Interviews with Generator Manufacturers: Waves of Innovation

June 19, 2020

By Michael Roth, rer


·        Kevin Day, president Alliance North America (ANA), with Mike Niemela, CEO; Jack Harris, power generation sales manager; Joe Norris, national service manager; and Alicia Niemela, vice president of operations

·       Angel Nieto, product manager power & light, Atlas Copco Power Technique

·       Generac

·       Tony Crandall, sales manager: power & construction equipment, Buckeye Power Sales (representing Kohler Power)

·       Bill Carrick, product director, Aggreko


RER: How, in your view, has generator technology improved in recent years? What have been some key advancements and how have they helped the rental company and the end user?

Day: One of the biggest advancements in our industry is the ability for our customers to remotely monitor their generators. We are now able to remotely monitor in real time exactly what the demand is on the generator as well as how the engine is performing. Having this information allows both the rental company and their customer to best utilize the generator on site.    

Nieto: The introduction of Tier 4 Final meant a huge environmental benefit. As a reference you will need 25 T4F generators to produce the same level of exhaust emissions as just one Tier 1 generator. Definitively a benefit for us all and the coming generations. The use of full electronic engines able to communicate with more advanced and friendly human machine interface (HMI) devices has meant a great benefit to rental companies and end users. Generators are now much easier to operate. They are much safer and easier to service since, in most cases, the controller itself will be able to provide the info to diagnose potential issues that may be happening with the equipment.    

Generac: Digital genset controllers, as with every other microprocessor-based device, continue to improve every year. They are more accurate, capture more data and allow users to see more information through larger human machine interfaces and integration with telematics. These advances help rental companies and owners monitor the health of their equipment, track where it is located and, in most cases, made the genset easier to operate.

Crandall: Generator technology isn’t any different than other modern equipment being produced; it is always advancing. The technology has made the equipment more precise with better cleaner power, and overall reliability is at an all-time high. Additionally, there is better safety equipment on board to protect the operators, the load source and the equipment itself.   

Carrick: Over the last 10 years, the energy market has undergone a significant transition, marked by a large shift towards renewable energy. Across the world, businesses, governments, and individuals face greater pressure to reduce their carbon footprints, with this pressure growing following the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. This shift has driven a wave of innovation across the sector, as ever-more sophisticated systems and controls are needed to integrate an ever-wider set of energy sources and interfaces, all while ensuring stability, reliability, and maximizing efficiency.

Battery storage is one of the most notable advancements in recent years, with new innovations such as our Y-Cube lithium ion battery system, which comprises 1 MW storage units contained in 20-foot containers, allowing for versatile, rapid deployment of energy storage solutions to provide stable, reliable power for projects across all markets. Storage provides stability for renewable energy generation, as well as increasing the efficiency of thermal units. This translates to more sustainable and efficient power solution, and one which has a positive impact on carbon footprints and balance sheets.

Another such innovation within the sector has been the integration of Remote Monitoring technology into our rental solutions, with this feature providing real-time feedback on generator performance. At Aggreko, this means we can help end users to maximize performance, while ensuring the continued efficient operation of all units, as well as maintaining stability and reliability across operations. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been invaluable to many of our customers who have needed to reduce the number of people on sites to comply with social distancing without compromising the output of their operations.  

What are some of the technical advancements to come that you think will be significant? 

Day: Microgrids are becoming a common conversation in the world of portable power. Microgrids interconnect loads and distribute power in place of the shore power or “the grid.” Microgrids are now portable and ANA has ventured into this world by providing our Airman prime power generators and Grid To Go power storage units in tandem use. The two units can be mounted on one of ANA’s custom trailers and connected through power cables and an auto start cable. The Grid To Go can be charged either through grid power, generator power or even solar power. These microgrids allow for increased productivity while reducing fuel usage, reducing or eliminating generator light loading issues, reducing service intervals and carbon footprint.

If we were to only focus on prime power generators and the technical advancements in this specific area, adding dynamic loads to the generator is something that is becoming more common. Many manufacturers are offering different types of dynamic loads to help prevent wet stacking and light loading or varying load applications. The requirement to reduce carbon emissions through Tier 4 Final engines has made it more difficult to operate generators in varying load applications. Adding a dynamic load that is automated through the digital control system allows the generator to operate in a wider range power application without the usual wet stacking that occurs without one. We encourage our general rental customers who are purchasing mid-range sized generators (45kVA up to 400kVA) to consider adding a dynamic load option to help minimize wet stacking and costly service calls. Additionally, the dynamic load option can help increase utilization of fleet, because the need to size the generator perfectly to the customers’ usage is not as critical.  

