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inGenious Flex inGenious

Control energy better than ever with an automated flexibility management system which extracts every potential from existing resources and offsets the rising costs of energy.

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Challenge

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A multi-rate tariff system significantly complicates cost calculations and energy management for a larger and less agile manufacturing company, threatening to skyrocket the power bill through higher network charges.

Solution

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After a thorough flexibility assessment, inGenious Flex is installed and connected to key loads and resources. Based on a consumption profile, it helps the customer set limits and KPIs for each tariff period, setting goals to strike an optimal compromise between costs and impact on production. Power draw is adjusted in each period according to the price and available flexibilities, with adjustments being made automatically and in real time based on the needs of the production processes and the forecast.

 

Effect

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The cost increases of transitioning to a multi-rate tariff system are not only mitigated, but network charges are even lower than before the switch. The forecasting and limiting of maximum power in each tariff period allow the user to report accurate numbers to their electricity provider, lowering costs in the future as well. Installing inGenious Flex enables an even easier transition to a dynamic-rate system in the future.

Challenge

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Reducing energy costs is necessary but is seemingly bottlenecked by the lack of flexible loads. Production processes are rigid, schedules only intended to optimise manufacturing output, there are no generators or storage on site.

Solution

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A thorough analysis of production processes and energy flows is made, assisted greatly by a past installation of inGenious View. Flexibility of usually inflexible loads is assessed, the system is upgraded to inGenious Flex, and integrated with particularly promising loads. Flexibilities are extracted gradually, initially through the frontloading of consumption and the use of virtual storage. Any impact on manufacturing is carefully monitored, adding more loads into the system only after assuring little to no impact on production efficiency.

Effect

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Energy costs are reduced through the activation of hidden potentials in seemingly inflexible loads. The use of virtual storage enables a soft integration of flexibility management into existing manufacturing processes and eases energy planning in the future.

Challenge

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A manufacturing location has a third-party solar power installation with battery-electric storage, but their activity overlaps poorly with actual needs, leading to the ineffective use of the benefit of local generation capabilities.

Solution

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After accurately profiling both generation and consumption of energy with several scenarios, they are integrated into the flexibility management system. The local generator and storage are used as prosumers in the system, using the storage primarily to even out the gaps between high generation and consumption. With external data integration, the system can account for the weather forecast and more accurately predict future generation ability, compensating with storage and additional adaptations.

Effect

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Total energy drawn from the grid is reduced, leading to a lower power bill. Using better battery cycle management, the lifetime of the battery and its return on investment are increased. The installation with generation and storage makes the location an ideal candidate for participation in wider, grid-level flexibility systems.

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Savings simplified

In energy flexibility, based on the principle of active demand, power is regulated by shifting consumption rather than increasing electricity production. The system follows the user’s economic goals through energy consumption, based on energy and power prices, storage costs, and production efficiency. In addition to energy and grid costs, additional savings are achieved through a more balanced grid load, resulting in lower maintenance costs.

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Complete overview

The system provides a complete overview of energy sources, flows, and loads. Each load, generator, and battery operates as an independent active consumer, communicating its available flexibility to the central control system. This system automatically schedules operations according to user constraints and the flexibility offered by active consumers. Advanced analytics, custom KPIs, and automated reports enable a thorough understanding of your energy system

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Bespoke turnkey solution

The system’s modularity allows for addressing multiple challenges within a single solution, fully tailored to the individual user’s needs with additional functionalities, subsystems, and locations. Managing any energy flow is possible with a wide array of sensors, signals, and protocols supported by the system. The solution is vertically nested, integrating with higher-level systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), system services, and energy markets.


Active demand response

in an industrial environment

Unlike active demand response in the grid, where the priority is balancing the distribution network, the goal of active demand response in industry depends on the company’s priorities. It often addresses issues of uneven consumption, poorly utilized production resources, and the associated high electricity costs.
Since everything occurs behind the billing meter, industrial implementation of active demand response is entirely independent of the distribution or transmission network operator. The system can operate independently in a local installation, and at the client’s request, it can be connected to external systems such as energy markets, weather forecasts, or any other data sources.

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Automated flexibility management

Managing a microgrid at the factory level, where each load, source, and storage unit acts as an individual active consumer, offers all the benefits of a smart grid regardless of the business environment.

Each connected device with an included flexibility module, and devices already equipped with a communication interface (such as inGenious Cube), automatically generates flexibility offers. Based on user constraints, the module indicates the time periods during which the device can adjust, the amount of energy it can offer in each interval, and, if required and enabled, the cost of energy for that active consumer.

The central demand scheduling module actively collects flexibility data from each active consumer. Based on accessible data from active consumers, internal data (user constraints, price signals, consumption profile forecasts), and external data (weather, market energy prices, grid system service data, etc.), it automatically calculates the optimal scenario for savings and sends the execution schedule to the active consumers.

