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How to Choose an Energy Management System

Updated on March 29, 2013

How to choose the best energy management system

An enormous amount of financial and environmental benefits are achieved by saving energy directly. It is the practice of tracking, controlling and improving the efficiency of the use of energy. 20-30% of energy consumption can be reduced by using an effective energy management system. Not all companies have succeeded in achieving this goal although the same technology is being used.

An Energy management system (EMS) consists of smart energy meters, sensors and devices that monitor energy consumption and factors effecting consumption. Data is transmitted through these devices over wired or wireless network to a central server. It is a combination of hardware and software that helps in analyzing, monitoring, targeting, controlling the energy-consumption data. But according to the improved approach, EMS is people centric and is incomplete without engagement. User’s actions have got great relation with energy consumption. This can be practiced by anyone who wishes to cut back on the costs of utilities and is concerned about the energy levels. If the real-time consumption information is displayed to users, they can get an immediate impact of their actions. This itself will make them responsible and there would be a substantial reduction in energy consumption.

Different types of energy management systems are available that vary according to complexity, quality, cost etc. Hence great care has to be taken while purchasing sush a system. Select the one that fulfils your needs. A better approach towards energy management can be discovered in the hub.

Energy Management
Energy Management

Support of people in reducing energy consumption

The energy consumption cannot be reduced by simply installing an EMS system. There is a misunderstanding among customers that installation of an EMS will lead to a 30% reduction in their energy consumption, which is actually wrong. Although EMS has a limited capability of reducing consumption, support of the people who use it is also very necessary.

Ways to choose an Energy Management System

Special care has to be taken while choosing an Energy management system. The features associated with energy management systems are entirely different. Some software is very simple and provides users with spreadsheets that fill in data related to energy usage. They give a clearer sense of when the energy is being used the most. More complex energy management systems help users to see where and the quantity of energy being used at any moment. But the level of complexity should be chosen depending upon the size of your operation. Quality should also be given equal importance. Seek the help of colleagues who have similar needs and who have already possessed any energy management system. Articles and reviews about energy related subjects can be found in trade publications that can enable you to choose a good energy management system that is affordable. The following points will definitely help you in the process.

  • For the effective functioning of an energy management system, find an EMS vendor who can provide the hardware, software, and consulting support.
  • Select the energy meters that provide the measurement you require. It should have capability to communicate on an open protocol like MODBUS.
  • The EMS should have metering to record demand (kVA), energy (kWh), total power factor, current (in each phase and the neutral), voltage (between phases and between each phase and neutral), and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) as a percentage of total current, for load greater than 1000 kVA.
  • Loads greater than 65 and less than 1000 kVA should have metering to record demand (kW), energy (kWh), and total power factor (or kVARh)
  • There should be metering to record energy (kWh) for Load not exceeding 65 kVA.
  • Avoid desktop applications that limit sharing of data to a single location, plant or PC because these applications are poor in engaging users.
  • The software should support engagement through interactive dashboards, email and SMS.
  • Along with energy measurements, an EMS should be expandable and allow you to monitor other related parameters like temperature, fuel level etc.

Energy management systems are programs that track energy usage and make consumers be aware when and where energy is being wasted. Determination of the level of complexity you require from a management software, its cost and quality are the important steps in choosing such a system.


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