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Schneider Presents Green-Focus, Open-Architecture EcoStruXure

The energy management company announces new software and how it will combat global energy shortages. By Geoffrey Oldmixon

Schneider Electric is uniquely positioned to "declare war on energy waste." That was the message the French energy management company delivered to dozens of journalists through a full lineup of speakers and session leaders at the annual Editor's Event in Newport, R.I., on June 5.

The event, attended by reporters and editors from 15 U.S. cities and 15 countries, was originally hosted by American Power Conversion, which has since become a subsidiary of Schneider.

Schneider used the event to not only announce its open-architecture EcoStruXure software, but also its plan to combat global energy shortages by leveraging its own "central position for solving this [energy] problem."

Neil Rasmussen, founder of APC and chief innovation officer of APC and Schneider, led the charge for energy efficiency. "Forty-four percent of greenhouse gas emissions comes from buildings," he said amidst a detailed "Inconvenient Truth"-like PowerPoint presentation. "And most of that comes from operation. A data center's lifetime emissions come 90 percent from operation and only 10 percent from fabrication."

The theme of Rasmussen's lengthy presentation was this: 1) Modern human life depends on technology. 2) That technology requires energy. 3) That energy has a limited supply. 4) APC and Schneider Electric are in a position to supply the channel with effective, low-energy-use products and energy management solutions.

"In the long run," Rasmussen said, "we think there is a huge amount of energy savings that will be done not through audits, but through innovations."

Schneider claims to be involved in 72 percent of all end-user consumption. "The only sector we don't touch, really, is transportation," Rasmussen said. "We have a central position for solving this [energy shortage] problem, and it kind of puts a burden on us and hands us an opportunity."

Key to Schneider's campaign to reduce energy waste is its EcoStruXure brand.

Essentially, EcoStruXure represents an effort by Schneider to market its wide range of power management brands-it owns 160 of them-under a single umbrella. More specifically, EcoStruXure provides a means of integrating Schneider products "from plant to plug" via an open-architecture design with "guaranteed compatibility" and accompanying Web services.

In EcoStruXure, explained Jim Simonelli, Schneider's chief technology officer, the company has brought together software experts from each of five domains: building comfort management, white space management, physical security management, power management, and process and machine management.

Simonelli told the press that Schneider is now at a convergence stage. "We've started developing a single open Web services bus that will be of value to each of these domains," he said. "We need to look at these in aggregate. This is an architecture that will bring together these five domains."

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