Case studies

Industrial: SEW-Eurodrive

Wherever industry needs movement, SEW-Eurodrive’s energy-efficient motors are there to drive everything from manufacturing and food production to seaports and recycling plants.

After a competitive review of five energy services, our combined efficiency and commercial solar approach won, because it allowed us to reduce the number of solar PV panels and capital expense required, while guaranteeing energy savings and substantially reducing operating costs.


As we began our work with SEW-Eurodrive, we knew their facilities team was already practicing modern energy management techniques with well-scheduled HVAC and lighting controls, so we would have to dig deeper to find new energy savings.

To evaluate the plant’s energy performance and flag any variances, we augmented existing BMS and utility data with new raw data captured by scores of our own sensors.

This new data gave us a complete picture of the building’s wasted energy — its Efficiency Reserves — that we would convert into new value.

Then, we crunched all that data with our proprietary CLUES® software platform (Carbon Lighthouse Unified Engineering System) to build a customized energy model and optimized time-of-use (TOU) schedule.

Our Energy Performance Team also uses machine-learning algorithms that continuously analyze whole-building sensor and BMS data to flag any potential problems for a real human to review.

Partly as a result of our partnership, SEW-Eurodrive was was honored by the City of Hayward’s 2018 Annual Environmental Sustainability Awards, which recognizes local businesses committed to sustainability.

We’re proud of our work with SEW-Eurodrive in helping them turn energy waste into guaranteed revenue, and look forward to partnering with them on additional projects across the country.

With each new implementation, we use our learnings to improve our platform for current and future clients — and for SEW-Eurodrive, this means a streamlined process for producing efficiencies in other buildings, magnifying financial returns and reducing operating expenses across their portfolio.


Lighting Measures


Many lighting fixtures were good candidates for LED upgrades to reduce energy consumption and extend product lifetimes.


  • Specified extended run hours of energy-efficient LEDs to substantially decrease maintenance demands from lamp or ballast failures
  • Replaced all interior and exterior lamps with LEDs
  • Measured light levels pre- and post-retrofit to ensure adequate lighting for facility staff
  • Retrofitted interior T8 fixtures with LED lamps and drivers
  • Completed lighting upgrades outside of business hours to minimize disruption

Commercial Solar Evaluation


Although rooftop constraints included significant shading from the south, our plan required fewer commercial solar panels for greater design flexibility to avoid the shading issues.


  • Implemented a 170kW rooftop array, 15% smaller than what would have been required by the 200kW+ plans suggested by competing commercial solar services
  • Reduced panel count by 108, freeing up over 3000 square feet of rooftop area that didn’t have to be used for the solar panel array
  • Installed integrated sensor package to enable active commercial solar efficiency monitoring
  • Monitoring ensures performance meets modeled expectations, regardless of how sunny or cloudy it may be

HVAC Optimizations


With air compressor controls set to manual, we needed to make sure they were not running outside of normal business hours.


  • Installed new sensors throughout the building to give accurate data to our CLUES energy modeling platform
  • Created monitoring and alerts to prevent air compressors from being left on
  • Combined on-site measurements, statistical analysis of 15-minute interval data, and solar monitoring trends to confirm that our program is functional and achieving expected energy savings

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