How Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) Compare To Energy Management Systems (EMS)
What are distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) & how do they compare to energy management systems?
As the energy sector evolves, new technologies and systems are being developed to better manage and optimize our energy resources. Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) and Energy Management Systems (EMS) are among these. Despite having different functions, both systems are crucial in ensuring efficient and effective management of our energy infrastructure. In this article, you'll learn about the differences between DERMS and EMS and when it's best to employ one system over the other.
What Are Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS)?
DERMS, or Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems, are solutions designed to manage and optimize the use of distributed energy resources, including solar PV, wind turbines, battery storage, and smart electric vehicle charging stations. DERMS work by synchronizing these resources and controlling each device to input energy into the grid when there is an extra demand for energy, ensuring a reliable supply of power. The energy grid is better managed with DERMS, resulting in increased efficiency and reliability.
What Are Energy Management Systems (EMS)?
An Energy Management System (EMS) is a platform that connects smart meters, data analytics, and building automation technologies to enhance energy efficiency and minimize operational costs. It can monitor and control energy consumption in real-time, providing insights into usage patterns across various systems, such as lighting and HVAC. By identifying inefficiencies, it enables energy reduction and cost savings. Moreover, it can adjust energy consumption automatically based on operational schedules and building occupancy levels, further boosting efficiency. An EMS is essential in improving a building's energy management, reducing energy costs, and supporting sustainability goals.
The Benefits of DERMS
Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) have numerous benefits. They improve communication, control, and coordination of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) across different locations, effectively managing multiple energy devices. This results in better power quality, reduced grid maintenance, and cost savings. DERMS also enables better decision-making for utilities and ensures a reliable power supply for consumers.
DERMS are adaptable, catering to both general and specific utility needs, such as managing battery energy storage, EV charging stations, and other power sources to prevent grid overload. A unique benefit of DERMS is the system's microgrid capabilities, allowing utilities to rapidly isolate any malfunctioning resource, thereby enhancing reliability during large-scale power outages. This ensures a dependable power supply to businesses during unexpected events, such as extreme weather conditions.
The Benefits of EMS
Commercial properties can benefit significantly from Energy Management Systems (EMS), which primarily improve energy efficiency. EMS can identify inefficiencies and areas where energy can be reduced by providing real-time data on energy consumption in systems such as lighting, HVAC, and other appliances. This insight can lead to significant cost savings through reduced energy consumption, lower utility bills, and participation in utility-offered demand response programs.
EMS not only helps with energy conservation and cost savings but also contributes significantly to sustainability goals by reducing the environmental impact of commercial properties. They provide predictive maintenance alerts for equipment such as HVAC systems, preventing costly repairs and reducing downtime. By ensuring optimal operation of HVAC and lighting systems, EMS creates a more comfortable environment and improves indoor air quality and lighting conditions, boosting productivity. Investing in EMS is a strategic move for commercial properties, offering cost savings, energy efficiency, sustainability, and occupant comfort benefits.
DERMS and Decarbonization
The role of DERMS is crucial in achieving decarbonization of our energy systems. They ensure efficient utilization of energy and minimize wastage of renewable energy. In times when there is no sunlight or wind, DERMS ensures that sufficient energy is available to meet the energy demand. Similarly, excess energy generated by solar and wind is stored for future use.
By managing efficient and reliable renewable energy sources and DERs integrated into the grid, DERMS enables us to increase the percentage of renewables in the grid without compromising safety and power reliability. The ultimate goal of DERMS is to have a completely zero-emission power supply, with numerous small microgeneration sources on rooftops and in fields instead of large centralized power plants.
When To Use DERMS Over EMS
For those managing and coordinating a vast array of distributed energy resources (DERs), DERMS is often the preferred choice over EMS. Utilities or grid operators with significant DERs on their grid will especially find DERMS invaluable. The need to optimize the utilization of DERs, such as maximizing renewable energy use or managing demand response programs, makes DERMS the go-to solution.
Why EMS Is The Best Choice For Facilities
Facilities aiming to streamline and regulate their energy consumption will find EMS to be the ideal solution. It is tailor-made for building owners and managers seeking to cut down on energy expenses while enhancing the efficiency of their operations. Moreover, EMS seamlessly integrates with IoT devices and energy monitors, delivering invaluable data-driven insights that shed light on energy consumption patterns and help optimize facility management.
Applications of DERMS Across Industries
Both DERMS and EMS have distinct roles, and their applications vary across industries. An in-depth understanding of their specific uses in sectors such as utilities or on expansive campuses like corporate grounds or higher-education institutions is essential.
How Utilities Leverage The Capabilities of DERMS
Utility companies find DERMS invaluable in today's energy landscape. As more consumers and businesses adopt distributed energy resources like solar panels or home battery storage systems, the electricity grid is facing an increasingly diverse and decentralized set of energy producers. This introduces new challenges in balancing supply and demand and ensuring stability. For utilities, DERMS provides the solution to these challenges. This system allows them to:
1. Monitor Energy Production:
Real-time tracking of all the DERs and energy production connected to the grid.
2. Integrate Energy Sources:
Seamlessly integrate different energy sources, ensuring they all contribute to the grid's overall stability.
3. Optimize Energy Resources:
Make data-driven decisions about which DERs should be activated or deactivated based on current demand, weather forecasts, and other factors.
4. Coordinate Operations:
Communicate with individual DER owners or operators, making managing demand response events or grid emergencies easier.
With DERMS, utilities can maintain grid reliability while also reaping the benefits of decentralized, clean energy sources.
Why DERMS Make Sense For Large Campus Deployments
For large corporate campuses or higher-education/university campuses, energy needs are often significant and diverse. Managing energy resources becomes crucial with multiple buildings, facilities, and large populations to cater to. While an EMS might handle energy consumption within individual buildings, a DERMS is beneficial for campuses that generate energy through on-site renewables or other DERs. By adopting DERMS, these campuses can:
1. Manage Multiple DERs
Coordinate different on-site energy resources, from solar panels to wind turbines and storage batteries.
2. Optimize Energy Consumption:
Use the generated energy more efficiently, ensuring that renewables are maximized, and energy is stored when in excess.
3. Interact with the Grid:
Provide feedback to the grid or even sell excess energy back, becoming an active participant in the broader energy ecosystem.
4. Achieve Sustainability Goals:
By optimizing the use of renewables, campuses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and push towards their sustainability targets.
While the scale may differ, the core benefits of DERMS—integration, optimization, and coordination—are evident whether a vast utility company or a large campus uses them.
Finding The Right System That Fits Your Energy Needs
DERMS and EMS play pivotal roles in today's dynamic energy landscape. Each system has its unique strengths tailored to different energy management challenges. Selecting between them is not a mere choice but a strategic decision that hinges on the specific needs and circumstances of a utility operator or facility manager.
Are you grappling with the dilemma of choosing between DERMS and EMS? Let us help. At Sanalife, our expertise lies in understanding your energy requirements and guiding you toward the optimal solution. Whether you're a utility provider, a commercial property owner, or any institution looking to harness energy efficiently, our insights will empower you to make informed decisions.
Embracing the right system is more than just about efficiency; it's a step towards a sustainable future. Let's work together to harness energy smartly, fostering a brighter, greener tomorrow.
Let's Build Your Solution Together
Uncertain where to begin with an IAQ or disinfection solution for your business, school, or facility?