Industrial Controls and Information Technology (IT) Systems Survey

Introduction

 
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In 2006, the Demand Response Research Center (DRRC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) formed an Industrial Demand Response Team to investigate opportunities and barriers to implementation of Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR) in California Industries. Auto-DR supports all DR direct control, bidding, and pricing options. Auto-DR is an open, interoperable internet-based signaling communication and technology platform designed to:
  • Provide customers with automated, electronic price and reliability signals;
  • Provide customers with capability to automate customized site-specific DR strategies;
  • Automate demand response, providing utilities with dispatchable operational capability similar to conventional generation resources.
This new research relies on previous research and capabilities in Auto-DR developed by DRRC for the commercial sector. Implementing Auto-DR in industrial sectors presents a number of challenges, both practical and perceived. Some of these include: the wide variation in loads and processes across sectors and even within sectors, resource-dependent loading patterns that are driven by outside factors such as customer orders or time-critical processing (e.g. tomato canning), the perceived lack of control inherent in the term "Auto-DR", and aversion to risk, especially unscheduled downtime.

Developing a greater understanding of the magnitude and practical application of Auto-DR is particularly timely. The market for energy management controls or energy enterprise management is still quite immature, but emerging rapidly. Early entries into this market have focused largely on load management, but these same tools and strategies, if DR enabled, hold significant promise for integration into an Auto-DR framework. Similarly, the emergence of higher quality system level network controls provide the missing link that would allow much tighter management of energy end use, and thus both greater opportunities for demand response as well as higher overall energy efficiency. The complete integration of load management, demand response, and energy efficiency across an entire industrial plant may be within reach of many plants within the next decade. Under this scenario, even plants without any onsite generation capability could, under pre-determined conditions, automatically free up electricity to the grid in order to preserve the reliability and/or manage the cost of delivering electricity statewide while maintaining the economic health of their businesses.
Why participate in this survey?

California’s electricity markets are moving toward dynamic pricing (e.g., real time pricing) within the next few years. This change could have a significant impact on your cost of electricity during times of peak use. Companies with a comprehensive strategy for responding to electricity price and supply signals will have a competitive advantage over those that do not. A comprehensive strategy includes:
  • Energy efficiency – optimizing electricity use and cost;
  • Demand limiting – managing electricity demand on a daily basis below a pre-determined upper limit;
  • Load management – reducing demand charges on a daily basis by smoothing out peaks in usage, and
  • Demand response – participating in occasional events (and receiving incentives) to temporarily reduce consumption when prices and demand on the electrical grid are at their highest.

Implementing this strategy requires adequate controls and systems that provide facility managers real-time energy use and cost information. This survey is being conducted to determine the current state of controls technologies in your industry to help shape public policies to effectively assist industry in meeting the challenges of real-time pricing.

The tests of this survey have shown that a facility manager or engineer can respond to most of the questions, however further input from others such as the production manager, maintenance supervisor,and information technology specialist (as applicable) may be needed. The time required for the survey completion typically ranges from 15-30 minutes.


About this survey

The California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program has funded the Demand Response Research Center (DRRC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to undertake a survey of California industrial facilities to better understand existing control capabilities, or near-term plans for upgrades. This information will increase the DRRC’s understanding of California industry’s capacity to voluntarily receive and respond to an automated demand response signal (Auto-DR—see Attachment for description) to shift or shed non-essential electrical load. The results of this survey will be used with data collected from other sources (integrated audits, field work, and sector-based analysis) to identify potential shift and shed strategies within specific industrial sectors. This information will be used to assist these sectors in managing their electricity use during times of peak use. All the facility-related personal information will be kept confidential and will not be shared without prior consent. The information will be collated for analysis without specifically disclosing the facility information.

All responses will be aggregated for analysis and reporting purposes to protect the identities of the respondents. Respondents are not under any obligation to participate in Auto-DR. Only aggregated survey results will be used; information about facility identity will be considered proprietary.
Additional Background

The market for facility-wide energy management and controls is growing quickly, as is the need for Auto-DR. To date, the focus has been on load management - relatively simple approaches directed toward avoiding demand charges – but this is expected to change.

Industrial machinery and process systems have the potential for greater DR opportunities and overall energy efficiency. The emergence of higher quality system level network controls provides the missing link to allow improved management of key energy systems. Complete integration of load management, DR, and energy efficiency across an entire industrial facility may be commonplace within the next decade. Even plants without onsite generation could, under certain conditions, derive financial benefits and contribute to the economic health of their businesses while freeing up electricity to the grid to preserve the system reliability and manage the cost of delivering statewide electricity.

Industrial controls include systems and configurations (sometimes integrated) to manage process loads, utilities such as compressed air and steam, local operations, building systems, and business systems (See Attachment for more information on types of controls)

Understanding the functional capabilities of these control systems, ,including the underlying technologies and software capabilities as installed, is essential to identify and quantify a specific facility’s potential to participate in Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR) and to maximize load reduction savings without affecting day-today business or industry operations. For the purpose of this survey, the industrial production or processes are classified as:
  • Manual: Manually turning off or changing comfort set points or processes or each equipment, switch, or controller.
  • Semi-Automated: Automation of one or several processes or systems within a facility using EMCS or centralized control system, with the remainder of the facility under manual operations.
  • Fully-Automated: Automation of an entire facility, with integration of end use loads into an EMCS and centrally managed with minimal human intervention.

The next steps will take you through this survey, which is designed to be a simple set of Yes or No (Y/N) questions and/or multiple-choice responses to contribute data for a detailed analysis by LBNL.
Please send feedback and questions to:

Rish Ghatikar
Email: GGhatikar@lbl.gov
Phone: 510- 486-6768
Mailing Address:
EETD Mail Stop 90R3111
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road Berkeley, CA 94720
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