Energy management covers the entire electrical power system from production to consumption—generation, transmission, supply, and consumption. The most familiar field of energy management for general users is related to consumption.
There are different kinds of software for energy management in buildings and factories which spend large amounts of energy called Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) and Factory Energy Management Systems (FEMS).
Energy management is now considered quite important for homes as well, and the software supporting this is called HEMS which is short for Home Energy Management System.
There are also multiple other forms of energy management software in Korea related to the smart grid environment for intelligent generation, transmission, and supply operated by KEPCO, a Korean public enterprise for energy supplies.
These types of software have different names and functions according to the specific areas they are adopted into. What they share, however, is their main purpose and function: efficient use and operation of energy. This is why they can be under the same umbrella name, energy management system (hereafter, EMS)
Let’s see what particular functions EMS provides and how it is utilized in a smart grid environment.
In the past, electrical power systems ran one way, from energy production to consumption, so it wasn’t very easy to manage and operate them efficiently. These days a smart grid environment is being developed for intelligent power systems, and there are various types of EMS to make this possible.
The level of technology required for the smart grid environment is getting higher, while the devices and systems are also becoming more complex.
For example, power companies in a smart grid environment install smart meters with bidirectional communication functions for better pricing and management of consumption.
This means the massive amount of metering data collected each second has to be processed immediately. The system requires other various technologies as well in order to prevent the data from being manipulated, while analyzing the quality of the provided energy and detecting energy theft.
In a smart grid environment, there are multiple reasons to connect diverse pieces of equipment other than smart meters—connecting the existing power system with the new renewable energy generators for solar and wind power for example, or connecting to energy storage systems (hereafter ESS) and batteries from electric vehicles to save or use energy more efficiently.
EMS can be extended in the smart grid environment as seen in the image below.
It gets harder to satisfy all requirements with existing systems or separate solutions as the smart grid environment is becoming increasingly more diverse and complex.
This is why we need a platform that can cover of our energy management needs by integrating the entire system. This way, the system can become more flexible to extension without integrating each solution through the platform or having the system depend on specific technologies or devices.
For this reason an EMS for efficient energy management from generation to consumption needs to be created based on the platform.
This platform not only plays a key role in the general energy management, but also integrates or gets extended for other diverse energy services besides BEMS and FEMS.
Smart EMS is an energy operation solution from LG CNS for improved energy management. It was created to respond to changes in the electric power market quickly with new services. This solution is based on the Smart Green Platform (SGP), a control and monitoring platform also from LG CNS.
Smart EMS is able to control chargeable power storage, generators for solar or wind power, and equipment related to consumption directly through SGP. It also provides various tools to test the validity of the collected data and to analyze meaningful information.
First, it has its own prediction algorithm based on weather information and consumption patterns so it can figure out how much power will be generated and spent. It also reflects the calculated prediction and the market situation in order to create the best operational schedule for equipment like generators and storage units. With this algorithm, you can establish an optimal plan for each resource throughout the day.
This prediction and optimization algorithm requires well-refined data for accuracy. If malfunctioning equipment collects data outside the normal range or a communication error interrupts data collection, the reliability of the data and the accuracy of the prediction will decrease.
For this reason, Smart EMS verifies the validity of the collected data in multiple ways and extracts it for statistics or pricing from this refined data,
Prediction on generation and consumption as well as the optimal operating schedules are created based on this data. The result of the operation after prediction and scheduling can be analyzed in the form of reports to see how well the prediction worked.
It helps maintain optimal energy use by the hour based on solar/wind power generation and consumption monitor data and services such as peak cut, peak shift, and demand response using ESS.
It can also be extended to BEMS, FEMS, and MicroGrid for integrated operations. Smart EMS is being used at diverse locations including factories, power plants, and schools.
Now let’s take a look at how Smart EMS can play a key role as an energy management platform and how it can be extended for different services.
In this case, a lithium-ion battery based ESS was installed for a manufacturing plant in order to lower the base rate and the meter rate by controlling maximum loads and cutting consumption during maximum-load hours.
In 2014 when it was installed, it was the world’s biggest commercial ESS. It is also connected to the battery room and the fire protection system for integrated operations.
This is the system by which energy data from each branch is integrated and gathered to a remote energy management center to be controlled. The energy usage for each building is analyzed for multiple variables such as time periods and floors. It also has an alarm service for peak management as well as energy consumption analysis during non-business hour.
It reduces energy consumption by providing various forms of energy usage status in real time.
This was the case where ESS was installed at a solar power plant in order to reduce the electric power consumption in operating the plant. Microgrid was one of the most successful cases which set the stage for net-zero new renewable energy plants by maximizing generative and economic efficiency.
The surplus power during the day from solar power generation is stored in the battery then used later at night. If the generation is slow due to bad weather, it saves power early in the morning when power consumption is lowest so that it can be used during the day when they need it more. This method resulted in lowering the electric bill for the power plant by 65%.
The campus microgrid case, which was conducted to propagate a smart grid, is not only enhancing the energy saving effect through peak cut and load shift using ESS, but is also creating additional profits by participating in the demand market.
The power can be saved on ESS during light load hours and then used in summer when the demand peaks. By discharging the electricity from the battery it gets involved in the demand market and is then rewarded for it.
Today we had a chance to look at how EMS plays a key role in energy management and how diverse its services can be.
EMS integrates and manages all of the equipment and data for optimal power generation and consumption. It is the conductor of energy management which creates various services to create the best effects.
EMS is playing an especially important role in the smart grid environment by connecting the existing power systems and new renewable energy, and supporting microgrids which store energy to use it when needed.
In the next posting we will take a closer look at microgrids, electrical grids which produce and consume energy autonomously.
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Written by Kyung Hwa Yang, Advisory at LG CNS Smart Green Solution R&D Center