The Energy Monitoring System (EMS) is a platform which consists of an open source application and components to interact with the application. The application is developed to monitor the energy generation and distribution of mini-grids. It serves to remotely monitor and report on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of mini-grids. Those are generated and distributed energy, system duration and frequency interruptions, CO2 emissions saved and system losses. The tool allows for KPIs tracking, and therefore the ability to compare the performance of various mini-grids. Such performance tracking is critical to improve the operations of projects which in essence are usually run remotely. For example, detecting and calculating system losses helps improve the commercial efficiency of mini-grid projects. The EMS also provides a framework for viewing generation and distribution live data, which informs on real time on system failures, thus reducing response inefficiencies in O&M.
The EMS consist of five main components:
- - The energy metering units or sensors
- - The data collector and transmitter
- - The network interface
- - The EMS web application
- - The EMS application host
The sensors send information, for example about the amount of generated electricity, to the data collector. From here the information from the various sensors is sent via the network infrastructure (internet) to the remote EMS application host. Here the data is processed and then displayed by the EMS web application. The web application records the processed data and provides output reports which then can be used to enhance the mini-grid operations.
The EMS web application consists of the grid management system, which is the main platform, as well as a user management system. The latter allows administrators to add new users and assign different user rights. The grid management system is the platform on which performance data of mini-grids is displayed in graphs and tables.