5 ways battery storage optimization software maximizes value
5 ways battery storage optimization software maximizes value
With more organizations adopting distributed energy resources (DERs) for their financial, sustainability, and resilience benefits, it’s crucial to have intelligent software that can optimize these energy solutions and coordinate their usage through automation. Find out how Enel’s DER Optimization Software (DER.OS) maximizes the value of an organization’s on-site energy assets like battery storage.
By Terry Holtz
Terry joined Enel in 2017 and has held several positions in Solutions Engineering and Product Management. He currently leads the product development of Enel’s pre-sales energy modeling software platform.
As more organizations install on-site energy solutions like battery storage, they are in increasing need of intelligent software to automatically manage their assets. Enel’s Distributed Energy Resources Optimization Software (DER.OS) is a comprehensive and innovative platform that provides a wide range of solutions for energy management and optimization of distributed energy resources (DERs).
In this blog, we discuss five ways in which DER.OS is designed and built to help organizations improve their energy efficiency, reduce their energy costs, and enhance their sustainability – and how it can help organizations take the operation of their DERs to the next level.
An overview of the DER.OS architecture
One of the key features of DER.OS is its next-generation architecture, which allows it to intelligently adapt, interface, and embrace emerging technologies and solutions. It is a fundamental building block for on-site energy management, providing a flexible, scalable, and adaptable solution that can be customized to meet a facility’s unique needs.
The DER.OS architecture is comprised of two key components, one cloud-based and one site-based, that interface with other software systems and hardware devices in a holistic energy management ecosphere. Within the cloud, the Network Optimization Engine (NOE) is the key to managing system-wide operations. The NOE takes in time-varying inputs about the weather, the facility’s consumption, and dynamic energy rates to automate decision-making across the entire asset portfolio. Once decisions have been made, instructions are sent to a localized site control system that directs DER operations at the facility.
The site-level controller provides local real-time decision-making and local management of the systems at the facility. The Site Optimization Engine (SOE) optimizes the economics of DERs and interfaces with building energy management devices for integrated communications and controls. This two-way communication between the site-level controls and the cloud platform enables a seamless integration with the facility’s energy management systems, ensuring that they work together smoothly and efficiently.
This also enables the computing of system-wide analytics, giving organizations valuable insights into their energy usage at their facilities, along with their assets’ operational characteristics – like kW, kWh, PF, voltage, current, temperature.
5 ways DER.OS levels up the operations of your battery storage assets
1. Battery storage software that is built to value stack
DER.OS is a scalable energy management software system designed to maximize the economic value of your DERs. It monitors, communicates with, and controls your energy network, interfacing with site-level and cloud-based systems simultaneously to deliver maximum value to your organization. No matter what resources you have, DER.OS optimizes across all value streams to:
- Analyze grid conditions and forecast facility load to maximize savings: DER.OS operates continuously to minimize your overall system cost and maximize your system’s economic value. The software accomplishes this by using highly accurate machine-learning forecasting algorithms that incorporate both recent historical demand data and weather forecast inputs to predict future facility load and solar generation. With this data, DER.OS can create an optimal battery storage charge and discharge strategy. The software primarily aims to decrease demand charges and capitalize on energy arbitrage opportunities, while also accounting for solar self-consumption, battery degradation, and other operational constraints.
- Participate in grid programs like demand response: DER.OS enables battery storage systems to capture revenue from many different grid services programs, such as demand response, operating reserves, and other market opportunities. DER.OS typically operates using fully automated dispatches but can also be controlled through manual dispatches if necessary. Enel’s experienced operations team monitors battery performance 24/7 in its Network Operations Center (NOC) in the event that a manual dispatch is required. When dispatched, DER.OS co-optimizes grid service opportunities with the other value streams such as bill savings and incentive compliance.
- Maximize federal and state incentives: Projects that receive federal and state incentives may have specific operational requirements (e.g., cycling, uptime, charging from solar) that you can configure and track with DER.OS. For example, DER.OS ensures that systems in Massachusetts enrolled in the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, or systems in California enrolled in the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), properly comply with yearly cycling requirements. In addition, DER.OS is flexibly designed to ensure you capture any incremental program benefits and requirements, such as the SGIP greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and performance-based incentives.
2. Battery storage software that is built as a fully managed service
Our software is delivered as a fully managed service, which means that you don't have to worry about software upgrades or managing IT infrastructure and operations. This not only minimizes your costs but also ensures that your software is always up-to-date and running smoothly.
