What is an Energy Management System (EMS)?
By definition, an Energy Management System (EMS) is a technology platform that optimises the use and operation of energy-related assets and processes. In the context of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) an EMS plays a pivotal role; It manages the charging and discharging of the battery storage units, ensuring optimal performance and longevity of the batteries which ultimately determines the commercial return on investment.
According to a recent World Bank report on Economic Analysis of Battery Energy Storage Systems May 2020 achieving efficiency is one of the key capabilities of EMS, as it is responsible for optimal and safe operation of the energy storage systems. The EMS system dispatches each of the storage systems. Depending on the application, the EMS may have a component co-located with the energy storage system (Byrne 2017).
Key components of an EMS (Podium example)
Wattstor’s proprietary Podium EMS solution is an advanced energy management platform that’s designed to streamline and optimise the way energy is generated, stored, consumed, and traded on-site. Podium is not just a product; it’s an integrated solution that brings together three critical components to create a harmonious and efficient energy management experience:
(1) Cloud-based optimization engine
This core of the Podium platform is where the magic happens. Utilising cloud computing in solar battery storage, the optimization engine processes vast amounts of data to make intelligent decisions about energy usage. It analyses patterns in energy consumption, predicts future needs, and optimises the flow of energy accordingly. This dynamic engine is constantly learning and adapting, ensuring that energy management is always at its peak efficiency.
(2) Portal Interface
Accessibility and user-friendliness are key, and the portal interface of Podium delivers on both fronts. This intuitive interface allows users to interact with the system, providing real-time insights and analytics. Users can monitor their energy consumption, view performance reports, and even control various aspects of their energy system. The portal is designed to be straightforward, making complex data and operations understandable and manageable for end-users.
(3) Edge controller device
Acting as the physical connection between the digital and real world, the edge controller device is a critical component. It’s responsible for implementing the decisions made by the optimization engine. Whether it’s managing the flow of energy from renewable sources, controlling battery storage systems, or integrating with the grid, the edge controller ensures that these actions are executed smoothly and efficiently.
Podium is more than just an EMS platform, it’s a future-proof solution. As the energy landscape evolves, Podium adapts and scales accordingly. It’s designed to seamlessly integrate ongoing projects and new technologies, making it an ideal choice for managing distributed energy resources across various site buildings.
How an EMS reduces site operating costs
Used effectively, an Energy Management System can be a pivotal lever to pull on to reduce operational costs for sites using energy storage. Its cost-effectiveness lies in the following key functions that require optimum programming.
EMS provides constant monitoring of all energy-related systems and processes. This continuous oversight generates a wealth of data, offering deep insights into energy usage patterns and inefficiencies. By identifying areas where energy is wasted businesses can take immediate corrective actions. This kind of granular visibility into energy usage allows for more informed decision-making, leading to significant cost reductions.
EMS leverages data analytics to predict when equipment requires servicing, shifting the maintenance approach from reactive to proactive. By anticipating and addressing system inefficiencies before they escalate into costly repairs or downtimes, businesses can avoid significant expenses. Predictive maintenance not only extends the lifespan of equipment but also ensures that systems operate at peak efficiency, reducing unnecessary energy consumption.
Optimised energy consumption
Sites can automate and optimise their energy consumption based on real-time demand. This involves scheduling high-energy-consuming activities during off-peak hours to benefit from lower energy rates and reducing usage during peak periods to avoid high demand charges. Such strategic control over energy consumption patterns can result in substantial cost savings, particularly for businesses with large or complex operations.
The ability to provide real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, optimised energy consumption, and integration of renewable energy sources makes EMS an indispensable asset for businesses looking to enhance their energy efficiency and financial performance.
Additional benefits of EMS (beyond cost-saving)
EMS installation offers several advantages beyond the immediate financial savings. These benefits are crucial in today’s environmentally conscious business landscape.
Enhanced sustainability by reducing carbon footprint
An EMS plays a vital role in a business’s sustainability efforts. By optimising energy use, it significantly reduces unnecessary consumption, which in turn lowers greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production. This reduction in carbon footprint is essential for businesses aiming to meet environmental targets and contribute to global efforts against climate change.
Improved compliance with simplified reporting
Environmental regulations and reporting requirements are becoming increasingly stringent. An EMS simplifies compliance with these regulations by providing accurate, real-time data on energy consumption and efficiency. This data streamlines the reporting process, making it easier for businesses to demonstrate their compliance with various environmental laws and standards. In addition, the insights gained from EMS data can guide businesses in adopting practices that not only comply with current regulations but also prepare them for future legislative changes.
Considerations for EMS installation for your site
Choose the best-aligned partner
Begin by identifying potential EMS providers like Wattstor who have experience in your industry and with renewable energy storage. Look for partners with a proven track record of successful implementations and a strong support structure. It’s crucial to choose a partner who understands your specific needs and can offer a tailored solution rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Evaluate existing energy consumption
A comprehensive energy audit is the foundation of any effective EMS implementation. This audit should assess not just overall energy consumption but also peak demand times, inefficiencies, and potential areas for integration of battery storage solutions. Understanding your current energy profile helps to determine the scope and scale of the EMS required. Battery storage can laso be optimised for energy load shifting, peak shaving, or as a backup power source.
Configure an optimal EMS platform for your site
When selecting an EMS, consider the size of your business, the complexity of your energy needs, and the specific benefits you seek from incorporating battery storage. For businesses with fluctuating energy demands or those looking to capitalise on renewable energy, an EMS that efficiently manages battery storage can be invaluable. Ensure that the system is scalable and flexible enough to adapt to future energy needs and technological advancements.
Effective implementation of an EMS, particularly with a focus on battery energy storage, can transform how your business manages and utilises energy. It leads to increased efficiency, cost savings, and a step forward in achieving sustainability goals.
Speak to an EMS specialist today
Get in touch with Wattstor’s specialist team on [email protected]. Our enery experts can evaluate your site requirements and discuss how energy management systems like Podium can support your business.
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