Industrial and domestic energy consumers no longer rely upon a centralized model of electricity generation. Efforts to decarbonize energy systems and limit global warming mean distributed and intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar are growing their share in the mix, alongside a host of new technologies, all of which increases the overall demand for power and impacts security of supply.
The impact on grid frequency
Unpredictive changes in electricity demand can significantly impact grid frequency. For instance, if the demand for electricity is higher than supply, frequency will fall below the required limit. Vice versa, if the supply is higher, frequency will rise. The electrical equipment in homes, factories and offices is designed to operate at 50Hz or 60Hz within a tight tolerance; it is very important, therefore, to keep the frequency of our power supply stable.
Why? Because when demand for electricity exceeds supply, rolling blackouts occur, meaning some customers receive power at the required voltage at the expense of others, who get no power at all: this is also known as ‘load shedding’.
Effective demand-side load management
Load management, also known as demand-side management (DSM), can help utilities manage energy in an economical and resource-efficient way by balancing the supply of electricity on the network with the electrical load. This is achieved by adjusting or controlling the load rather than the power station output.
DSM allows utilities to reduce demand for power during peak times, which translates to reduced costs by eliminating the need for peaking power plants, which are often less efficient and more expensive.
This is the reason why different grid operators have defined specific tariffs structures, including peak demand charges for customers based on their contribution during peak periods. We as consumers are billed for the energy we consume (kWh) and the amount of energy the utility must provide to reach our peak load (kW demand). These peak demand charges can represent over 30 percent of the total electricity bill.
DSM can help customers to:
• improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness of energy usage
• avoid excess demand charges by reducing peak demand
• lessen the impact of utility power outages
• reduce power factor penalties from the utility company
• reduces the negative effects of poor power factor or high harmonic content.
ABB’s solutions for monitoring real-time network parameters and load management ensure efficiency, service continuity and energy consumption optimization in the system for any kind of application.
Within ABB’s range of products digital and analog time switches represent the easiest solution to control circuit opening and closing according to a customized schedule. The electro-mechanical analog time switches are suitable for single system load operation in installations such as public buildings, and shop lighting, heating and irrigation systems whenever the loads are operated with quite long intervals between ON and OFF cycles
Digital time switches are suited for more advanced applications that require the management of single and multiple loads according to a flexible time program that opens and closes circuits according to a daily or weekly program.
Based on the programmable channels, it is possible to automate control of different loads. Digital time switches also ensure smart configuration and quick visualization thanks to the Bluetooth connection.
On the other side, System Pro M Compact InSite is the most complete ABB sub-distribution solution for larger applications.
Capable of collecting electrical parameters from of all main field devices in terms of electricity, gas and water consumption, this solution allows customers to digitalize protection devices such MCBs and RCDs, as well as other DIN-rail products, through digital inputs or output modules.
The solution enables not only full analyses of historical data to compare and optimize performance, but also the implementation of automated actions based on the measured parameters. This makes it possible to create load management logics that can support customers in avoiding extra costs and utility penalties due to contractual demand power limits.
Real-time information about system status is available through emails, which are sent out whenever such load management actions are triggered, allowing customers to receive instantaneous notifications about system conditions.
A clear view of energy consumption and billing processes is provided by full power monitoring via energy and power meters, current sensors and water and gas meters. The result is a reduction of up to 20 percent in electricity bills by removing inefficiencies and efficiently managing usage in the facility.
Some of the main field devices within the InSite solution, such as EQ meters and M4M Network Analyzers, also offer embedded alarm capabilities linked to control digital outputs, which can be referred to user-defined logics on a full set of power quality KPIs. Furthermore, they both allow the user to set-up time-of-use (TOU) tariffs to manage customer energy consumption and reduce expenses.
For more information on the products, visit: Energy Efficiency Devices, Control and Automation devices.