Nieto: The use of telematics modules is spreading really fast. The basic benefits are self-explanatory (geolocation, continuous monitoring of the generator’s performance, preventive warnings, etc.), but I see great potential once big data and AI technologies are applied to large rental fleets.

Crandall: The use of telematics has become a significant technological tool to aid both equipment owners and rental users. Specifically, being able to put GPS fencing around machines from remote locations has increased the equipment security component tremendously. Additionally, having the ability to tell operation information such as run-time, load and fuel leveling have become a huge benefit for both owners and renters. By knowing this information, we are better able to plan for work such as servicing scheduling and sometimes even be able to see potential issues before they occur. 

Carrick: As a global supplier of rental generators and temperature control equipment, it is our job to deliver solutions which meet the specific needs of our customers. Bespoke solutions are necessary to ensure the challenges are met effectively. By continuously innovating, we can ensure we have in place the best solutions to meet our customers’ needs. Some of the ways we are doing this include adding more efficient and cleaner thermal generation, energy storage, waste-heat recovery and solar thermal hybrids to our offer.  

In 2019, we took an innovative approach to a biogas generator project for a customer in Thailand to produce clean, cost-effective power. The outcome has been an estimated saving of U.S. $1 million per year and a reduction of over three million tonnes (metric tons) of greenhouse gases. This demonstrates the impact of taking an innovative approach and how it can help companies to meet their targets in terms of cost savings and reduced carbon emissions. 

What are some of your key products you are excited about? 

Day: We just introduced our newest Tier 4 Final generator to the Airman lineup, the SDG40S-8E1. This unit is powered by a 43.9HP Kubota V2403 engine which falls below the 49-horsepower requirement for registration in states like California and New York. At 61 db(A) at full load it is one of the quietest units in its size range. At 30kW the SDG40S-8E1 will be a workhorse in most general rental fleets.

Airman also recently introduced a new 13kVA generator that is unique to our industry in that it provides both three-phase power and single-phase power simultaneously while being powered by an 1800 rpm Kubota D1503 engine. This size generator is great for lower kW requirements and smaller 3-phase submersible water pump applications, where a 25kVA is more power than is needed. The Airman SDG13LAX comes standard with a 24-hour run tank on board as well as auxiliary fuel connections for longer run time applications. Thus far we believe we are the only option in this size range at 1800 rpm.

Lastly, the Airman line range of power increased to 400kVA/320kW late last year. This now means that Airman has a range of 13kVA/10kW up to 400kVA/320kW. We hit most of the requirements needed for portable prime power applications. 

Nieto: Atlas Copco is working to launch a compact 1 MW generator to attend to the more frequent demand of large power units.

Generac: We are very excited about the redesign of our 25kVA Prime unit. Our team took time to focus on key areas that really matter to our customers. We have made TCO (total cost of ownership), durability, and versatility our main areas with this product.

Crandall: I wouldn’t necessarily call it a product specifically, but for us having an expanded opportunity to work on paralleling type of projects is something we are focusing on readily. Technology has progressed as such making paralleling simpler to accomplish as we no longer need to work with “matched pair” type machines as we did in the old days. We are now able to accomplish paralleling with numerous machines of different brands and different sizes with the advancements that have come in recent years.    

Carrick: We have already outlined our battery storage, and we see this range increasing with the addition of canopy sized units adding to our mobile and modular flexibility. Over the coming months you will see more efficient thermal (both gas and diesel) added to our offer which comply with the stringent Tier4/Stage 5 emissions standards for diesel generation. 

Battery storage has become of much greater interest in recent years? Why is that, what are the benefits of energy storage technology?

