Now oil firms are beginning to leverage smart grid technologies in their operations.

Saudi Armaco has begun installation of Smartcool’s ESM technology in its facilities in efforts to improve the energy efficiency of its air conditioning systems. After substantial testing with Saudi Aramco, Smartcool found that the ESM technology saved the Middle Eastern country 65,883 kWh in electricity costs for cooling.

ESM is an energy saving control system for air conditioning, refrigeration, and heat pump compressors that uses advanced technology to reduce electricity usage and demand for cool system equipment manufacturers like Saudi Aramco. The technology closely analyzes data, just like smart grid technologies do, to improve the performance of their compressors while reducing carbon emissions and lowering operational costs.

“The Smartcool control strategy relies on some known physical characteristics of refrigeration,” Executive Vice President of Smartcool Steven Martin told Breaking Energy. “With higher primary refrigerant pressures you can get greater efficiency from the compressor.”

Established in 2004, the Canadian company has deployed its ESM technology to commercial and industrial customers around the globe. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the ESM has been installed in the UK, South Africa, Spain and other Middle Eastern countries.

International companies have generally installed the ESM technology in facilities with large commercial or industrial equipment. Smartcool also sells a smaller system, the ECO3 that is better fit for smaller scale equipment and has had a greater presence in the US, according to Martin.

Photo Caption: Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (center) receives an award from Madi Khamis (left), secretary general of the Arab Media Forum, and Kuwaiti Oil and Information Minister Sheikh Ahmed al-Abdullah al-Sabah, at the opening of the eighth Arab Media Forum in Kuwait City on April 24, 2011.