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Peak demand management, also referred to as ‘peak shaving,’ is the process of reducing peak power usage, and therefore reducing the peak demand on the electricity network.

As most large energy users will already know, peak demand charges can make up more than 70% of the total power bill. This can often make power saving methods like conventional grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV) ineffective due to the low kWh consumption charges.

There are other reasons why solar PV may be considered ineffective on its own: Peak demand can either occur out of sunlight hours or even if it does occur during sunlight hours, the variability of the solar performance due to external factors such as cloud cover, makes it impossible to guarantee savings.

This is when your GEM Energy consultant might consider other options, such as the addition of a battery bank to your solar system.

Looking at the graph below we can see that the customer has a peak in the middle of the day around 1 PM and then again a steady rise in the afternoon. The battery system lowers the maximum demand from 375kW to 250kW, which reduces the amount of billed energy, and the total monthly demand charge by 125kW. This can translate into savings of up to $31,000 per year.

Depending on each situation there are different ways to achieve more efficiency and significant cost savings. For example, it is not always essential to have solar to add a battery bank to your property. In some situations, the batteries can be charged from cheaper off-peak power in the evenings.

In other cases, the solar will be designed to run the property during the day, while the excess solar generation that occurs on weekends and during the middle of the day will be used to recharge the batteries.

GEM Energy will deliver the batteries in a specially designed 20 or 40ft container and carefully integrate them into your electrical infrastructure. Some of these systems are warranted for 6-8 years and have a much longer life expectancy.

What happens when the batteries reach the end of their life cycle?

Assuming that battery technology and pricing remains consistent with the prices of today, replacements will cost about 30% of the initial total capital cost. However, batteries are expected to reduce 30% – 40% in price by 2020 so replacing the battery component of these systems will be very economical.

Why wait?

Some people believe that they are better off waiting for this anticipated price drop before investing into this new technology, but continuing to pay rising network and demand charges will be substantially higher than the savings made by investing now.

Four birds with one stone

Large-scale energy storage units will provide you with stored energy when you need it.
On top of that they will also supply KVAR and KVA demand while improving your property’s Power Factor – that is four birds with one stone!

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GEM Energy offers Level one and two energy audits to AS3598/2015 Standard for commercial and industrial enterprises.

An energy audit allows you to analyze how significant savings in electricity consumption and therefore utility bills can be achieved. They may also be part of our consulting process, where we evaluate what type of set up will work best for our customer’s situation.

The process is very simple: a GEM Energy consultant will install one or more smart meters on your property to collect usage data.

By analyzing the data over the next few weeks, we can pinpoint inefficiencies and custom-engineer a solar PV system that is just right for your site and situation.

Because every case is unique, GEM Energy only offers fully customized consultation services.

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Did you know that electricity has variances in quality that can cause your electrical equipment to run inefficiently or even fail prematurely?

GEM Energy’s Power Quality Management Service can help.

In simple terms, the quality of electricity comes down to the strength and uniformity of the electrical current powering your home or business.

Our Power Quality Management Service forms part of our consultation process and deals with Total Harmonic Distortion and Power Factor Correction at your home or business.

Another factor in running a cost and energy-efficient business is voltage optimization.

Optimizing voltage reduces power losses by adjusting the incoming power to perfectly match that of appliances or machinery used in your business.

These are important factors in reducing your electricity consumption and electricity bills, as well as for the longevity of your machinery and other assets.

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GEM Energy supplies a range of solar photovoltaic (PV) monitoring solutions for residential and commercial applications.

For both residential and large-scale plant owners and operators, energy monitoring is a vital tool to track the solar system’s energy production and even its financial performance. Monitoring platforms also minimize system downtime by alerting you to any problems, ensuring that you can troubleshoot the issue or get help where needed.

GEM Energy uses Solar-Log for all Commercial Monitoring Projects, one of the leading global companies for solar PV monitoring.

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Energy Recovery is the process of capturing and re-using wasted energy such as heat from air conditioners.

GEM Energy offers a range of options to make the most out of every kilojoule of energy at your site, often with astonishing results.

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