A French conglomerate that employs 3,000 Filipinos has introduced three innovations in the Philippines that allow homeowners or building managers to monitor or control energy consumption using a smartphone.
“I could say we are the first to do this in the Philippines, although other companies are developing similar technologies, but not in the context of energy management,” says Michael Victor Sapitan, the business director of Schneider Electric Philippines.
Schneider Electric is a French company that specializes in energy management and automation. Its products include smart panels, circuit breakers, switches, sensors, sockets, transformers, substations and uninterruptible power supply or UPS devices.
“We have a plant in [Rosario] Cavite that produces UPS under the name of APC. Majority of our people in the Philippines are located there. The factory supplies global requirements for UPS. We do a lot of more exports than we do imports. We export to Europe, the Americas, the Middle East,” Sapitan, who has more than a decade in marketing, says during the launch of Schneider’s three latest products at Marriott Grand Ballroom in Newport City, Pasay.
Schneider introduced Smart Panel, Compact NSXm and PowerTag on March 21. Sapitan says the new products aim to help homeowners, companies, businesses and building operators optimize energy management, making it safer, smarter and more sustainable.
Sapitan, who obtained a degree in Business Administration and Management from University of Asia and the Pacific and who have worked for various companies such as RFM Corp., Cemex Philippines and Philips Lighting before joining Schneider, says the three new products represent a switch from “a very boring electrical panel into something more consumer related.”
“Now that everybody has smartphone and other connected devices, we are transitioning into that. Why not connect this boring electrical panel board into something you and I as regular consumer will relate to and will probably have fun and have a lot of benefits using,” he says.
Smart panel is an Internet-connected solution for managing power distribution that gives electrical equipment the ability to directly communicate to homeowners or buildings managers. Real-time data are sent to a web-based platform that can be accessed through a computer, mobile phone or smart device.
Sapitan says a smart panel is simply an electrical circuit board that can communicate, store data and provide reports by sending data to a computer or a smart device, making it easy to track a building’s electrical system status and increase operational efficiency, energy expense optimization, reliability and safety.
“You don’t need to get home, You just open your cellphone and you can already see from your smartphone what is happening. This is basically what a smart panel is. You can log on to it and you can switch the lights on or off,” he says.
“Smart panel can be controlled from your smartphone. We are leveraging the technology of connected devices, IoT, Wi-Fi, because they are already available. If your open your phone in the office, you will see if your power meter is going crazy. All these information will make you act. It is up to you how much you want to save,” says Sapitan.
He says the technology is already available in the Philippines. “We already have it installed in several locations such as a major hotel chain and a mall,” he says.
Smart panels are part of the connected products of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure. It helps users measure energy consumption through embedded and stand-alone metering and control capabilities. It provides a way to implement smart technologies using a simple plug-and-play architecture, and it also provides contractors with clear proof of readiness for commissioning.
Sapitan says by connecting cutting-edge hardware with innovative software, smart panels are able to pinpoint overloads and inefficiencies proactively, enabling users to make smart and informed decisions.
Meanwhile, Compact NSXm is Schneider Electric’s latest brand of molded case circuit breaker. Schneider Electric’s PowerTag has wireless sensors that accurately monitor energy consumption real time for small buildings to large facilities.
PowerTag users are able to manage energy consumption more efficiently and economically on all electrical loads, from IT and heating, ventilation and air conditioning to machines, pumps and process equipment. PowerTag sensors are compact and easy to install on existing or new panel boards, according to Sapitan.
“Schneider Electric continues to look for ways to use technology to improve energy efficiency for industries, businesses and homes. With the launch of Smart Panels, Compact NSXm and PowerTag, building operators and even homeowners now have a smarter and more sustainable way to closely monitor and manage their energy consumption. Through these innovations, we are providing innovation at every level, taking the Philippines a step closer to becoming a smart nation,” says Sapitan.