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Article Date: 27th February 2013

Trend Control Systems - Italy’s Largest Supermarket Chain Checks out a BEMS from Trend Controls

Building Management - Management Systems - Building Controls - Climate Controls

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As part of its commitment to environmental best practice, leading Italian supermarket chain, Unicoop Tirreno, recently installed a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) from Trend Controls in its flagship store in Rome, which will allow it to reduce energy consumption, lower carbon emissions and save money.

Coop Italia is a network of 115 Italian cooperatives located throughout the country and which comprise its largest supermarket chain. Its origins go back to 1854 and today it encompasses over 1,400 shops of various sizes with a combined annual revenue of €12.9bn.

Retail therapy
Coop Italia currently has nine large retail focused enterprises and three operate in the Tyrrenic District. One of them, Unicoop Tirreno, recently designed and built a new 2900m² store in southern Rome, which is one of the prime outlets in a 7000m² commercial centre. Coop Colleferro is a state-of-the-art construction that has been designed to minimise energy consumption and have a small carbon footprint.

Unicoop Tirreno recognised that to achieve its environmental objectives for Coop Colleferro it would be necessary to install technology that could allow it to monitor and manage its energy usage. After contacting one of Italy’s leading integration companies, Florence based Calosi Marco & Co, it concluded that a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) from Trend Controls would offer Coop Colleferro visibility and transparency of its energy consumption alongside real time access to relevant data.

Expense account
Operational expenses account for more than 80 per cent of the lifecycle costs of a building and decisions made up front can impact profitability for decades. The cost savings and environmental benefits that can be experienced as a result of investment in a BEMS are considerable. A fully integrated solution can have up to 84 per cent of a building’s energy consuming devices directly under its control by monitoring services such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting.

Along with members of the Trend Controls team in Italy, Calosi Marco & Co designed a system that utilised Trend’s industry leading controls solutions. The BEMS comprises four IQ3xcite controllers that are used to configure a total of over 200 points and offer direct communication over the Coop Italia Intranet. The versatility of the devices proved ideal in every situation, despite the wide variety of air conditioning and other plant they are called on to control such as cold stores, fridges and air extracts.

Brain wave
A Trend 963 Supervisor is the brains of the system and provides a real-time user interface for the BEMS. Located at the company’s headquarters, it enables Unicoop Tirreno to monitor the store’s plant and building services, and make changes to the way Coop Colleferro uses energy during different times of the day. Security settings ensure that the user is only presented with information and functions that are relevant to their authority or task and the 963 Supervisor even learns the structure of the system so that it can make adjustments to how the building services are configured.

Complementing the 963 Supervisor is a Trend Energy Manager – a powerful software based tool that can be used for highlighting and investigating energy use. Installed on Unicoop Tirreno’s own server, it enables designated administrators to keep a close eye on the gas and electricity consumed by the building services and the overall effect this has on its carbon footprint. It also allows the company to apply specific calculations and analysis in reports that contain observations, advice, proposals and performance graphs that will help optimise energy consumption throughout the store.

Features and benefits
The BEMS setpoints have been configured to control all elements of the building services. The store’s internal lighting now operates at 100 per cent during opening hours but is reduced to 50 per cent during the restocking period. There is a facility to override the command with a manual push button for a period of two hours and in order to save more energy during this period the cold cabinet blind is closed automatically by the Trend BEMS.

Hot water is produced by two boilers that utilise a compensated setpoint that turns them off if temperatures exceed 18°C. Meanwhile, cold water production is secured by an air condensing chiller which is stopped when the external temperature goes below 18°C. The distribution circuit is configured with three pumps, each fitted with an inverter. Pressure is measured by a sensor with two seasonal setpoints which are configured at 0.8bar for the summer and 0.5bar for the winter.

The supermarket air conditioning is provided by two air handling units (AHUs). Each AHU is fitted with a single coil for heating and cooling according to the period of the year. The average ambient temperature is calculated from two sensors and when operating in the restocking period the fresh air damper is closed. To monitor the electrical energy, IQ3xcite controllers pick a direct 4-20mA signal from the meter and their firmware calculates the energy from the integration of the power and identifies energy peaks.

Financial times
Since the installation of the BEMS, Unicoop Tirreno has experienced significant financial and energy savings in Coop Colleferro. Over an eight month period from September 2011 to April 2012, energy consumption decreased by 26 per cent, making an extrapolated potential saving of €30 per m² per annum. This also means that that the return on investment from the BEMS installation is just 12 months. This fantastic result has allowed Coop Colleferro to meet all its major objectives in terms of comfort, cost and carbon savings targets.

For further information please email Trend Marketing below:

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