction between them is not always entirely clear. Often the terms are only used as attention-grabbing buzzwords. However, if you take advantage of the actual methodological approaches behind them, a wide range of opportunities open up – also in energy management. We will show you how to set up your energy management intelligently with automated consumption monitoring and pattern recognition with IngSoft InterWatt - without any prior knowledge of AI.

What you will learn in this article:

  • What does AI mean in energy management?
  • How can your energy management benefit from the use of Artificial Intelligence?
  • How can you use the automated consumption monitoring and pattern recognition in IngSoft InterWatt?
  • What are the advantages of pattern recognition in IngSoft InterWatt?
  • What is the advantage compared to limit value monitoring?

What does AI mean in energy management?

Basically, artificial intelligence refers to methods or techniques that transfer intelligence or intelligent behaviour to computers or machines. In energy management, machine learning approaches are generally used – a sub-area of AI. ML is composed of algorithms that determine regularities from available data in the training phase. These can then be applied to unknown contexts. A distinction is made between supervised and unsupervised learning.

While the learning process in supervised learning is based on predefined training data, unsupervised learning determines regularities without result templates and is thus significantly more demanding.

Pattern recognition in IngSoft InterWatt is classified as non-supervised learning and is based on the application of k-means algorithms. The clear advantage: application flexibility. It does not require similar data sets with known results to determine structures for pattern recognition.

How can your energy management benefit from the use of artificial intelligence?

IngSoft InterWatt offers in-depth functions to automatically monitor energy consumption in your company with the help of artificial intelligence and to identify anomalies in a self-learning manner. Deviations are automatically detected and classified.

If anomalies are detected in your company's energy consumption, they are directly transmitted by the system to the responsible persons so that they can take appropriate measures in a timely manner to secure or improve the energy efficiency of your company. The resulting time and cost savings are immense – especially if the systems to be monitored are very large.

How can you use the automated consumption monitoring and pattern recognition in IngSoft InterWatt?

Pattern recognition can be applied to all properties, consumers, meters, key figures and energy factors that exhibit rhythms of some kind.

Initially, it is irrelevant whether you have a very large amount of energy data or only a small amount of data so far. If you have a small amount, the software first uses the so-called "adaptive mode" to identify and expand new patterns. As soon as sufficient data is available, the pattern recognition switches to the classic mode.

To monitor consumption, several patterns are always identified during the calibration phase, which subsequently support the testing of new values. For this purpose, the software automatically selects a suitable calibration period for you from the existing data and independently builds mathematical models for each recognised pattern.

In the event of a permanent change in consumption, e.g. due to a new consumer in the system or other major changes, a new calibration is automatically triggered. Thus, the changed patterns are identified and consequently the adjusted monitoring is continued easily and reliably.
It is also possible to pause the monitoring with a simple click, in case alarms are undesirable due to special events (e.g. company party or repair work).

Would you like to delve deeper into the topic of pattern recognition? No problem! For those interested and tinkerers, there is the possibility to let off steam and take the automatic processes, such as the determination of the calibration period, into their own hands.

What are the advantages of pattern recognition in IngSoft InterWatt?

  • Application flexibility: Since pattern recognition in IngSoft InterWatt is based on unsupervised learning, it does not require training data sets to identify structures for pattern recognition. You can therefore apply the method to your different consumption data without much effort. Our software reliably identifies completely new patterns of results and anomalies in your consumption.

  • Flexible evaluation options: You can decide for yourself to what extent you want to apply pattern recognition: e.g. for individual meters or per building or property. If this is too time-consuming for you, you can determine that pattern recognition is automatically created and activated. This also applies to elements that are created subsequently.
  • Simple operation without prior knowledge: Activating intelligent surveillance does not require any configuration or deep understanding of how it operates. You can simply get started.
  • Comprehensive display and documentation options: When monitoring is active, the evaluation can be displayed in tabular form as well as in graphic form. In the graph, both consumption and all associated models are visible at a glance. This makes it easier for you to recognise and classify conspicuous features. Classification" in this case means the evaluation of an anomaly: e.g. as a false alarm or as a permanent/temporary change in consumption.

Fig.1: Evaluation of active monitoring in graphical form. Click to enlarge the representation

  • Automatic consideration of influences: The system automatically detects the dependency on various external factors, including types of weekdays, holidays, public holidays or the outside temperature. In this way, for example, incorrect messages about a sudden sharp increase in the heating system's energy consumption can be avoided if it is based on a sudden drop in temperature or a constantly low temperature.

What is the advantage compared to limit value monitoring?

Common monitoring mechanisms are very limited compared to intelligent consumption monitoring. With the usual limit value monitoring, limit values have to be determined individually and manually for the different consumptions or envelope curves with corresponding limit values as well as depending on different influencing factors have to be created. The effort for a large number of meters is high.

In addition, this methodology is generally very limited in the detection of different types of errors. Temporal anomalies are not detected if the data are still within the limit values. Isolated outlier values, however, are. Because: Limit value monitoring reacts to every limit violation. This means that you have to check even one-off or very short events for relevance. This is not the case with pattern recognition monitoring: it offers the advantage that it filters out such meaningless anomalies for you.

Take the first step towards intelligent energy monitoring now.

The pattern recognition monitoring in IngSoft InterWatt is a highly functional composition of very complex algorithms. But don't worry - it is uncomplicated and easy to use and enables a reliable evaluation of all relevant anomalies within your energy or substance system. In this way, it ensures the energy efficiency of your company and uncovers potential for additional savings.

Would you like to use our artificial intelligence in your energy, environmental or climate management system? Feel free to call us at +49 (911) 430879-100 or send us an email for more information:

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