Dubai – MENA Herald: Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management and automation, unveiled its latest Smart Panel initiative to local contractors, building owners, consultants and facility managers at a special launch event in the InterContinental Abu Dhabi.

Company experts offered attendees a demonstration of the product’s key features and benefits. They also conducted a survey to assess key industry and technology trends, common challenges in energy management and most valued benefits of Smart Panel solutions.

The results of the online survey indicated that 45 percent of respondents attributed cost of energy and contract optimization as their biggest challenge in energy management, whereas others pointed out to maintenance issues (16 percent), quality of energy solutions (29 percent) and system downtime (10 percent). Meanwhile, around 33 percent saw increased energy efficiency as the most prominent benefit of Smart Panel. Almost half the respondents prioritized other benefits (26 percent chose energy monitoring, 22 percent said it was improved power stability) and others appreciated the reduction of costs and easy of implementation or use. When questioned on the key trends in utilities, 25 percent chose advanced metering infrastructure, 21 percent chose analytics and 19 percent chose asset performance management. Others suggested that key trends were centered on cloud computing, big data and Internet of Things.

Welcoming the attendees, Enrique Pastor, Vice President for Partner Projects and Industry Businesses, Gulf Countries and Pakistan, Schneider Electric said:“With the UAE seeking cutting-edge technologies to connect urban infrastructure, we see a surging demand for advanced power management solutions that do not compromise on energy sustainability. Our plug-and-play Smart Panel solution containing metering, control and communication options helps individuals and corporations save energy and operational expenditures.

“As we implement our Life is On brand strategy, the Smart Panel is an example of how connectivity can empower people to manage their resources optimially. It also highlights our strategy of integrating operational technology (OT) that controls key industry process with information technology, which simplifies our daily lives while increasng quality of business decisions.”

The Smart Panel adds value in three stages – measure, connect and save. In the first stage, it automates energy consumption metering through the year, helping owners control low voltage incoming panels and respective block cabinet panels to effectively manage energy.

In the second stage, the Smart Panel offers advanced display screens and controls functionality through automation features. The panel is embedded with an Ethernet and Modbus communication system, which demonstrates real-time data on circuit breakers and block cabinets, and also provides mobile access control round-the-clock. The Smart Panel also promotes efficiency in space allotment and facility operations.

In the third stage, building owners and facilities managers utilize advanced control functionality and easy touch-screen displays to assess analytics of energy consumption by load, by hour, and by season to achieve peak power control and minimize electricity use. Subsequently, end-users are able to take measures to optimize usage as necessary.

Contributing to building asset valuation and ensuring high HSE standards, Smart Panel systems are ideal for new and existing buildings, such as offices, retail premises, hotels, and public buildings. It is also 100% suitable for industrial and critical buildings as hospitals or data centres. The innovation is now available in the UAE through Schneider Electric’s resellers and channel partners.