Monitoring financial impacts

Multi-tariff network systems are too complex for manual management, but inGenious Flex, with its financial parameters system ready for dynamic tariffs, handles them automatically. Users can immediately see the financial impacts through a customizable dashboard, automatically generate reports, and set alarms for both energy and financial efficiency.

With the ability to set energy and power prices both at the system level and for each active consumer (prosumer) individually, inGenious Flex can smartly allocate consumption to approach the optimal price point. This includes fixed prices set by the energy supplier, consumption prices from self-generated sources like solar panels or water storage, the cost of using a battery cycle, and any other price signals required by specific situations.

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Key Functionalities

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Profile analysis
and prediction

Gathering and historizing data from all connected sources, the system creates a complete consumption profile at both global and prosumer levels. Using it to create several forecasts, this profile can dynamically adapt the power draw of each prosumer to best pursue both energy management and production efficiency goals.
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Seamless integration
and upgrade

inGenious Flex can be installed over an existing inGenious View or inGenious Peak system at the factory level, while connecting any machines equipped with inGenious Cube using existing infrastructure. Requiring no significant infrastructural investment to begin operating, it can integrate into any environment and can be installed in the cloud with minimal effort and maximum benefit.
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Scalability and
system nesting

Thanks in part to the award-winning FlexOffer protocol, which contains machine-generated flexibilities for each prosumer, the system works for a practically unlimited number of prosumers. To get more benefit at scale, inGenious Flex can nest into itself for a multi-level set of subsystems, where each group is considered a prosumer in the higher-level system.
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Complete control
without manual operation

While the system calculates and executes its best schedule on its own, control is never entirely out of human hands. At any point, a user can connect to any node in the system locally or remotely and manually override a computer decision. That is then taken into account by the algorithm, which adapts other prosumers to reflect a change in the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

inGenious Flex offers a high degree of flexibility and can be installed either as a cloud service or directly in the client's local server environment. This dual approach allows you to choose the best option based on specific security, operational, and infrastructure needs. Both on-site installation and deployment in Inea's cloud provide complete control over the system and data, which is crucial for organizations with high security and privacy requirements. For distributed resources and remote locations, we recommend cloud installation for easier access regardless of location and greater resilience to local communication interruptions.
When transferring data over public internet connections, inGenious Flex ensures a high level of security using VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology. This technology employs robust encryption and authentication methods, such as SSL/TLS and IPSec ESP, to protect against various types of attacks. The ability to establish multiple VPN connections (tunnels) allows for secure communication between different endpoints, with each connection protected by secure certificates. This approach ensures that data remains safe and protected even when transmitted to remote locations or mobile devices.
inGenious Flex is designed for easy integration with various IT systems, enabling data exchange through API/RESTful technology and other web services. Support for bidirectional connections via MQTT brokers further extends integration possibilities, allowing systems to communicate and operate in sync. This open approach ensures that inGenious Flex can function as a central energy management system, seamlessly connecting with existing business, production, and energy systems to enhance efficiency and facilitate interoperability and maintenance.
Yes, inGenious Flex is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing users to optimize their energy consumption according to various tariff models. The system can activate flexibility based on price signals, such as tariffs or market prices, and explicit signals from network operators or aggregators. This adaptability enables customers to adjust their power consumption limits at any time, enhancing operational efficiency while maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements and market conditions. In addition to fixed settings, the system is pre-configured for dynamic tariff systems, thanks to its network communication capabilities and data exchange options with external services from operators and aggregators.
In an industrial environment, inGenious Flex considers a wide range of devices as active consumers that can adjust their energy consumption based on current grid needs or tariff signals, similar to a smart grid consumer. These include thermal devices such as furnaces and dryers, which can reduce their power or temporarily halt operations, as well as heat pumps, ventilation systems, industrial process heating, and cooling systems. Other active consumers include water pumps, air compressors, EV charging stations, and various energy storage systems like lithium batteries and thermal storage units. Before each installation of inGenious Flex, we conduct a thorough analysis to determine the optimal adaptation strategy and the number and type of devices suitable for active consumption in each specific case and environment.
No, inGenious Flex is designed as a fully modular solution, which means it can grow and adapt with your needs without requiring a complete system replacement. When expanding to new locations, changing modules, or upgrading, the system can be easily updated remotely. During periodic system updates and maintenance, inGenious Flex operates seamlessly without the need for additional installations or upgrades on the client's side. Additionally, installing inGenious Flex does not require prior purchase of inGenious View or inGenious Cube systems, as their functionalities are already included in inGenious Flex.
When upgrading to inGenious Flex, the core system installation remains unchanged, except for the installation location change, such as upgrading a local inGenious Cube to a networked inGenious Flex. For an upgrade involving inGenious View, monitoring clients need to be added for bidirectional communication of flexibility between the system and devices. The central user experience and interface remain the same if supported by the client's IT infrastructure. The INEA inGenious product family is fully modular, making software upgrades straightforward and minimizing the need for additional physical installations.

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