Reading time: 2 minutes
Not only does emission-free construction bring new challenges for equipment and vehicles, it also affects energy supplies and management. But there is really no need for ‘charging stress’. Boels is there to help with efficient energy management and emission-free rental solutions.
In the Power & HVAC business, HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, air conditioning. “In the past, hardly anyone was very concerned about these systems, because you could switch on plenty of extra capacity and there was always an IBC or petrol station nearby,” said Chris Dirx. As Manager of Operations, he and his colleagues have noticed that efficient energy and power facilities at building sites are now the focus of a great deal of attention. “Wanting or needing to build emission-free also means, for example, using emission-free generators and emission-free heating for site huts. And that can result in ‘charging stress’ because for example batteries cannot be fully charged during lunch breaks, or because charging all the batteries at the same time at night can cause excessive peak loads. Efficient energy management in time allows companies to gain time and capacity.”
Is all of the energy really needed?
With energy management in time, Dirx is mostly referring to correct dimensioning of the energy requirement and also to modularity. “That may sound a bit complicated, but what it comes down to is that it’s important to balance the energy supply and demand in advance. Is that extra electric platform really necessary at this moment? When is which machine being operated and what kind of energy does it need? Does the site hut need to be kept warm at night, and would it not be better to heat it electrically, with a heat pump or with a local heat network?” These are all questions for which Boels can provide specific advice and assistance.
Is that extra electric platform really necessary at this moment? Does the site hut really need to be kept warm at night?
Battery packs instead of generators
In concrete terms, the company currently offers a range of solutions, including Stage 5 generators that can run entirely on HVO and GTL fuels as well as (portable) battery packs. A battery pack supplies power just like a generator, only without emissions or exhaust fumes. The battery pack can be charged on site using any available (mobile) solar panels, generators or just the building connections. On the other hand, battery packs can also supply power like a trickle charger if the building connections have not yet been reinforced. Tests are also being carried out with hydrogen-powered generators. “But that is still in its infancy. The logistics are still a challenge at the moment but I expect that we’ll soon be combining hydrogen and battery packs. It’s not a question of ‘and/or’ but simply ‘and’.”
More use of remote monitoring
For the near future, Boels has high expectations for remote monitoring and control. All of the equipment is smart and connected online, providing real-time insight into energy demands and consumption. “This allows us to see capacity problems in advance and warn our customers early on. I anticipate that more and more (spare) batteries will need to be charged on-site. Coordinating energy demand and supply – referred to as dynamic load balancing – is crucial in that case. This means that instead of emptying a bucket at once, so to speak, you distribute the available energy drop by drop according to need. This allows you to hire additional energy in plenty of time”, Chris Dirx explained.