Demonstrating a smart control system for air compressors for use in the industrial sector

Wednesday January 26th, 2022

USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security Project

The USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security project (2019-2023) works closely with the Government of Vietnam at the city, provincial, and national level to improve legislation related to clean energy, mobilize investment, and increase the adoption and deployment of innovative energy solutions.

The Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF)

The Project’s Innovation Challenge aims to fund 20 pilots and/or demonstrations of new products, business models, or financing models for advanced, distributed urban energy systems between September 2021 and March 2023. 

Advanced energy solutions exist in areas such as building efficiency, transportation, and electricity generation. These can contribute to the goal of greater urban energy resilience and energy security, however there is resistance to their uptake because 1) proof of concept has not been demonstrated, and 2) potential customers do not know solutions exist and are therefore unaware of the potential benefits.

Through the Innovation Challenge, the Project will support the piloting and/or demonstration of innovative ideas in Danang and/or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with the potential to achieve scale and commercialization. 

Organizations that are registered in Vietnam, with bold ideas across the following categories will be encouraged to apply: transportation, building efficiency, electricity generation, electricity delivery and management, and water efficiency.

The Problem

Vietnam has a large range of domestic primary energy sources such as crude oil, coal, natural gas and hydropower. However, increasing demand for energy has meant Vietnam has been a net energy importer since 2015. Urban areas – the economic engines of the country – are the major sources of energy demand for buildings, industries, transport etc. National electricity consumption is expected to grow by 8 percent annually until 2035. 

The Solution

The Government of Vietnam (GVN) has put in place key policies to realize the energy efficiency potential in various economic sectors e.g., the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Law promotes efficiency in buildings, industrial and commercial sectors. In March 2019, Vietnam issued the Vietnam – National Energy Efficiency Program 2019-2030, with the objective of achieving the efficiency rate of 8-10 percent per total national commercial energy consumption.

A Japanese company called Heartech-Miwa has invented a smart control system for air compressors that can support GVN policies to promote energy efficiency. This innovative technology can help Vietnamese industrial plants that use groups of air compressors to save on electricity consumption.

With IC funding, TAM Consultancy, the official agent for Heartech-Miwa in Vietnam, will demonstrate this solution. The demonstration site will be in one industrial setting, and the objective is to demonstrate that the Smart Control System for air-compressors can result in energy savings.

Description of the Solution

Because the use of air compressors in industrial facilities is widespread, and because air compressor systems often do not operate efficiently, particularly when they operate in groups, there is a potentially large market in Vietnam for the smart control system.

The system can control more than one compressor at a time. It automatically selects, controls, and optimizes the operation of compressor units based on airflow needs. The system also supports multiple types of compressor, including inverter-controlled compressors. 

The system can help industrial plants save money by: 1) allowing air compressor units to operate more efficiently and therefore consume less electricity; 2) reducing person hours required to manage air compressor systems, since the system is automated; and 3) reducing the maintenance costs and prolonging the life of air compressors because they run more efficiently.

A reduction in electricity costs and consumption makes the industrial facility more competitive and contributes to national and city-level energy efficiency targets. 

The solution can be implemented in less than three months. It requires an investment of between USD 25,000 – USD 100,000 with investment typically payed back in two to four years. 

 

Pilot/Demonstration Activities

Pre-Investment Activities:

  • Desk study and data collection – TAM Consultancy will collect data on the industrial sectors in Danang and HCMC, used to identify three potential industrial demonstration sites. 
  • Data logger and demonstration site selection – With the aim of identifying the most suitable site (from the three potential sites), TAM Consultancy engineers will install data loggers in the air-compressor systems. These will record operational data, particularly electricity consumption, for approximately one week. Potential electricity savings from installing the solution will be calculated.
  • Technical proposal and agreement signed – With data collected from the previous step, TAM Consultancy will develop a technical proposal for the owner of the most suitable demonstration site. If approved, a formal, written agreement will be signed.

Investment Activities:

  • Engineering and Procurement, Installation, and Commissioning – TAM Consultancy will design the control system, which includes sizing the control hardware and pre-programing the software of the control system. The smart air compressor control system will then be installed.

Post-Investment Activities:

  • Monitoring & Evaluation and Lesson Learning – Through M&E, TAM Consultancy will demonstrate progress against key performance indicators, including energy savings. Lessons from the demonstration will be documented. 

USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security Project

The USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security project (2019-2023) works closely with the Government of Vietnam at the city, provincial, and national level to improve legislation related to clean energy, mobilize investment, and increase the adoption and deployment of innovative energy solutions.

The Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF)

The Project’s Innovation Challenge aims to fund 20 pilots and/or demonstrations of new products, business models, or financing models for advanced, distributed urban energy systems between September 2021 and March 2023. 

Advanced energy solutions exist in areas such as building efficiency, transportation, and electricity generation. These can contribute to the goal of greater urban energy resilience and energy security, however there is resistance to their uptake because 1) proof of concept has not been demonstrated, and 2) potential customers do not know solutions exist and are therefore unaware of the potential benefits.

Through the Innovation Challenge, the Project will support the piloting and/or demonstration of innovative ideas in Danang and/or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with the potential to achieve scale and commercialization. 

Organizations that are registered in Vietnam, with bold ideas across the following categories will be encouraged to apply: transportation, building efficiency, electricity generation, electricity delivery and management, and water efficiency.

The Problem

Vietnam has a large range of domestic primary energy sources such as crude oil, coal, natural gas and hydropower. However, increasing demand for energy has meant Vietnam has been a net energy importer since 2015. Urban areas – the economic engines of the country – are the major sources of energy demand for buildings, industries, transport etc. National electricity consumption is expected to grow by 8 percent annually until 2035. 

The Solution

The Government of Vietnam (GVN) has put in place key policies to realize the energy efficiency potential in various economic sectors e.g., the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Law promotes efficiency in buildings, industrial and commercial sectors. In March 2019, Vietnam issued the Vietnam – National Energy Efficiency Program 2019-2030, with the objective of achieving the efficiency rate of 8-10 percent per total national commercial energy consumption.

A Japanese company called Heartech-Miwa has invented a smart control system for air compressors that can support GVN policies to promote energy efficiency. This innovative technology can help Vietnamese industrial plants that use groups of air compressors to save on electricity consumption.

With IC funding, TAM Consultancy, the official agent for Heartech-Miwa in Vietnam, will demonstrate this solution. The demonstration site will be in one industrial setting, and the objective is to demonstrate that the Smart Control System for air-compressors can result in energy savings.

Description of the Solution

Because the use of air compressors in industrial facilities is widespread, and because air compressor systems often do not operate efficiently, particularly when they operate in groups, there is a potentially large market in Vietnam for the smart control system.

The system can control more than one compressor at a time. It automatically selects, controls, and optimizes the operation of compressor units based on airflow needs. The system also supports multiple types of compressor, including inverter-controlled compressors. 

The system can help industrial plants save money by: 1) allowing air compressor units to operate more efficiently and therefore consume less electricity; 2) reducing person hours required to manage air compressor systems, since the system is automated; and 3) reducing the maintenance costs and prolonging the life of air compressors because they run more efficiently.

A reduction in electricity costs and consumption makes the industrial facility more competitive and contributes to national and city-level energy efficiency targets. 

The solution can be implemented in less than three months. It requires an investment of between USD 25,000 – USD 100,000 with investment typically payed back in two to four years. 

 

Pilot/Demonstration Activities

Pre-Investment Activities:

  • Desk study and data collection – TAM Consultancy will collect data on the industrial sectors in Danang and HCMC, used to identify three potential industrial demonstration sites. 
  • Data logger and demonstration site selection – With the aim of identifying the most suitable site (from the three potential sites), TAM Consultancy engineers will install data loggers in the air-compressor systems. These will record operational data, particularly electricity consumption, for approximately one week. Potential electricity savings from installing the solution will be calculated.
  • Technical proposal and agreement signed – With data collected from the previous step, TAM Consultancy will develop a technical proposal for the owner of the most suitable demonstration site. If approved, a formal, written agreement will be signed.

Investment Activities:

  • Engineering and Procurement, Installation, and Commissioning – TAM Consultancy will design the control system, which includes sizing the control hardware and pre-programing the software of the control system. The smart air compressor control system will then be installed.

Post-Investment Activities:

  • Monitoring & Evaluation and Lesson Learning – Through M&E, TAM Consultancy will demonstrate progress against key performance indicators, including energy savings. Lessons from the demonstration will be documented.