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The Load Profile -

How You Can Tell From the Load Profile Whether Energy Management Is Worthwhile

The often decisive criterion in the introduction of energy management is amortisation. The question is therefore whether a saving is foreseeable in the short term or not.An analysis using the data from the existing transfer meter, i.e. the load profile, is the easiest way to start. This is often used to check the electricity bill or identify load peaks. But what other statements are possible?

Together with the Chair of Information Systems Research at the University of Freiburg, ENIT Systems investigated this question. For this purpose, a statistical analysis was carried out over 3-6 weeks at several industrial customers. The data is recorded from the usual transfer meters in high resolution at 15 second intervals. From this, the savings potential of the respective industrial company is estimated. What else can be learned from your own data, you can read here.

1. estimation of the peak load savings potential

The savings potential of the load peak can be estimated after only a short measurement. It is examined whether load peaks represent very exceptional conditions or are close to normal operation. If a load peak is a clear outlier, there is a higher potential to avoid it.

Peak load saving potential
Peak load saving potential

In the diagram, the 15-minute values are ordered and plotted according to statistical frequencies. The sharper the increase on the right-hand side, the more exceptional the load peak. With an algorithm, the savings potential can thus be quantitatively estimated.

2. Prediction Of the Daily Profile

Almost all industrial operations have a weekly or daily cycle. Intelligent algorithms can then be used to statistically evaluate the typical profile of a cycle.

In the figure, frequently occurring performance levels are shown in brown and white, while areas marked in blue never occur.

This relative frequency is used as a prediction for energy system optimisation.

Empirical prediction of the load
Empirical prediction of the load

Background: Forecasts are becoming increasingly important in the energy market. The reason is the increasing share of fluctuating generators. Both technical management and electricity trading are facing difficulties as a result. Both have the goal of bringing generation and consumption into harmony. Forecasts increase security and enlarge margins because decisions are better made. In addition, they are essential for future business models on the balancing energy market or for flexibilisation.

3. Identification Of Operating Conditions

The determination of the operating status is of double value for companies: On the one hand, efficiency measures are identified. On the other hand, key figures are formed for controlling.

The figure illustrates the answers provided by the load profile. From the level of the base load, it is possible to estimate the savings potential that lies in switching off unnecessary standby consumers. The determination of the productive energy quantity during normal operation enables the exact formation of key figures (specific electricity consumption of the plant). The threshold to the peak load range is a necessary parameter for the correct design of load shedding systems.

Operating conditions with load peak
Operating conditions with load peak

4. Voltage Quality

The voltage is the decisive quality criterion of the electricity supplied. It is recorded in phase by most transfer meters. To ensure security of supply, it should also be recorded by industrial plants.

In the diagram, the frequencies of the voltages that occurred are plotted. The asymmetry between the phases is clearly visible. Should it lead to problems in the company's own power grid, the electrician needs an evaluation.

Phase voltage at the transfer meter
Phase voltage at the transfer meter

Background: Who causes "dirty" current and who causes "dirty" voltage? Simplified, the following rule can be applied: The grid operator is responsible for "dirty" voltage. "Dirty" electricity is caused by the consumers in the industrial plant itself. Ideally, the company checks both.

Do you want to know more about your load profile and the potential that comes with it?

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