Af Saleri, Market Development Manager for ABB Ability, explains Ofgem’s plans to put the DCP 161 excess capacity charges legislaon into force from April 2018. He also introduces a power management funcon in the Emax 2 circuit breaker, which can help avoid penalty charges for going over the peak consumpon agreed in energy contracts.

routinely drawing more power than agreed with their energy provider. Although energy customers pay a fee for a new grid connection, this only covers consumption up to an agreed limit that reflects the grid’s power capacity.


When many customers regularly exceed their agreed peak consumption, Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) must pay the price of upgrading their infrastructure. This includes installing costly equipment such as industrial switchgear and transformers. However, Ofgem has decided that this arrangement represents a discount for those who regularly exceed their agreed peak demand. As a result, it is changing this by implementing DCP 161 from 1st April 2018. Until now, excess consumption has been charged at the same price as standard consumption but DCP 161 will allow utilities to charge an excess penalty rate when their customers use more power than expected. Once DCP 161 comes into force, customers who exceed their agreed maximum will be charged as much as three times the standard rate over half-hour periods, depending on their region and voltage level.

In turn, this means that the cost of network upgrades will be met by those who are using the additional capacity, rather than being passed on to all customers.

uThe power management funcon in the Emax 2 circuit breaker could help you to avoid costly penales as a result of DCP 161.

To avoid these new penalty charges, energy managers can take several steps. They can negotiate a new peak energy with their DNO. Alternatively, they can improve energy efficiency by creating a fail-safe system to limit consumption in a way that is invisible to building occupants. For example, on a

hen it comes to the peak

consumption agreed in energy contracts, many customers are

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FAIL SAFE POWER MANAGEMENT Don’t get caught out by new penalties

hot day, a building management system may initiate several air conditioning units – pushing consumption over the agreed maximum. However, the power controller will keep consumption within the defined limit.

This will not only avoid potential penalty charges, but will also improve the energy performance of the building. For new installations, it can also avoid the need to upgrade or over-size the power distribution panels inside the building. The traditional way to achieve this is by installing load control devices. However, as the number of loads increases, so does the complexity of the electrical installation required to individually manage each load, therefore they can be costly.

The same type of control can be achieved with the latest generation of low voltage circuit breakers, such as ABB’s Emax 2. They can be fitted with accurate metering and intelligent software that monitors consumption and cuts the power automatically to low priority loads. Typically, a single circuit breaker can control up to 15 individual loads or 15 groups of loads. Implementation is straightforward as it makes use of the in-built metering and control in the circuit breaker, which eliminated the need to create programming for external PLCs. ABB launched the Emax 2 breaker in 2013 recognising the trend towards ever- greater levels of energy efficiency and to pave the way for remote monitoring and control of power consumption through the cloud-based ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System. The power controller function works by using a sophisticated power management algorithm. This monitors actual power usage over time and forecasts the total power consumption. Once it decides that consumption is approaching the maximum, the software uses a prioritised load list to take low priority loads offline automatically.

uABB launched the Emax 2 breaker in 2013 recognising the trend towards evergreater levels of energy eciency and to pave the way for remote monitoring and control of power consumpon through the cloudbased ABB Ability Electrical Distribuon Control System.


Decision-making is based on a four-step decision-making that runs through measurement, synchronisation,

Four steps to

evaluation and load management. The measurement step constantly monitors power flowing through the circuit breaker and calculates and forecasts the average consumption over regular intervals throughout the day. In the case of DCP 161, the building operator can synchronise these intervals with Ofgem’s half-hourly billing periods.

During the evaluation step, the algorithm decides to either maintain, decrease or increase the existing loads. Load management is then carried out by disconnecting or reconnecting loads according to a set of rules. These rules take into account the ‘respect time” of each load, which is a minimum time that a load must remain connected or disconnected to avoid damage. Whether loads have become available again once their respect time is over is also taken into consideration.

From factories to universies

A manufacturing facility in Bergamo is experiencing the Power Controller feature first hand. It has been equipped with four Emax 2 circuit breakers that control HVAC loads with a combined capacity of 400 kW, which is equivalent to the power usage of more than 100 apartments. One of the four circuit breakers has been fitted with power management software to monitor and control loads. It uses an Ethernet link with the other circuit breakers to monitor power consumption and control loads during high-demand hours. The result is that utility bills are reduced by up to 11,000 Euros per year.

Another example is Vilnius University in Lithuania, where the Life Sciences Center opened a new 20,000sq m building in 2016. The building’s developer selected Emax 2 circuit breakers as these have the unique ability to automatically cut power to non-essential equipment. The public utility restricts energy consumption during peak hours, therefore the power controller capability is essential for the university to avoid unexpected power disconnections. VISIT OUR WEBSITE:

uEmax 2 can be fied with accurate metering and intelligent soware that monitors consumpon and cuts the power automacally to low priority loads.

Unl now, excess

consumpon has been charged at the same price as standard consumpon but DCP 161 will allow ulies to charge an excess penalty rate when their customers use more power than expected.

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