Load Management Systems
When a solar or inverter backup system is installed, we usually find that certain loads must be excluded from the solar / inverter system, due to usually less power availability of the solar / inverter / battery system, than what one is used to when tapping power from the grid.
Many variables will influence the decision as to what equipment may be included to be supplied by the solar / inverter /battery system and what to exclude.
Once this decision has been made, the decision is usually hard wired into the distribution bord / boards. In larger facilities, additional cables usually must be installed from the main DB Board or inverter location to the sub-DB boards. Afterwards, making changes to any of above is then a costly operation.
LMS is the answer
Using LMS makes it possible to get more out of your solar / inverter investment or installing a smaller, more affordable system from the start.
In a LMS scenario, whether a home with a single DB board or a large facility where multiple DB boards are used, additional cabling is firstly eliminated and secondly more control is available under program control which means the system can make intelligent decisions in controlling the load under different scenarios.
However, once again, depending on the initial electrical design and investment, changes to the load management can be done under management of the LMS.
In a LMS, the available power from the sun, loadshedding, inverter capacity, battery capacity and state of charge are all taken into account, to ensure that optimal use of the solar installation is obtained, to ensure that the inverter is not over loaded and to ensure that the batteries are utilised in the most cost effective way.
In short, the MacTron LMS solution, takes power management to a new level of control.
Complete Building Monitoring and Automation System.
The MacTron Residential Facility LMS Solution
In a small facility like a private home, there is usually a single DB board. When a solar or an inverter system is installed, the DB board is split in two, one part for the essential loads like plugs and lights and one for the non-essential loads, like the geyser.
With LMS, the board is split into an essential and non-essential section.
The non-essential section is controlled to be on or off and the feed can be selected to be from the inverter or directly from the grid. The essential loads is usually further controlled with, at the point of consumption WiFi controlled switches.
To keep the inverter on the affordable side, the electric stove/oven, is usually driven directly from the grid. However, should the customer so choose a more powerful solar system and inverter may be installed that is capable to also drive the stove. Hence, the essential power side is monitored and if the system finds that enough solar power is available, the geyser can be fed from the solar panels and inverter, keeping the geyser hot and thus requiring less power later to heat up the geyser, from the grid.
In the below scenario, all switches and meters are connected to the main LMS brain through WiFi.
The MacTron Large Facility LMS Solution
In larger facilities, there are usually multiple DB boards. When the DB boards are split into essential and non-essential sections, an additional cable must be run from the main DB board to the sub-DB boards, to carry the essential loads, in order that the non-essential loads may be switched off during load shedding or when insufficient power is available from the inverter. The cost and installation of this additional cable will come a high cost.
In the large facility solution, each DB board is split into 3 sections, Essential, Less Essential, and Non-Essential.
Each section is individually metered and controlled. The Less Essential section can be further subdivided depending on the facility power requirements and controlled with, optional, at the point of usage, controlled switches.
Once again, optimal performance and usage of the solar installation is ensured.
In the below scenario, all switches and meters are connected to the main LMS brain through WiFi.
Extreme loads like boilers will be connected directly to the grid tie side of the inverter. If a Hybrid inverter is used, the extreme non-essential loads will automatically be fed from the inverter if excess power is available, otherwise power will be drawn from the grid for these loads.
An LMS system comprises of hardware and software modules installed on the site to be monitored and on a user’s or engineers office PC where the site LMS is engineered and monitored.
The software can function in two modes, monitoring mode and engineering mode. Access to these modes are controlled though the license that the user is assigned. Hence a user may only be assigned monitoring rights while a site engineer may be assigned to have monitoring as well as engineering rights.
In engineering mode, the engineer my add or remove equipment from a site, decide what points in for example a meter to monitor etc.
The LMS as per definition Load Management System is also configured by the engineer when the system operates in engineering mode. The method of configuration is explained later.
SIMONE Hardware and Software
Hardware is depicted in blue. These are generally off the shelf devices, shown in the diagram below and consists of a site network of WiFi based sensors and controllers, with a site controller, and on site, or off-site SQL server and remote engineering and monitoring applications.
The Software is depicted in Orange. This is the SIMONE Proprietary Software Modules.
WiFi Power Meters
WiFi Power Meters are usually off the shelf single and 3 phase WiFi enabled power meters. As a rule we mainly measure and real time log Actual Power with the meters per phase. However the meters and the overall LMS software is capable of measuring per phase, Voltage, Current, Power Factor, Apparent Power, Per phase kWh accumulation etc, which may be enabled if there is a need for such.
Power Peaks are also monitored through the LMS software system.
We are also able to build a custom meter should a special need that the standard meters don’t cater for, be identified.
WiFi Sensors are used to detect things like room temperature, movement or occupancy, door open statuses and other real world sensor requirements that may be required. Once again, it may sometimes be necessary to create a custom sensor if a suitable off the shelf solution is not available.