Day: Battery power storage is a fast-growing market opportunity. ANA entered into this arena in late 2018 with our Grid To Go products. Battery power storage allows for a green eco-friendly solution for power applications where the demand for power varies. ANA was proud to provide a solution of the Grid To Go in tandem use with an Airman 45kVA generator at the 2020 Super Bowl. The units were supporting IT trailers where the demand during the day was perfectly suited for the 45kVA generator, but the overnight power requirement was significantly less. Working together, the Grid To Go stored unused power from the Airman generator during the day to be used at night where the power requirement was significantly lower. The customer and end user were able to remotely monitor the power use and make any adjustments to the power sharing via an application on their lap top computers and mobile phones. The data at the end of the project showed that the fuel savings alone would have come to more than $42,000 in a year’s time as well as reducing the required oil changes from 18 to five, another huge savings. The set-up was a simple plug and play from Grid To Go to generator that didn’t require any special tooling or cabling.    

Nieto: The outstanding evolution of battery technologies over the last few years have made it possible to store a larger amount of energy, deeper discharge levels and a larger number of useful cycles compared to traditional lead-acid technology. Energy Storage Systems are now efficient ways to adjust energy unbalances in any grid or micro grid.

When it is combined with generators, it allows the generator to work at a more efficient load level, saving fuel and avoiding the low-load issues that are inherent to diesel engines. 

Generac: Battery technology continues to improve, providing more capacity and longer-term storage. As performance has increased and prices have become more reasonable, green technologies are becoming more appealing to users as they strive to reduce carbon emissions for environmental reasons or financial incentives. Pairing a battery storage unit with a genset can reduce the amount of time the genset needs to run, and help with light loading of diesel generators, which can lead to wet stacking.   

Crandall: Energy storage has created a scenario that allows for decreased emissions, operation and fuel costs and has created a scenario for both the customer and the rental owner to achieve decreased cost thus increasing revenue and profit simultaneously. It is a win for everyone and the environment as well.  

Carrick: Battery storage technology has developed significantly in recent years across the sector. Effective battery storage solutions allow for a greater use of renewable energy sources, providing stability and reliability, as well as further increase in efficiency for the use of thermal units. Products such as our Y-Cube allow for cheaper, cleaner and smarter energy. Storage solutions further allow for greater support of sectors that typically operate off-grid sites, such as mining, oil and gas projects, providing even greater flexibility to support customers. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an “above normal” 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. What should rental companies be doing to prepare for hurricane season in areas that are vulnerable to hurricane activity, and what are manufacturers such as yourselves doing?

Day: For rental companies who supply power for hurricane disaster relief it is critical that they have their current fleet serviced and ready for rent when the calls come. That is one aspect of support and another is partnering with your generator supplier to know what sizes and inventory are available and where that inventory is staged. ANA strategically places generator inventory in areas that can be delivered to a hurricane zone within 24 hours from time of order. Additionally, rental companies should be certain their suppliers provide 24-hour service support during a disaster. Having West Coast-based suppliers can be an advantage as their window to ship parts is much later in the day allowing for next day air shipments to arrive on site.   

Nieto: Being ready for the hurricane season means having enough generators available, in good condition, ready to be used, strategically stored in areas likely to be hit by the storm and having the ability to deploy the fleet ASAP before roads are affected. Once the generators are running, you will need to make sure you keep the usual consumables and spare parts so the equipment can be efficiently serviced, limiting downtime as much as possible.

Manufacturers take into consideration the hurricane season when calculating their yearly forecast, increasing stocks and production capacity to attend sudden market demands. Availability of the equipment is crucial in those critical moments. 

Generac: In uncertain times, rental companies and manufacturers need to create strong relationships to support the end customers. Product availability and service become key areas in mission critical times such as natural disasters.  

Crandall: Hurricane and disaster response is a constantly ongoing operation in our industry. First and foremost, for our team it is all about training and readiness. We work to accomplish extensive training for our personnel regarding some of the things that will happen so we know what to expect and we work to train on how we will mobilize our equipment once a storm is identified and/or touches down. A literal whirlwind of activity is required to successfully support storm response. Second, we work on a constant basis to ensure both fleet mix and readiness is at a premium with the proper sizes and types of machines and ancillary equipment at the ready to deploy on a moment’s notice. Finally, we ensure our external support teams and vendors are established and at the ready to be able to support our needs at a moment’s notice. 

Carrick: Being ready to rapidly deploy kits is paramount to being able to effectively respond to a natural disaster. Hurricanes are no different and we pride ourselves in being able to respond in a matter of days – no matter how remote the location. We have the world’s largest fleet of temporary generators, which means we can help customers recover from a power failure outage rapidly.

