An Energy Management system (EMS) is a system with the involvement of ‘Computer Technology’ in order to efficiently monitor and maintain the control of electricity consumption. Computer Technology when referred to as EMS/SCADA or SCADA/EMS, emphasizes more on the domain of Network Applications related to Power with their scheduling, along with focusing on the control of electric distribution on energy loads installed in an organization.
EMS uses the mechanism of attaining ‘Energy Efficiency’ through either manual or automatic supervision of the consumption of energy by the individual parts of the equipment in use, across the implemented sites. With the advance of technology and the introduction of cloud-computing, shifting the platform of developing these systems more on a ‘cloud-based’ approach has facilitated the organizations to remotely control the HVAC units where information about the energy-consuming elements is gathered in detail, processed on the input data and given an intelligent feedback on efficient resource allocation to reduce cost.
The Energy Management systems are widely used for commercially operating organizations in supervising measures and control over balancing the consumptions of their electrical loads across a distributed network. Several applications of the EMS systems are in the developing of ‘centrally controlled’ HVAC units and lighting installation systems variously located at either grocery, restaurants or retail stores. EMS also play a vital role in significant decision making on the allocation of resources, bill tracking and sustainability reporting through analyzation of the functions that provide the facility of gathering continuous detailed data on the energy consuming activities within the premises.
Early in the 1990’s, the structure of EMD was based on the combination of Operating Systems and Hardware. Companies such as Siemens, Toshiba, Hitachi etc. developed their own hardware according to their own specific requirement analysis. In contrast, the companies that lacked such resources on manufacturing the proprietary systems, were provided the hardware from manufacturers such as Gould Electronics, MODCOMP and Digital Equipment. The ‘most in demand’ model was the VAX 11/780 manufactured by Digital Equipment. The later EMS systems emphasized more following a ‘model based approach’ considering development.
Another ease of its usage comes with the operation of a ‘Common’ User Interface of the EMS software hence increasing the usability factor of the operater from its ‘planning’ to ‘operating’ the whole system. This factor contributes in minimizing the human errors and the cost of learning.
When the cost of the systems became extravagant, the suppliers shifted their focus to developing solutions considering the standards of hardware platforms in the industries, similar to the products manufactured by IBM, HP and Digital Equipment which used either DEC OpenVMS or UNIX.
Companies responsible for the development of the software and hardware of such systems are to follow the standard guidelines:
1. Planning the project output and targets through proper documentation and presentations
2. Emphasizing the importance of proper communications, training and resource allocation
3. Testing the developed system through corrective measures to avoid errors and
4. Taking significant actions by the management team over feedback.