Software-assisted energy management with OPTENDA and Modbus Cloud Connect

Viktor Deyemanns

Viktor Deyemanns – Business Development Engineer

The sustainable use of energy is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. Due to the energy transition and constantly rising prices, the conscious use of energy and energy costs for companies is becoming increasingly important. To monitor and control energy consumption, companies are introducing energy management with a specific software solution that helps to significantly reduce the challenges in this context. The motivation behind this is complex and ranges from a more positive public image and the reduction of operating costs all the way to compliance with legal regulations and standards (ISO 50001). This article briefly summarizes some of the tasks an energy management software performs and describes the required infrastructure using the example of our partner Optenda and our product Modbus Cloud Connect.

Tasks of energy management software

Energy management software centrally documents and visualizes all consumption data available to the platform. The resulting transparency allows consumption to be easily monitored, analyzed and optimized through appropriate measures. Companies use this software as a central tool for operating their energy management. The characteristics of the analyses and the data required for them can be very individual, which is why the software should offer a high degree of individualization in this context.

With OPTENDA’s Energy Monitor, energy consumption can be easily visualized on a dashboard according to individual requirements. There are also other preconfigured dashboards and options to carry out relevant analyses efficiently. The online platform can also be used to create individual reports and to document and track measures. These tools serve as support for operational energy management in the company. The platform works with data from the measuring devices that record the energy consumption of downstream consumers. The data can be imported manually so that a physical reading would also be possible. However, it is advisable to connect the meters and create a digital metering infrastructure to ensure that the software can be used consistently and cost-effectively in the long term.

In our example, the homepage of Optenda’s Energy Monitor shows a complete overview of all consumption.

The platform already natively supports many meters and gateways, but also has a universal connection option for transmitting data via MQTT.

Connecting the measuring devices

With Modbus Cloud Connect, these energy meters can be connected to transmit consumption data to OPTENDA’s Energy Monitor.

In order to carry out a meaningful analysis, it is necessary to perform granular measurement (submetering) in order to separate sub-areas locally or categorically. Special systems, such as a building’s heating or cooling system, often offer potential savings and should therefore also be able to be monitored in isolation.

Due to Modbus Cloud Connect it is easy to connect your devices. This means that both connecting new measuring devices and integrating existing measuring devices (retrofitting) is quick and easy. With a width of 1 TE (subunit), the required installation space in the distribution box is minimal, so that very little additional space is needed in existing installations. Thanks to the integrated NB-IoT/LTE-M modem, no local infrastructure is necessary for a data connection. A connection is also possible under difficult conditions, such as in basements. Meters that do not have a Modbus RTU interface can usually be connected to the Modbus Cloud Connect as required using additional hardware or converters. We have already reported on some combinations (Infrared and ZFA) as examples in our blog. This also includes mechanical meters (Retrofit via pulse interface), which can often be digitized in a retrofit using pulse transmitters in conjunction with a Modbus-capable pulse meter.

Installation of a meter in a sub-distribution board

Sebastian Braun (Managing Director, Optenda):
“Energy monitoring is an important tool in both energy and sustainability management. It enables companies to monitor their energy consumption, increase their efficiency and thus reduce negative ecological impacts. The joint solution from grandcentrix and OPTENDA offers a simple and inexpensive entry point as well as flexible expandability. This enables companies to gradually expand measures for greater energy efficiency and sustainability.”

The overall system

The sum of all meters that are recorded in the system form the meter infrastructure for the overall system. Depending on requirements, consumption is measured at different levels of granularity. Modbus Cloud Connect is used to transmit the data despite different or older meters. Connected meter infrastructure as a digital data source for the energy management software


The complete implementation of energy management software in a company also includes connecting the existing meter infrastructure and setting up new connected metering points. The initial effort involved in creating a connecting meter infrastructure and thus providing an overall system for effective energy management should be kept to a minimum, especially in the context of the targeted cost savings in the energy sector. Once this infrastructure has been created, the data flow is permanently and consistently available. In addition to the possible primary goal of optimizing energy consumption, there are other potential applications that can be implemented quickly and easily.

For example, the energy costs incurred can be viewed at any time and can be allocated to specific activities and process steps. Energy consumption can thus be assigned as a clear variable within a value chain and thus inefficient processes can be identified more easily. By recording relevant parameters, anomalies that indicate faults or defects can also be detected. This allows downtimes to be reduced or even avoided. Finally, it is possible to detect whether all systems have been switched off after the end of operation in order to reduce energy consumption, wear and tear or the risk of fire.

Once the step towards digitizing a metering infrastructure has been taken, there are various ways to uncover potential for optimization in daily operations, which can lead to cost savings and a more sustainable use of energy.