DERMS: Distributed Energy Resources Management System
The proliferation of distributed energy resources (DER) entering the distribution networks (including distributed generating units, energy storage and electric vehicles), is challenging the traditional operational actions which have been used to plan, design, operate and maintain the electric grid. Electricity companies will need to rethink their approach to grids when facing these new challenges which include:
- Incorporating two-way energy flows
- Lack of visibility of the distribution grid
- Intermittency of renewable generators may cause voltage and power quality issues
- Inadequate protection in a case of two-way energy flow
Maintaining power reliability for customers. In addition, grid design and operation are being directly impacted by the acceleration of changes in the electrical commodity market. Recently, there has been a push to evolve the market from one that is wholesale and incentive-based, to one that has many possible aggregators and participants. A market where each aggregator, retailer and service provider can create their own programs and contracts.
There is a question that electric utilities must address these challenges and prepare for the integration of renewable and distributed energy resources. They will need to modernize the grid and identify the new set of capabilities required for grid management to observe, operate and coordinate DERs in a way that not only offers benefits to the customers and resource owners, but also creates a grid which delivers value in a safe, reliable, resilient and flexible manner.
These new set of capabilities can be summarized under the following categories:
- Real time situational awareness
- Power quality (PQ) awareness
- Distribution load flow analysis
- Automation of circuit reconfiguration
- Modeling of DERs by analysis and calculations
- Near-term DER forecasting
- Long-term DER forecasting (DER dependability)
- Distribution resources planning to leverage DERs for grid benefit
- Fast DER interconnection process
- Voltage optimization
- Power flow optimization
- Highly reconfigurable protection (including bi-directional protection)
- Advanced automation (FLISR – Fault Location Isolation and Supply Restoration, AVVO – Advanced Volt VAR Optimization, CVR)
DERMS enables the ability to monitor current DER production and violations of operational limits, as well as the forecasted production of these distributed energy resources. The main goal of DERMS is to improve the management and operational planning by having accurate insights into the state of the distribution network where there is a large amount if dispatchable and non-dispatchable DER. They can also give information about detected, or potential violations and rise system alarms based on calculated current and forecasted load and generation.
Hosting capacity, as part of DERMS features, provides detailed insights in the capability of a distribution network to host additional DER without endangering the reliability and quality of the power. Grid performance is checked taking into consideration voltage violations, overloads, voltage dip (in the case of DER disconnection) and relay protection settings.
Based on hosting capacity results, users can understand what is the range of DER power that can be installed in a desired part of the distribution network, identify acceptable and unacceptable locations for the installation of a desired amount of DER power, detect parts of the network which have low/high hosting capacity, and learn critical points that may impact the hosting capacity of an observed part of network.
To conclude, DERMS, as part of an ADMS platform, gives utilities global monitoring, control and forecasting abilities of the different DER components spread throughout the grid. Learn more here.