Aggreko has experience with hurricane preparedness. We helped a large hospital network on the Gulf Coast during hurricane season with a unique preparedness plan. We were tasked with identifying the risks that hurricanes posed to their HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems and power resources, and developing a Hurricane Rental Plan for them - ensuring all patients and staff were looked after in the case of extreme weather conditions. Having this plan in place meant there was no delay in delivering emergency power and HVAC systems in the event of extreme weather and ensuring that the systems we delivered were fully capable of meeting their needs.  

What advice do you have for general rental companies that want to expand both their fleet and their involvement in power gen rentals? What are the key areas of knowledge they need to emphasize? 

Day: This is a great question and one that is often overlooked. Partnering with your customers is key to having the right product in your generator fleet. Asking your customers what they are powering, and their load requirements will help you pick the right product for your fleet. Many general rental companies have the basic small gasoline generators and prime power diesel generators of up to 45kVA/36kW but don’t know where to go up from there. By knowing what your customers are powering, it will help you determine how many of a certain size you should have in your fleet and what range you should go up to in kVA/kW. We highly recommend adding some sort of dynamic load to your larger sized generators of 65kVA/52kW and up to help with possible wet stacking and light load applications as end users often oversize the generator compared to what their actual need is on site.  

Nieto: Rental companies will need to clearly define what their business strategy is. The U.S. has the largest rental market in the world. With that, comes a great deal of competition. The general rental segment is even more tough since it is more difficult to find a key differentiating argument. When it comes to rental fees, larger companies can leverage to beat competitors. However, being able to provide a good assessment when selecting the correct generator size for each application, good equipment availability (limiting downtime by performing proper service), keeping equipment in good condition, and providing a fast and efficient 24/7 technical support. This can all make a difference and attract customers not just looking for a lower rental fee. 

Generac: Partner with an OEM that has the knowledge and resources to support them, before and after they decide to acquire gensets. Understanding the features offered by each OEM and why they are important is key to making the right decision, ensuring that you aren’t paying for features or options that you do not need. Making sure that you understand generator sizing is also very important. You want to make sure that you don’t over- or undersize the generator. Both can have a negative impact on performance for your customer and for the health of the machine.  

Crandall: Electrical equipment can be very dangerous if not used and operated properly by trained personnel. There is a great deal of electrical knowledge required for proper sizing, installation and operation of the equipment. There is also a great deal of ancillary electrical equipment and operations planning that is required in this industry. In many instances the installation itself may require licensed electrical contractors to be involved. Rental power is a solutions-based, complete-package driven field versus other areas that may be strictly commodity driven.

Obviously COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on all of our lives. What are the primary effects on the power-generation market? Obviously, events have come to a standstill, but how about the construction market, the rental market, the industrial market, the residential generator market?

Day: There is no denying that the impact of COVID-19 has been significant for the power-generation market. Many of our biggest customers saw the utilization of their fleet drop dramatically when the pandemic hit, especially those supporting the entertainment and event sector. Many of our customers needed to adjust their business immediately to support the construction trades because, while that sector saw a lag in revenue, it never quite stopped. There were some short-term opportunities with COVID-19 support such as mobile testing facilities and makeshift tent hospitals but those were short-lived rental opportunities.

Many of our customers are suggesting they are seeing an uptick in utilization of their generator fleet, primarily for construction. As we prepare for the upcoming hurricane season in the Atlantic and fire season out west, we know there will be a need for generators. Some of our customers have already placed orders for equipment in anticipation of needing product ahead of the season. 

Nieto: During the first weeks of the pandemic we saw a sudden increased demand for generators for temporary sanitarian facilities, such as field hospitals. Most of the ongoing construction projects have not stopped nor slowed down. New projects are now being delayed and so are some of the related investments, but we feel confident they will soon step up as soon as we get through the critical moments of this unseen pandemic situation.

Generac: From a rental market point of view, the primary effects of this is driving features in products to make them versatile for many different applications. Where once generators were needed for events, that utilization must have the flexibility to service many temporary site applications such as those being utilized for COVID-19 testing as an example. 

