In this SDG Awards 2017 entry:
- SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities
- Impact of SDG Efforts
- Future Plans
- SDG Partnerships
- Supplementary Media & Documents
Voting Category: Small/Medium Company
SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Rittal Systems Ltd., headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, is the Canadian Subsidiary of Rittal GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, which is the world’s leading provider of enclosures, power distribution, climate control, IT infrastructure and software & services.
The highly innovative and energy-efficient Blue e+ air conditioners are used for climate control within enclosures for electronics equipment, that can save up to 75% in enclosure cooling costs and energy.
For customers seeking to deploy the new technology to facilities around the world, all Blue e+ units provide multi-voltage capability to connect to all standard power grids worldwide. The cooling unit is always the same, no matter whether the machine is being connected to power in North America, Europe or Asia. This not only means a considerable reduction in the number of device variants, but also to a greater simplification of spare parts logistics for single-part number ordering as well as much easier supply chain logistics for Rittal customers.
Blue e+ units also offer password-protected Near-Field Communications (NFC) and touch display/smart interfaces which allows operations personnel to monitor and modify the cooling unit via mobile devices to prolong the life of the units and make them more sustainable. They offer cooling capacities up to 6,000 watts (previously up to 4,000 watts) and can be used in environments ranging from -30°C to +60°C.
The units provide maximum flexibility with multi-voltage capability. The cooling units can be used for several voltages without installing a transformer! What’s more, the assembly is easy, with one mounting cut-out for multiple output categories and mounting configurations.
SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities
Rittal has taken the challenge to protect electronics from overheating – while reducing energy costs and energy usage seriously, and the Blue e+ series is the result. No other manufacturer of climate control or thermal management solutions for enclosures used in industrial or IT settings has incorporated the use of a heat pipe for passive cooling using ambient air within enclosures.
The Blue e+ uses an innovative hybrid process that relies upon two parallel cooling circuits working together, depending on temperature difference. The integral heat pipe dissipates heat from the enclosure as soon as the ambient temperature falls below the setpoint, providing passive climatization. Active climatization is achieved via the compressor’s cooling circuit with speed-controlled components for demand-based cooling.Not only is energy consumption far less than with conventional technology, but the improved cooling leads to longer service life of the components inside the enclosure and the cooling unit itself.
The revolutionary energy efficiency due to its hybrid technology is the major advantage and significance of the Blue e+ and Rittal is excited to contribute to a better world through this energy-conserving technology within enclosures.
By developing and releasing the Blue e+ series, Rittal sought to help industrial and IT companies become aware of current energy and cost inefficiencies and provide a solution to these issues that saves up to 75% in energy costs, this contributing to sustainable goals of any organization.
Impact of SDG Efforts
The main significance of the Blue e+ is in its contribution to energy efficiency and energy conservation. Due to the use of hybrid (and patented) technology in an air conditioning unit never before incorporated into an AC system, the Blue e+ series of air conditioners can save up to 75% of the energy costs normally associated with cooling electronic equipment within enclosures. The average EER for Blue e+ is ~ 2.5. This is due to the use of a heat pipe that uses cold ambient air for passive cooling as well as a compressor-based cooling circuit for demand-based cooling.
Through the integrated marketing program announcing Blue e+, Rittal saw over 10,000 views and visits which resulted in substantial business opportunities, as well as significant PR coverage both in Canada and internationally. The series has also won several industry awards, including the 2016 Cooling Award of the RAC Magazine (Refrigeration and Air Conditioning) and in Germany, it received German industry’s Innovation Award for the best product.
Proof/Impact of energy savings on some Canadian organizations:
“Since we have been testing the cooling units in our factory, we have already recorded an energy saving of 75 per cent for the Blue e+ unit compared to its predecessor Blue e. That is not only a very good result from the technical perspective, but also makes the Blue e+ cooling unit a must under all economical aspects.”
Stéphane Cottard, Head of Construction and Climate Control, Renault de Cléon. The French automobile manufacturer with branches in Canada, counts a global workforce of over 100,000 employees and, through its alliance with Nissan Motors, is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world.
“I was both surprised and impressed by the results. The temperature accuracy of the new Rittal Blue e+ cooling units permits significant reduction of the thermal stress placed on control devices and thus automatically extends the service life of our systems. An absolute plus for us in mechanical engineering.”
Alfred Tenner, Head of Department for Measuring and Control Technology, Kapp Werkzeugmaschinen GmbHWith around 850 employees worldwide including in Canada, the KAPP Group offers innovative technologies and systems for the precision finishing of gears and profiles for demanding customer applications.
Rittal systems is always innovating and researching into enhancing its product lines to meet the key objectives attaining new heights of technological excellence while maintaining the highest standards of sustainability and environmental protection.
Rittal’s team of product experts plan to launch the new Blue e+ line of chillers at the beginning of 2018. Rittal is also planning to launch the new climate integrated cooling solutions by the end of year.
Rittal’s Future Plans for Connecting Devices to the IoT:
Rittal’s line of enclosure cooling systems are connected to the internet so that they can be tracked and monitored anytime anywhere. One major benefit of having units permanently connected to the Internet and feeding data is that Rittal will be able to analyze the data to better understand their products’ performance in the field.
For example, the data may identify aberrant behavior, such as unexpected fan speeds or internal temperatures. It may also identify unusual power consumption of individual components, or pressure in the refrigeration circuits.
These data points may not be meaningful individually, but over time they may point to patterns of component failure that product designers can address in future models.
There are many immediate benefits that customers can expect from having their Blue e+ units connected to the IoT:
- Remote monitoring of the condition of each unit including identification of operating parameters
- Continuous live transmission of data from the field helps assess the remaining useful life of components within the unit
- Predictive maintenance based on data analysis and hence higher availability of the equipment
Rittal has a multi-step vision for rolling out IoT connectivity:
At this stage, Rittal has not committed to a business model or monetization strategy. Their first step is to simply make the sensor data available for analysis and start to draw conclusions.
Once they understand what additional information they can glean from the data, they will create tools to gain the most value from the data, similar to the tools that were developed for the demonstration. Once these steps are in place, Rittal intends to become a service provider for their products through remote monitoring.
Rittal System’s channel network of distributors: https://www.rittalenclosures.com/distributor-locator-canada/
Rittal is always looking to engage in partnerships with distributors and companies to advance our SDGs!
Some Canadian partners went above and beyond by creating a special microsite for the Blue e+ cooling line, as well as engaging in tremendous social media and awareness projects.