Energy management: ESS Master Controller turn-key energy storage systems

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Stored energy: Greensmith Energy Management Systems is a provider of energy storage technologies and solutions with over 30 systems deployed utilizing its advanced, battery-agnostic technology platform. The company has seen rapid growth by delivering ever-larger, more sophisticated, energy storage technology solutions for utility, power developer and C&I applications. The company now offers “a la carte” energy storage software, design and grid integration services to a variety of energy storage participants who wish to leverage Greensmith’s proven software technology and deployment experience.

In addition to delivering turn-key energy storage systems (ESS) up to megawatt scale, Greensmith provides a centralized software system which monitors and controls all of the various elements within the ESS, including the batteries, inverter, fire protection system, and even AC system.

"Our customers want all of their ESS information in one place," says CTO Ken Kim. "Many ESS units today are installed with disparate control systems for each respective component: the battery management system ("BMS"), the inverter, the air conditioning system, and the fire protection system, all operating separately from one another, without a master controller. Sometimes this leads to conflicting messages, for instance between the BMS and the inverter, which causes operational issues for the ESS owner. By centralizing the information and controls, Greensmith is able to consistently dispatch systems according to customer's commands and provide safety oversights which may otherwise be lost by one system or another."

ESS Architecture

Within each ESS, Greensmith installs a site controller to communicate with the inverter and battery management system over a variety of protocols (including serial protocols, CANbus, and modbus). This site controller also communicates with external networks over a TCP/IP based connection, enabling remote control through a browser-based interface or through third-party control systems over Modbus or DNP3 protocols. This latter feature integrates the ESS systems into customer SCADA and control center operations.

Fleet control across multiple ESS units

Greensmith's software also enables fleet control across multiple ESS units. For instance, a utility customer may have many individual ESS units from different manufacturers that they want to run together. Greensmith's system provides one central framework to enable exactly that.

This framework has been so successful that two major utilities with multiple ESS deployments have asked Greensmith to retrofit existing systems with their software solution. Greensmith is poised to retrofit the ESS systems later this year, across several different battery and inverter manufacturers which are already installed.

In its next generation of software, dubbed "BOS4", Greensmith is also deploying a rule-based engine which will allow ESS systems to dispatch based on an application priority hierarchy. This development will tie into an upcoming automated C&I product from the Greensmith team, which will provide similar rule-based conditions for behind-the-meter commercial & industrial customers interested in deploying energy storage to save on energy bills.

Commenting on the company’s growth, Greensmith CEO, John Jung said: "Given our experience supporting a variety of applications including grid stability/deferral, ancillary services and behind the meter commercial programs - our technologies continue to build feature sets on top of a solid foundation developed through real-world system experience."

For more information about Greensmith or other products, click here to go to Utility Products’ Buyers” Guide.

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February 2014
Volume 18, Issue 2
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