Crandall: Wow, what a crazy environment we have been in over the past 75-90 days or so! The shutdown from COVID-19 has created a vast array of unknowns. Within the construction market initially there was a huge shutdown as many existing projects were halted and new ones on the calendar were postponed. Other were completely cancelled all together. Then with each step towards opening up things have come back around readily especially on the rental side. With the unknown of what is to come the equipment sales side has been much slower to get back in the flow but is now starting to pick up once again.

It was similar on the industrial side with smaller shorter-term projects being either delayed or cancelled; however, the large-scale projects seemed to continue without interruption. As you noted, the event market has seemingly dried up. At one point the reports I was hearing were as much as 90 percent of revenue were lost.

Fortunately, there have been some opportunities created by specifically supporting COVID-related functions with mobile testing facilities and event-style support being needed. It appears the residential market has done quite well with both activity during the lockdown and now coming out of it, things appear to be on the rise at a rapid pace. In talking with a local friend whose family owns and operates a general tool rental, their business has been booming with so many people being stuck at home and thus working on home projects that require equipment they do not have.    

Carrick: COVID-19 has accelerated many of the trends that have been driving the energy transition in recent years, with the combination of volatile fuel prices, a change in energy demand and the growing calls for a green recovery. The employment of renewable energy sources throughout these lockdowns to provide sustainable, cost-effective power dispels the commonly cited issues of reliability and cost surrounding renewable energy and emphasizes their role in powering our communities.

While some sectors have had to significantly scale back due to the pandemic, others have needed to adapt and ensure operations can continue without impact despite the many challenges that COVID-19 has presented, from supply chain challenges to the necessary social distancing measures. One such sector is the pharmaceutical industry, which has been working tirelessly to identify a vaccine for the virus. In Italy, we supported a customer in the sector with temperature control equipment which supported its vital anti-viral drug testing.

Mining is another sector which hasn’t been able to shut down during the pandemic. We worked to equip a mine in Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia, with generators to provide power for extra portable offices and temperature test stations to ensure site and staff safety during the pandemic, meaning production was maintained as efficiently and safely as possible.

COVID-19 has also created a much more uncertain economic climate, meaning many will need to keep a closer eye on their balance sheet. Through renting equipment, customers are presented with a more flexible solution without the need for additional Capex investment -- providing the flexibility on both the sites and company balance sheets to meet needs without long-term commitments or expenditure. This means companies can continue to employ market-leading generator solutions for all projects without worries surrounding investment or longevity. 

Anything special your company has done to contribute to anti-COVID efforts?

Day: ANA provided no-charge personal assistance to our customers and independent sales representatives who needed a little help with how to access the Payroll Protection Plan and Economic Injury Disaster Loan under the Cares Act. We lent our time and knowledge on how the process worked to ensure that our business partners were given the best opportunity to be solvent during this unprecedented time. The comments from customers and business partners after the fact was gratifying and it is nice to know we were able to help. 

Nieto: As a company, from the first day Atlas Copco has taken all the measures needed to ensure the safety of their employees and partners and followed all the governmental guidelines in every state where we are present. It is everybody’s responsibility to stop the spread of this pandemic. Safety is always been at the forefront of our company. 

Crandall: Like most companies we have worked to meet all guidelines put in place with working remotely from home, social distancing, increased hand sanitizing, wearing masks, staying six feet from others and an increased focus on sanitizing equipment in an effort to prevent spread of the virus. We have also installed the plexiglass style dividers and many locations where frequent employee/customer activity occurs. Our road technicians and sales force are being proactive with advanced communications with customers regarding the requirements for being at their facilities and working to ensure we are following their guidelines. We have sent our numerous announcements to our customer base letting them know we are open for business and able to meet their needs and that we are putting forth efforts to meet all safety guidelines and policies to aid in keeping people healthy.  

Carrick: Aggreko recognizes the unique challenge posed by COVID-19 and the need for everyone to contribute to relief efforts in any way they can. In the UK, Aggreko offered the UK government 1,300 small canopy generator units to support the setup of testing sites across the UK. Recognizing the need for reliable, modular power to support these testing sites and wider effort against the effects of COVID-19, Aggreko provided these generators pro-bono, with the remote monitoring capacity of these products further enhancing safety procedures at the test sites by reducing the number of people physically present.

In North America, our team provided the necessary power generation to transform a soccer field in New York to a temporary hospital in just eight days to provide vital capacity to one of the most impacted states in America.

