In a modern container terminal electrical power consumption is high while the need for other energy sources is limited. Container terminals, when compared to other high electricity consuming industries, such as petrochemical plants and other process industries, are unique in that they consume large quantities of energy during ship load/unload operations whereas they use very little energy when the ships leave.
This means that container terminal’s energy profile is highly fluctuating. If a container terminal uses demand fee based billing structure, i.e. billing based on a certain capacity agreed with and reserved by the utility for the terminal to be delivered whenever needed, even one temporary peak load exceeding the reserved capacity will have a significant impact on the energy cost.
By deploying a modern power management system, the terminal operator can proactively predict the power requirements of the terminal based on planned ship arrival schedules and the resulting container movements at the gate, yard and vessel. This can be done for various time intervals from hours to over a year in advance.
With this demand side estimate, energy production can be optimized for the demand, which in general leads to lower energy costs. Further, by enabling the control of the demand side, a power management system can seamlessly prevent expensive peaks power usage where terminal operations exceed the agreed capacity, thus significantly reducing the overall energy cost.