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electrical power management system (EPMS)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

An electrical power management system (EPMS) is an electronic system that provides fine-grained information about the flow of power in an electrical power generation system or power substation.

EPMS record and provide data about power systems and power-related events. That information is used to manage power generation efficiencies, batteries and capacitor banks, gas or steam turbine relays and other systems in power generation stations and power substations. EPMS can visually display real-time or historical data. The system ties together the essential data that formerly had to be checked on numerous readouts and gauges by equipment operators.  Supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) systems often use EPMS, especially those used in power plants.

Besides power generation stations, EPMS can be found in manufacturing plants, on large ships' generators and in similar high power demand locations. Some EPMS are their own systems, while others integrate with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and yet others are hybrid systems.

EPMS that include generator protection and control (GPC) relays and those that are integrated with SCADA can automate many power-related relays. This control helps increase power efficiency, especially in times of high draw. Some products claim they can help reduce peak power draw by 50%. Applied to the power grid, this reduction could theoretically alleviate concerns of a power crisis resulting from peak demand.

Better power management is helpful in terms of smoothing power demands. Smoothing out peak and low demand is often very beneficial and lower in cost as the problem in energy systems is often not that overall average power is too high but that peak draw times exceed momentary power production. In North America, this is true of the power grid as well as many power generation stations large and small.

This was last updated in November 2017

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