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Eaton / IES
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Eaton Partners with IES to Create Digital Twins for Buildings

April 11, 2023

Eaton has signed an agreement with IES, Glasgow, Scotland, a climate tech and building performance analytics firm, to develop approaches that will help building owners boost the sustainability of their buildings and prepare them for the energy transition.

Using digital twins, Eaton and IES will explore options for making buildings more sustainable including various combinations of EV charging infrastructure, energy storage, and renewable generation technologies to identify the most effective energy ecosystems. A digital twin is a 3D digital representation of a built environment asset -- a building or its supporting infrastructure, for example -- that can be interrogated by running various scenarios to inform decisions about its future. Learning from the asset’s past performance leads to better decision-making when developing a roadmap for its future. 

IES integrates physics-based simulation with the 3D model, real-time operational data, machine learning and AI to provide unique insights which will be allied to Eaton’s expertise in power management to devise high-performance strategies for building decarbonisation, energy efficiency improvement and energy cost reduction.

Delphine Clement, commercial and industrial buildings segment leader at Eaton in EMEA, said in the press release,  “With IES’s expertise in buildings physics, we can show our customers how their buildings will perform before and during their energy transition journey. They will be able to examine the costs and benefits of various options to boost sustainability to help them better understand and de-risk the investments they need to make.”

Don McLean, Founder and CEO of IES said in the press release, “Digital twins will be key to our work with Eaton because they respond and behave like their real-world counterparts, translating data into essential decision support information. For Eaton’s customers, we will examine how a building is used, with a focus on both energy efficiency and user comfort, before constructing a digital twin to forecast the potential energy savings and payback periods of various applications of Eaton’s Buildings as a Grid approach.” 

Eaton’s Buildings as a Grid approach transforms buildings into energy hubs that support EV charging and renewable energy generation. The aim is to help commercial building owners save money on energy bills and prepare their properties to comply with net-zero regulations.

Explaining further, Clement added, “Electricity generation is changing, and so is how we store and manage power. Transport is changing, and with more EVs on the road we need to charge them efficiently without overloading power networks. This represents both opportunity and risk for building owners. Getting electrification right will preserve the value of their buildings, as well as provide building users with a greater degree of energy self-sufficiency.”

This ambition accords fully with the ethos of IES: “The built environment accounts for almost 40% of global emissions and we’re working to get that down to zero,” said Don McLean. “Our agreement with Eaton will help to deliver highly energy efficient commercial and industrial buildings.”