Demand-response energy monitoring unit monitors power, manages loads
Opto 22 OptoEMU Sensor DR monitors real-time power use and manages electrical loads on demand, a simple way to monitor facility energy consumption in real time and signaling electrical equipment on request.
The device helps businesses take advantage of lucrative demand-response (DR) programs from local utilities. In response to a request from the utility to reduce power use, the Sensor DR can signal electrical equipment to shed load. DR programs can provide revenue to businesses in three ways: first, from discounts for simply agreeing to shed load; second, from actual reductions in use; and third, from selling electricity back to the utility or energy provider.
How it monitors energy use
The OptoEMU Sensor DR first gathers energy data from up to two utility meters or submeters that emit a standard pulsing signal. Each pulse emitted corresponds to an amount of energy used, and by counting pulses the OptoEMU Sensor DR can track the total amount of energy used as well as demand. The OptoEMU Sensor DR can also receive power usage and other data from a variety of devices using the widely adopted Modbus communication protocol. Using Modbus over an Ethernet or serial network, the OptoEMU Sensor DR can communicate with devices, such as temperature sensors and flow meters, Modbus-enabled current transformers (CTs), and power analyzers, as well as larger facility systems such as plant equipment, building management systems, and HVAC systems.
For those with technical staff or expertise, OptoEMU Sensor DR can also send energy data to databases, enterprise management systems, and other enterprise business systems using a standard XML protocol. Free software tools are available for SQL database integration, and a new Microsoft .Net developer toolkit makes it possible to integrate energy data with custom software applications.
Demand response savings
In addition to implementing demand-response requests, the OptoEMU Sensor DR can also operate independently to shed electrical equipment loads when predefined usage thresholds are reached. This practice, called "demand control," is particularly important in regions where power utilities levy a demand charge.
– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer.