The Interactive Energy Platform™ (IEP™) is a big data, capacity optimization technology that delivers reliable real-time capacity to utilities for hundreds of hours per year. Because it is managed in coordination with utility operations from a distinct control room environment, the system is intelligent and learns as it continuously masters the variations of all resources in a project. This assures available capacity is known at all times and for “day-ahead-dispatch” and planning.
The IEP has been designed to be a rate-baseable platform. It unlocks real-time, two-way verifiable capacity from the demand side of the grid and can offset traditional generation. It can be operated at half the cost of a peaking plant and with zero emissions, and utilities gain access to new capacity in yearly intervals, rather than waiting years for the capacity generated by a new plant to come online. This improves system utilization and helps utilities defer costly infrastructure upgrade investments.
The IEP aggregates capacity which is made up of many types of distributed resources across the electrical grid. The system can control HVAC, which can be adjusted up or down. It also has been designed to manage lighting loads, which may be discretionary. The IEP can use fixed loads, such as intermediate pumping, which can be scheduled. Other resources such as distributed generators and energy storage systems can be dispatched as needed.
The IEP is especially effective for Automated Demand Side Management (ADSM) applications, the integration of distributed energy resources such as solar photovoltaic, wind, or generators and it also offers utilities and end-use customers advanced monitoring and analytics.
Automated Demand Side Management
The IEP provides two-way, verifiable, closed loop control. It is installed behind the meter and can be utility branded, owned and controlled. It has the capability to integrate with existing Building Management Systems (BacNet, Modbus, etc.). It also offers direct control of facility lighting and HVAC loads.
Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Management
With the IEP, utilities can manage Distributed Energy Resources with building or feeder loads as well as dispatchable standby generators. The system also offers the capability to enable edge of grid technologies as well as to manage photovoltaic intermittency. Using the IEP, utilities can also control their energy storage systems by optimizing phase balance and feeder efficiency. The system will also help to improve customer reliability.
The Interactive Energy Platform solution utilizes three distinct hardware devices that are installed in the field at customer locations as well as around the grid service region. The family of devices are known as Agents – Energy Agent; Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Agent; and Grid Agent.
Energy Agent – With the Energy Agent™ in customer buildings, utilities can dispatch any demand-side capacity in real-time. Customers set their preferences and building load is altered automatically.
Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Agent – The DER Agent™ optimizes the grid’s edge by connecting utilities to capacity from any active power resource including distributed generation; balancing intermittent solar PV and wind power; controlling and maximizing battery energy storage.
Grid Agent – The Grid Agent provides real-time, advanced analytics beyond the substation to give system operators additional information on grid performance and power quality when improving grid efficiency; Integrating distributed generation and solar.
The Innovari Nexus is the nucleus for overall IEP system management.
The Nexus consists of an Operations Center that provides network infrastructure and services to monitor Innovari IEP installations, events and network performance worldwide. The Operations Center monitors every event to ensure there are no anomalies and identifies any customers that opt out of scheduled events.
Live event monitoring is conducted through the Nexus and daily system checks are completed morning, afternoon and evenings and logged accordingly.
The IEP delivers capacity to utilities in real-time through an event process. A predetermined event window is agreed upon between the utility, its customers and Innovari and the IEP automatically aggregates capacity from customer resources located across the service region. The IEP manages sites based on real-time information and learned site capability. The IEP selects a combination of devices, each represented by a “brick” (capacity and duration), which are stacked and sequenced to meet the dispatch request.
For example, at the start of an event, where 350 kW is requested for a period of two hours, the request may be targeted at a specific operational need, such as a constrained feeder, or an aggregate need across any portion of the grid. The system selects a combination of devices, which are assembled to meet the dispatch request. The real-time monitoring of each individual device is presented as aggregated capacity verified continuously over the period of the event.
By supporting micro (feeder-level) events, multimegawatt (substation) events and 10/100 multimegawatt (system-level) events, a utility can dispatch capacity when and where it is needed most.
Every rooftop air-conditioner system has the potential to contribute incremental capacity with temperature changes of only two degrees for short periods. When a small change is made to many rooftop air-conditioner systems, the total savings to the community can be enormous.
With the Interactive Energy Platform, a utility has greater visibility deep into the grid through the various Agents that are located throughout a service region within the grid, with advanced monitoring and analytics for optimizing system utilization.
Innovari agents are a key tool in the capacity aggregation process and are attached to participant buildings to provide important system information back to the utility while strengthening the customer relationship.