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Demand Response for Facility Operations

Demand Response for Facility Operations

Demand Response (DR) has significant implications to both the facility operations and overall profitability of the company. DR is the basic act of relieving the utility grid of desperately needed electrical loads during system economic peaks or emergency situations. Distributed Generation (DG) is the same as DR, however the customer or facility are utilizing backup power generators to accomplish the overall reduction. Demand Response has many names; load shedding, peak shaving, distributed generation, load curtailment, and many others. No matter what the term or the mechanism to accomplish it, facilities still need to know how much energy they have available, and where and when it can be lowered or shut down in order to take advantage of this program.

Participating in DR programs using load shedding practices can be difficult for some facilities. Facility operators need to know how much electrical load each operation of the business uses during different times of the day and night. Determining this is best performed using a portable energy analyzer like the Dranetz EnergyPlatform EP1. The EP1 will measure electrical loads over a period of time to give the user a detailed profile of the electrical usage and demand, so calculations can be to determine the available reduction amount based on the facilities desired plans.
For instance, when you raise or lower the set-point on a chiller by 10°F how much of an impact will that have on the energy consumption, possibly not much if it’s a steam chiller but significantly more if they’re electric. As well, if using VFD’s to drive the air handlers, how many Watts will be reduced by slowing the speed by 25%, then 33%, and then 50%, additionally what is acceptable to occupants, process, or staff? Without adequate metering information this is just an estimate. By measuring any of these circuits with an EP1 and performing controlled tests, the facility operator will have a detailed view of how much reduction can be achieved with each process.

Demand Response as a Revenue Stream

Facility operators are separately compensated by the utility, transmission operator, or Independent System Operator (ISO) for their ability to perform load reduction, and typically for their actual performance when called to do so. So knowing precisely how much load is available for reduction eliminates “leaving money on the table”. This revenue can then be utilized to offset or fully pay for maintenance, upgrades, or other energy reduction programs that otherwise would not have been possible. Utilizing the Dranetz ES230 family of energy monitors and the Encore Series Software allows companies to verify their energy reductions, generator output, achieved load, and overall benefit to the bottom line and surrounding community.

Dranetz has supported customers through its power monitoring instrumentation and software in implementing demand response programs for many years. Dranetz monitoring systems facilitate the measurement and accounting related to demand response, as well as to:

  • Implement Energy Reduction and Cost Control Strategies – View and analyze real-time energy demand and usage. Trend and profile that data to shift loads to off-peak hours, improve power factor or reduce consumption.
  • Allocate Costs and Perform Activity-based Costing – Track energy-related costs by department, tenant, process or output. Revenue-accurate metering allows for easy cost comparison with utility bills.
  • Manage Energy Purchase Agreements – Use historical load profile data to develop price/risk curves for evaluating energy purchase agreements or for joining an aggregated group to purchase power at reduced costs.
  • Perform Energy Conservation and Load Reduction – Shed non-essential loads or bring distributed generation on line to reduce consumption and/or participate in utility-sponsored demand reduction programs. Evaluate the value of energy efficient equipment such as lighting and HVAC changes.
  • Reduce Demand Peaks and Related Costs – Avoid demand surcharges using the Signature System to predict kW demand and identify the cause of demand peaks and limit peak occurrences. Generate alarms on events such as excessive load, equipment failure, or when operations are likely to exceed contract terms for energy supply.

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