Dr. Thomas Werner
Product Lifecycle Manager for DEMS —The Decentralized Energy Management System.
For the European Utility Week (Oct. 15-17th 2013), DEMS 3.0 will be officially released to the market.
Dr. Thomas Werner was heavily involved in the development of the updated software solution.
This Expert’s Talk is about Smart Markets, Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) and the new software version DEMS 3.0 and DEMS Designer.
Dr. Werner, before we discuss the highlights of DEMS 3.0, could you please give us a little background on one area where DEMS technology is the key component or like you have said before “the brain”?
Of course, but let me first explain why VPPs, which is where DEMS technology can be used, are so important today. One current trend in the energy market is distributed energy generation. Governments and cities around the world are trying to cut back on CO2 emissions, while simultaneously there is a steady increase in global power consumption, driven mainly by non-OECD countries. For example, the International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56 percent between 2010 and 2040. Source:
http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/ Among this growth we see renewable energy leading because of their limited effects on the environment and their sustainability. Since the 20th century grid was created with large power plants in mind, new technologies are being created to enable a smooth integration of these distributed sources of energy.
A VPP, like I mentioned earlier, fits perfectly into this new energy landscape by supporting the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources into the 21st century grid, enabling power to be consumed closer to where it is generated and thus saving transmission costs, and making it possible for small generation sources to be bundled together so they can be sold on the energy market. A VPP Software solution links together individual distributed energy resources (DER) such as distributed energy generators, loads and or storage to form a VPP. Although the sources of energy are distributed, the system creates one interface for the user that is centralized on one screen and easily usable and scalable for future growth. The VPP can execute an optimal scheduling of all DERs taking into account e.g., ramp-up costs and minimum shut-down time, and considering forecasted renewable power generation based on weather forecasts. This is why the VPP is essential to successfully market these DER at different market places.
What is the Siemens Smart Grid Solution for VPPs?
Siemens provides DEMS for VPPs and we have actually just launched the new version, DEMS 3.0, including the DEMS Designer (see image in the header area) which I am very excited about.
The software has many features, which especially make it possible for someone with little experience to use it. For example, this software is not only created for energy technicians, but also energy economists or sales and marketers who may be more focused on marketing the energy from decentralized energy generators, controllable loads and storage, marketing energy at tertiary reserve power markets or direct marketing of energy including renewable energies to the electricity market. In addition, issuing detailed schedules for optimal energy trading on the spot and intraday markets is possible.
This software also enables the bundling of distributed power sources, storages and controllable loads into a network. Through real-time monitoring of all generation data and load profiles a utility is able to quickly react to changes in the market. By having an efficient integration of reliable weather forecasts for solar and wind power generation, a DEMS user can also better forecast upcoming electricity generation. By combining a demand response program, a user could lower peak demand and save investment costs in new power plants. This creates a win-win situation where on the one side we have the environment and thus our living standards, which are improved, and on the other we have the utilities bottom line.
Reliable forecasts and well thought-out power and load management are important factors for the successful implementation of a VPP. With optimal communication links between all stakeholders and a direct interface to the markets, VPP offers a solution for the profitable marketing of renewable energies for the future. The future of energy is here today and its needs to be taken advantage of, today.
And what does the DEMS Designer within DEMS 3.0 do?
I’m an engineer at heart and for me, technology has to be fun. With the new powerful tool DEMS Designer, the easy navigation, nice layout and automatic support mechanisms all bring the fun back. Modelling and configuring VPPs were much more difficult in the past. We all have enough stress at work, which is why the DEMS Designer has been created so modelling and configuration of a VPP is as easy as winking. You just have to drag and drop the energy system topology with pre-defined data models on the drawing field, edit the relevant asset parameters and define the communication channels. All the applications of the energy management systems are defined for the use in the VPP in a one-stop shop. An automatic control system checks the parameters and shows an alert if there are errors. Hence, the training efforts for the data engineers and users of a VPP system are reduced by 60%! This is very important because this technology needs to be available for large as well as small users with an even more restrictive budget. With limited resources, each hour away from the office for training puts a burden on the customer. We have created this tool with this in mind.