Smart Grid center receives Energy award

Honeywell's Smart Grid project with Custom Building Products won the Energy Project of the Year award from the Southern California Chapter of the AEE.


Honeywell has announced that the company’s Smart Grid project with Custom Building Products won the “Energy Project of the Year” award from the Southern California Chapter of the Association for Energy Engineers (AEE). The Honeywell project provides Custom Building Products with precise control over how its Bell, Calif., manufacturing facility uses energy, enabling it to automatically respond to changing peak electricity prices and trim utility bills.

The award recognizes the project for its high level of substantiated savings, which will enable the work to pay for itself within an estimated five months. Custom Building Products, a supplies manufacturer for the construction industry, offset the $80,000 total project cost with rebates from Southern California Edison (SCE) and support from a Smart Grid Investment Grant Honeywell received from the Department of Energy in late 2009. Those funds lowered the out-of-pocket expenses to less than $3,000. And Custom Building Products expects to realize $6,000 in annual energy savings due to the upgrades and the resulting enhanced control.

For the project, Custom Building Products enrolled its 142,000-sq-ft building in an automated demand response (Auto DR) program, managed by Honeywell, to control how facility equipment responds to SCE’s dynamic pricing structure. The structure bases electricity rates for commercial and industrial customers on consumption levels and generation costs, meaning prices rise significantly during periods of peak demand. 

Engineers installed technology to enable the facility’s existing automation system to receive and respond to price signals SCE sends using the Akuacom Demand Response Automation Server (DRAS) from Honeywell. The smart grid software automatically triggers load-shedding measures that Custom Building Products and Honeywell developed and programmed in advance. This includes safely shutting down all but two manufacturing lines during a peak pricing event to save costs while maintaining adequate production levels.

As a result of the Honeywell’s Auto DR strategies, Custom Building Products can shed more than 330 kW of its typical 520 kW load during events for substantial savings.

In addition, Honeywell centralized energy management at the facility, enabling better monitoring and control of automated load reductions. This is also helping Custom Building Products meet Air Quality Management District (AQMD) standards in Southern California.

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