These sensors may be used for LMS as well as automation functions.
WiFi switches are used in conjunction with meters and sensors to control real world reticulation circuits or other automation requirements. The switches may be used on their own up to 10 Amps or they are uses in conjunction with a suitable contactor where currents that need to be controlled is greater than 10 Amps.
Other Protocols would cover other protocols or specialised equipment that may be a requirement. Special drivers can be written to accommodate such protocols such as Modbus, BACnet etc.
On Site WiFi Network
The On Site WiFi Network is a site wide, existing WiFi network, or a network installed specially for the LMS. MacTron does not generally take responsibility for the WiFi network, but we rather depend on the IT service provider, already responsible for the WiFi on a site.
It is important to note that the WiFi network must be secure and password protected to prevent unauthorised interference with the LMS. Further, the WiFi network must cover all areas where DB boards and other LMS WiFi equipment is to be installed.
SIMONE Proprietary Onsite LMS Drivers and Server Application
Windows Based Server or SBC
The SIMONE Proprietary Onsite LMS Drivers and Server Application is the heart of the LMS. This is a proprietary Windows based software that is supplied and installed as a .exe file by the supplier on site, running on a Windows based server in a Virtual Machine which the installers have access to, or it may run on a Windows based SBC (Single Board Computer). Source code of the software remains the property of MacTron Systems, who developed the software for the purpose of LMS and automation for MacTron. The user or client is licensed to use the software per installation carried out by MacTron as per agreements between MacTron and the client.
Drivers are encapsulated in the .exe file will be updated when equipment protocols changes.
In addition to the diver communication with the site equipment, LMS logic is also executed in the Onsite server application, according to a set of rules, which are configured by the engineer at the time of setup and maintained and adjusted where necessary.
SQL Data Storage
The SQL Data Storage is a Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft SQL Server Express, depending on the size of the installation.
MacTron Systems provide an offsite SQL Data Storage facility or in the case of larger clients, the client may provide their own Microsoft SQL database.
SIMONE Proprietary LMS Monitoring and Engineering Desktop Application
SIMONE Proprietary LMS Monitoring Desktop Application
The SIMONE Proprietary LMS Monitoring Desktop Application is a proprietary Windows based software that is supplied and installed as a .exe file by the supplier and licensed on a per user basis.
The SIMONE Software can run in one of two modes. Engineering and Monitoring or just monitoring. It is the same software and functionality is defined in the user licence file for each user.
In Engineering mode, the software may be configured, equipment added or removed, LMS parameters may be changed or added.
Monitoring mode is for users of the system such as maintenance personnel who need informatio0n form the system to enhance maintenance. The monitoring software may also be used by a 24/7 central control room or call centre from where maintenance personnel may be dispatched when a problem is detected on a specific site.
Although the prime purpose of this document is to describe the LMS system, It should be considered that the SIMONE LMS and Monitoring software can go beyond LMS functionality to automation and site equipment alarming upon which early warnings of equipment failures and preventative maintenance can be actioned.
Equipment and point naming convention.
The point naming convention has been developed over several years and successfully implemented over many sites.
The core principle of the point naming convention is to create a unique, intelligent equipment or point number nationally across a big company which is important when you want equipment monitored on a single site or nationally in a central control centre or.
Setting up LMS Rules
LMS is controlled by rules set up in the SQL server. This is done from the =Engineering Desktop Application.
The following fields per rule must or can be configured and according to the above point name convention.
Meter or Control Point
As per above, this is the meter point or other control input point. In this example Phase 1 Power
Example, Greater Than, > Equal =, Smaller < Than
Example 50 and what ever the unit of the measuring device, in this case kW.
This control point example demonstrates that the On Off Control (OOC) of Light Zone LDZ situated in LMS WiFi Switch in DSB01 in Basement 1(B01) needs action.
Control Action Delay
A delay of a number of seconds may be set here if a delayed control action is required or 0 for immediate effect.
Control action required. On, Off, INC(Increase) DEC(Decrease). On or Off will be the usual ones used for LMS but Increase or Decrease may be used if for example a aircon temperature is to be controlled in a room to save energy.
Should a control room alarm be required when a certain situation is reached, an audio alarm together with moving to the floor plan where the said alarm happens.
Should an email be required to be sent when a certain situation is reached, the email address may be filled in here.
Each site will be quoted according to an initial LMS design. Meter will be installed in appropriate or predefined location which may change once implementation took place and more real time data becomes available.
A monthly maintenance fee per installation wil be charged which will be charged per installation. This will be calculated according to a sliding scale starting at 20% after the first 5 sites to maximum of 50% when the first 100 installations are reached. The maintenance fee includes software upgrades and a regular health check on the site and the licencing fee for the proprietary LMS software.