Power management and energy management: The difference, the overlaps and the evolution

Credit to Author: Kavita Manral| Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2020 10:25:52 +0000

Let us start this article by talking about the different purposes that power management and energy management entails.

To begin with, power management is an integrated system that consists of power meters, power management software, and power quality mitigation equipment. If you think from the purpose perspective, it is majorly about the enhancement of electrical reliability or even availability. Keep in mind that power availability, quality, reliability, and manageability are key ingredients for a power building.

Then, the question arises, what is energy management truly about? Well, it is more related to saving cost, and it then blends with existing energy-related streams which analyzes the power distribution systems across all energy-related aspects of a building (keeping the aforementioned things in mind).

Cost savings is one of the crucial aspects of the BEMS market, which is transforming in this age of IoT, and so is the role of building management systems, the possibilities with regards to critical power buildings, and so forth.

For instance, if power management’s main objective is to ensure power or electrical reliability and then availability on one hand and energy management, amongst others, aims to save cost, then how do they impact each other, if at all they do?

And not to forget, the changes that you see in the markets, aren’t both of them attract one another? So if they do overlap, will this lead to less efficiency in one of both or both together?

Which brings us to the topic of overlapping of power and energy management

It all boils down to you wanting basic things such as reliability, availability, quality, AND efficiency and cost savings, right? However, maybe there are a few unexpected costs that come along when you implement an energy-saving solution or even energy-saving measures, which can lead to a negative impact on the electrical network or reliability?

With all of us being so fascinated by technological evolutions like IoT, and also the role of buildings and smart buildings has reached another level. And, things don’t stop here; we are inclined towards energy-efficient building technologies in the scope of humans, the challenges faced by society and business, trying to understand the differences between power management and energy management – and how they are evolving and are being used.

In simple words, you would never go as far as wondering what could be the unexpected impact of an energy-saving measure or let us say the electrical reliability or even the unexpected costs that it might bring along. Still, the professionals that work in facility management, building automation, critical power, energy management, and so forth obviously have to.

Following are the three takeaways that you can derive from the post are:

  • In unique and specific cases of LED lighting (energy saving), it has the potential to impact power quality. So, when you are planning a big LED lighting project, make sure you know the- when and how.
  • The issues that you face during the identification of power quality are, for instance, LED lighting (but not alone that) they go on and become a standard expectation with regards to building management systems today (whereas PQ before was mainly an issue in an industrial or critical power environment).
  • Moreover, with the BMS system becoming the digital hub of connectivity in the building, power management, PQ, and monitoring harmonics come into that connected equation as well – with it having an impact on the skills of BMS experts.

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