Aggreko have also provided valuable business continuity across Latin America. In Mexico, we provided 300kW of backup power to an airport construction site, which meant the project could be delivered safely and on time. 

The oil and gas markets have been hit hard. Do you have any expectations for this market area going forward as far as power generation needs? 

Day: The oil-and-gas market will come back at some point and it is just a matter of when. With oil trading at roughly $34 a barrel at present, we do not expect to see a fast rebound in sales in this sector. ANA does not provide specialized or specific fueled engines for the oil-and-gas market, so it does not impact us as much as companies who specialize in natural gas-powered generators. We continue to stay in contact with our customers in this market and many of them are using this time to repair and service their equipment.  

Nieto: On top of the well-known inherent variability of the O&G business, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought extra level of uncertainty. However, we have no doubt this bad cycle will come to an end sooner than later. As an example of this, Atlas Copco is about to start a new development project for a specific project for the oil-and-gas industry, regardless of the current situation. 

Generac: The true needs of products always come to the forefront when uncertainty strikes. Users run their products longer and are looking for all ways to cut expenses in both capex and maintenance. How can we bring more value within our product offerings to our customers?  

Crandall: It would appear the oil-and-gas markets will be much slower to recover from the lockdown than many others. I don’t have a great deal of information regarding the production side, however on the usage side a return to normal will take some time based on the other avenues that have been hit, such as airlines, transportation, the event industry. With summer being here the oil-and-gas markets have also been hurt with so many vacations being cancelled or altered as such that travel in some fashion is either eliminated or shortened greatly. 

Carrick: It is right to say that COVID-19 has led to a significant fall in the demand for power. As grids respond to this change, their reliance on carbon-intense generation sources has decreased. The IEA’s latest Global Energy Review estimated that emissions would fall as much as 8 percent this year as coronavirus impacts continue.

That said, thermal energy still has a role to play in power generation despite the shift towards renewables. The very nature of renewable energy means that intermittency is an issue – we cannot guarantee that the sun will shine, or the wind will blow. What this demonstrates is that temporary power solutions must be flexible to meet the differing needs of a business, organization or country.  

Advances in technology have led to great increases in the reliability of hybrid and thermal systems, meaning that both solutions can be deployed interchangeably, providing this crucial flexibility and, above all, a reliable power supply to all projects. As such, whilst there has undoubtedly been an impact on demand and supply of oil-and-gas solutions, these continue to form valuable parts of any rental fleet to ensure sustained and continual power supply for all projects. 

What kind of impact has the developments in telematics had on the power generation industry?

Day: Telematics have become commonplace in many of our customers’ rental fleets. Since prime power diesel generators moved from analog controls to digital controllers it has allowed greater access to the engine controls and generator demand. The digital controllers are constantly providing information on the unit and the telematics help our customers better manage their fleet. The information allows our customers to right size machines by seeing the power demand over a period of time, which can help minimize a potential issue arising from having the wrong unit for the application. Additionally, telematics helps with billing, since generators are often placed into applications where it is not easy to access the unit. The telematics or remote monitoring provides simple insight as to how many hours the unit is being used and at what power requirement.  

Nieto: It will have a very positive impact in the management of the fleet in terms of efficient fleet sizing, optimization of its geographical distribution, efficient servicing, prediction of future needs, and more.     

Generac: Telematics are not a new technology, but they continue to evolve as end user demand for data grows. Users are looking for more than run data and location. The trend is moving toward predictive analytics. They want to know when a failure is going to occur. As they pull more data points, they can model patterns and use that information to prevent or eliminate the cause of the failure. They are also using the data to develop a more detailed total cost of ownership for each piece of equipment. 

Crandall: As noted prior, telematics has become a bit of a game changer for equipment security, operation and maintenance. All of which decrease costs and increase reliability which ultimately leads to increased profit for both the equipment owner and the rental user. 

Carrick: The increased employment of technical solutions, particularly those in communications and information, has accelerated the adoption of digital solutions for all generator manufacturers - Aggreko’s Remote Monitoring Technology is a prime example of this. These solutions, and the technology behind them, has led to direct benefits for consumers, such as increased system efficiency, and a more reliable and stable supply. There’s the added benefit of real-time data, allowing manufacturers to better control, understand and deploy energy supply and demand, as well as ensuring the maximum efficiency and longevity of their systems.