Enel operations and maintenance services include:
- 24/7 monitoring from the network operations center (NOC)
- DER.OS SaaS optimization software
- Network support and operations services
- Communication services, warranty services, and preventative and corrective maintenance plans in accordance with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements
Enel consistently syncs operational data locally and through the cloud platform so that you can view real-time operational data in the web-based DER.OS platform. Various O&M reports and communications are available to track uptime, performance, and maintenance activity.
3. Battery storage software that is built for reliability and scalability
Our software is designed with scalability and reliability in mind. Its distributed architecture ensures that it can handle large volumes of data and traffic without any issues. In addition, real-time reporting and service assurance capabilities allow you to monitor and optimize your energy usage in real-time.
- Reliable and resilient: The system is designed to be fully distributed and fully clustered, ensuring that there are no single points of failure. This allows for greater reliability and resilience, as well as the ability to spread computing and storage resources worldwide based on disaster recovery plans and data locality needs. This means that even in the event of a disaster, the system can continue to function without interruption.
- Secure: The system is highly secure, with no single point of attack. Additionally, it can extend a customer's LAN into the cloud with a VPN, providing an extra layer of security. This ensures that sensitive data always remains protected.
- Flexible and easy to deploy: The system is designed to be flexible and easy to deploy, with the ability to utilize pre-configured virtual machine instances to bring additional resources online within minutes. This allows for greater flexibility in terms of scaling resources up or down as needed. Additionally, there is no software to install on your machines, making it easy to get up and running quickly.
- Reduced CapEx and operation, administration and maintenance (O&M) costs: The system is designed to be cost-effective, with CapEx for server infrastructure eliminated. This means that your organization can save money on expensive hardware purchases. Additionally, the system requires no IT staffing, nor operating expenses and facilities – resulting in even more cost savings.
- Extensible and scalable: The system is designed to be extensible and scalable, with the ability to integrate new devices or expand integration with existing ones. It also utilizes cloud architecture, making it a highly scalable solution.
4. Battery storage software that is built for easier reporting
The operations user interface of our software provides a wide range of features – including alarms, statistics, and history – to give you complete control over your energy management processes. It also comes with an open and adaptable systems integration, which means that you can easily integrate it with other solutions and systems. The interface provides a full, feature-rich browser-based graphical user interface (GUI) that requires no special plug-ins, making it easy and convenient to use.
- Financial reporting: DER.OS uses tariff information and 5-minute interval data collected from the site, battery storage, and solar photovoltaic (PV) meters to calculate the bill savings in a before and after bill comparison – including showing any savings realized by having a lower energy charge via a cheaper solar power purchase agreement (PPA). DER.OS disaggregates the savings by source, including rate switch savings, solar savings, and storage savings. Additional customized reports can be discussed with Enel’s asset management team to meet your organization’s specific needs.
- Alerting: DER.OS has an evolving list of alerting capabilities to notify the Enel operations teams of issues. Example alerts include any abnormal changes in savings, battery storage malfunction alarms, data gaps, and solar ITC violations. Enel’s Network Operations Center is capable of remotely diagnosing and troubleshooting any warnings and alarms and, if necessary, can send a technician to the site.
- Monitoring and asset management: DER.OS includes a suite of tools that Enel’s operations teams use internally to efficiently monitor and manage your system, including detailed tariff and configuration management interfaces and visualization of load data. The system is also capable of performing basic solar monitoring and reporting of solar PV meter data. DER.OS collects this meter data for control, optimization, and performance reporting and visualizes it in the user interface (UI). The required DER.OS metering is typically installed in addition to a dedicated solar PV monitoring system – for example, where additional monitoring is required for tax equity purposes or for investor reporting.
- Data accessibility: Data collected by the Enel site controller is stored locally for control and redundancy, as well as sent to the cloud for continued accessibility and lifetime data storage. DER.OS stores 5-minute data for all configured parameters for each device. Stored data points can be exported to .csv files for use outside of the DER.OS platform.
5. Battery storage software that is purposely built for the future
Real-time optimal control is a powerful tool for maximizing the economic value of battery storage. DER.OS is a highly scalable management software system delivered as a managed service on a subscription basis. DER.OS enables you to monitor, communicate with and control your energy network, interfacing with DERs to monitor energy usage and production in real time.
How can you incorporate DER.OS into your energy strategy?
As with all new technologies, the energy landscape is evolving quickly. Our battery storage optimization software, DER.OS, enables you to build a future-proofed strategy by incorporating an open API for 3rd party systems integration, giving you even more flexibility and control over your energy management processes.
With DER.OS, you can take your energy management and battery storage optimization to the next level, ensuring that your organization is always at the forefront of innovation and sustainability. Contact us today to learn how you can incorporate smart asset management with DER.OS into your energy strategy.