Insiders in the energy industry are well familiar with buzzwords such as decentralised energy management, demand response and Virtual Power Plants. They’re used in discussions about the macro digital transformation which the energy industry desperately needs and – increasingly – by sophisticated energy users taking the lead and looking for a more energy efficient ecosystem.
While the whole-of-industry change is a considerable change management exercise, that needs sound policy support and cooperation from all players in the value chain, there are smaller energy transformation projects sprouting up every day.
These pockets of innovation are bringing these industry buzzwords to life and many are doing so using carbonTRACK's Decentralised Energy Management capability - the technology recognised with merit awards in two categories (Research & Development Project of the Year and Industrial & Primary Industries of the Year) at the 2019 AIIA Victorian iAwards.
Below is an overview of carbonTRACK’s key decentralised energy management features:
carbonTRACK brings together remote storage management, demand response and virtual power plant control systems all under one umbrella, using its coordinated response capability. The same platform that enables users to monitor, control and share their energy can be used by energy providers as a central coordinated response control hub.
As an agnostic technology platform, carbonTRACK integrates with a multitude of battery solutions as it supports a wide range of physical integration standards and protocols including:
carbonTRACK can integrate directly with the majority of inverters in use today, including all SunSpec compatible inverters. The SunSpec Alliance protocol stack is now built into the carbonTRACK Smart Hub.
carbonTRACK can integrate multiple parameters to display grid use, solar production and solar export into a single unit view and control. The system combines load requirements, time-of-use (TOU) structures, and generation parameters to optimally control and manage storage devices.
carbonTRACK brings multiple technologies into one control system so that the user (or the system management team) can view the entire fleet simply, regardless of physical integration between different data generation points or protocols.
In a simple configuration, the user can set up schedules for individual devices to start discharging at a specified rate and set the upper ceiling at the desired rate. A maximum discharge rate can also be set. The schedule isn’t fixed and can be changed at any time.
Using powerful Analytics-Q, carbonTRACK's machine learning engine automates the battery storage management process. carbonTRACK considers several parameters - including time of use, demand requirements, user profile data, weather and market energy data - for storage optimisation.
carbonTRACK also provides advanced fleet management capability. Users can manage battery storage across multiple locations with ease using the ‘Demand Profile’ setup. Post installation, each of the devices are set up across different regions based on their profile. The user (or the system management team) can issue commands across a range of profiles or automate certain parameters within a profile as required.
The Demand Profile can identify multiple regions and multiple timelines to action commands across multiple devices. Users can issue multiple commands across a region either by geofencing or manually creating profile groups. Customisable fleet reports are also available, and can easily identify the total available storage and current demand at any point in time.
With carbonTRACK’s Fleet View, the ‘health’ of a fleet can be quickly assessed, allowing remote trouble-shooting.
The user (or the system management team) can set-up multiple tariff structures. The system can use this information – and other user preferences – to determine the optimal load run-time and battery charge / discharge schedule.
Alerts can be customised to suit specific needs and are configurable per device or by device group. They can be directed to the user as a push-notification or as pop-up alert on the dashboard under ‘System Performance’.
A single carbonTRACK smart hub can control up to 65,000 end devices (load). Each of these devices can, in turn, be set up with prioritised hierarchical switching and time schedule.
There’s no doubt that decentralised energy management is the way of the future and we’re incredibly excited about the projects we’re involved with that are helping to bring it to life.
The above is a brief walk through the technology that’s deployed in many pioneering projects that challenge the traditional energy supply and management models. For a more detailed explanation or to arrange a demo, please get in touch with one of the team.