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Power and Control

Storage System: Power and Control

The Energy Management System is a key element to conserve electricity, use it when we need it, reduce our consumption

Published on NOVEMBER 27, 2019
“Power is nothing without control” was the headline of an iconic advertising campaign of the 90s, sporting the Brazilian football great Ronaldo - aka “O’ Fenomeno” - and the “son of the wind” himself, the former Olympic sprint champion Carl Lewis. This expression pretty much sums up what Storage systems are all about: power and control. Today, a combination made possible by the integration of Li-ion batteries with energy management software - the so-called Energy Management System (EMS) - is transforming energy into a smart service.  Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESSs) integrate heavy-duty batteries with the efficiency of software systems that rely on Big Data, AI and Machine learning. Power and control are now enhanced by flexibility, resilience and streamlining, basically, all those features that address the energy needs of dwellings, as well as those of the power grid, industries, and renewable power stations.

Much more than simple batteries

Li-ion battery technology is currently the most advanced and widely available solution on the market to accomplish the stockpiling of energy.

The basic element of these Battery Energy Storage Systems is made up of the single rechargeable batteries that since the 90s have powered laptops and cellular phones.

BESS systems based on Li-Ion technology, are integrating storage batteries in a wider scope and more advanced system made up of:

  • Battery cells, manufactured by battery suppliers and assembled in battery modules (the smallest unit of an integrated battery system).
  • Battery racks, made up of connected modules to obtain the desired DC Voltage
  • Containerized battery system: made up multiple racks connected in parallel to obtain the desired DC current and nominal power.
  • Power conversion system (PCS): used to convert a battery’s DC output in an Alternating Current (AC) output at mains voltage.
  • Control system: managing a battery system requires the implementation of multiple control layers. The Battery Management System (BMS) is the lowest level of control as it’s usually integrated with factory-made battery modules. BMS guarantees that modules and racks all remain within their operational parameters (e.g. temperature, voltage). At a higher  level of control, we find the Site Scada, which allows managing the charging and discharging of the system in response to signals. Site Scada may suffice for relatively simple applications (e.g. frequency regulation).
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Energy as a (smart) service

In order to manage more complex applications and perform the so-called “application stacking”, a further and smarter level of control is needed in addition to the BMS. This is the so-called Energy Management System (EMS), a cloud-based system that allows optimizing the economic side of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) including battery storage operating on multiple applications.

The main EMS functions address three main goals: how much energy is consumed or generated, how and when. As these simple queries are essential for businesses and households alike, together with grid network and renewable power operators, they’re all to be addressed by software built on smart Data-Driven logic, delivering proactive management of energy-related issues.

The EMS software allows real time monitoring of consumption and generation and identifies the optimal operations of Distributed energy Resources (DERS), including battery storage, to improve a business’s energy efficiency. This platform’s added value lies in using intelligence to help reduce energy costs and generate new revenues.

 

EMS upends the existing dynamics of the paradigm of technology solutions and gives small and large businesses the opportunity to make knowledgeable energy choices on a daily basis thanks to a program tuned for its customers, studying their energy profile and suggesting tailored strategies.

Towards a 2.0 Demand & Response

Along the ongoing path for innovation blazed by Enel X, the EMS has evolved in a solution that combines Big Data, AI and Machine Learning to streamline energy management services based on specific consumption needs.

 

We have developed DER.OS (Distributed Energy Resources Optimisation System), an end-to-end optimization software platform that analyses operational data so that the use of Distributed Energy Resources automatically maximizes financial production and resilience for utilities, businesses, and industries.

 

The DER.OS software optimizes the functions of lithium-ion batteries to store energy that can later be used, on request, when it is more convenient (e.g. at times of higher. This way, the battery acts as an adaptable source that can be exploited at any time and which reacts instantly to signals from the grid at critical moments.

The platform uses innovative and scalable cloud-based analytics to meet the needs of any segment in the energy market. DER.OS’s analytics and controls can aggregate the energy management of multiple plants, thereby creating a virtual power plant providing greater operational efficiency, savings, and profits from the combination of various applications like demand charge management, time-of-use (ToU) management and participation in Demand Response programs.

 

If “power is nothing without control” is a saying that still holds true, it’s even truer that power can become even bigger in the era of digital transformation: flexible, resilient, effective, tailored, cost-effective...