Do you need a power management system?

Manufacturing plants are such energy guzzlers, but it is often difficult for owners to implement energy conservation control strategies without the data gleaned from a power management system ( EPMS). Decisions are not based solely on energy conservation and cost savings. With heavy machinery in operation in many factories, the loss of power could compromise safety and put employees at risk.

However, if you need an EPMS, it depends on the level of detailed power information that your facility requires. You may be able to get this information without a high-end EPMS.

Should you install an EPMS if you need power quality data? Absolutely not. Smart devices have the capacity to store the latest events in the device, sometimes up to 30 days of information. You don’t need to integrate your high-end power meters into your online EPMS. You can decide to install meters and then extract the data from the devices on a case-by-case basis.

This is exactly how one of our customers decided to use the high-end Schneider Electric meters integrated in their factory. No one collects the data from them, and they are not integrated into an EPMS. However, if our client has ever had a power quality event and wanted to understand what happened on a detailed level, they could extract the information from the device by plugging the meter into a laptop.

It’s the best economy of both worlds.

If an EPMS still seems like the right fit for you, here are three options:

  1. Obtain an OEM EPMS. If you need high-end energy functions, such as waveform, sag / swell detection, transient detection, and harmonic analysis, it’s probably a good idea to integrate an EPMS. owner. Most OEM EPMSs, such as PowerSCADA Expert from Schneider Electric, EnerVista Viewpoint from GE, or Power Xpert from Eaton, support open protocols such as Modbus and DNP or APIs such as OPC, so third-party integration is quite possible.
  2. Just use SCADA. If you don’t need advanced analyzes such as capturing waveforms or recording event sequences, and are just looking for basic electrical parameters, you should use an open SCADA system to build the basis of your EPMS. You can save a lot of money and a lot of complexity. In addition, you will most likely have more options for procuring both software and system integration services, which can be important if you want to solicit competitive bids.
  3. Use a hybrid EPMS / SCADA system. If you don’t want to commit to a certain manufacturer but still need high-end electrical analysis features, use an open SCADA solution like Wonderware. Next, specify smart electronic devices that display advanced data in a web browser. Your systems integrator can embed the web page or viewer into a frame so that you can easily access advanced data when needed.

EPMS / SCADA Hybrid Case Study

Affinity Energy has a customer using a Wonderware SCADA system that monitors hundreds of electrical and environmental reliability equipment such as generators, automatic transfer switches, uninterruptible power supplies, air conditioning units, fire alarms and fire detection. leaks.

When the system was originally specified over 15 years ago, the owner understood the importance of being able to detect dips, rises and transients, and installed the ion energy quality meters from Power Measurement with disturbance detection. Since we couldn’t integrate waveform and disturbance reporting directly into Wonderware, we installed the Power Measurement Pegasys software (at the time it had an easy-to-use Windows client for advanced analysis).

An operator who wanted to see advanced meter data only had to click a button inside Wonderware. We scripted a command line to bring up the client software and give it the primary focus on the system.

Over the years, we have updated the software to Ion Enterprise and integrated its web client into a framework directly into Wonderware. Today our client uses Power Monitoring Expert and the same simple methodology to access this advanced power analysis data.

And you know what? It works very well. They are still able to use transparent proprietary software and hardware and can easily view them in their SCADA system.

Allan Evora is President of Affinity energy, member of Association of Control Systems Integrators (CSIA). For more information on Affinity Energy, visit its Profile on the Industrial Automation Exchange.

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