Solution Overview

Today’s electric grid is experiencing tremendous change, with requirements to improve demand control, absorb high levels of distributed generation and adapt to time-varying loads. To adapt to these changes, the modernized grid needs greater control of voltage and demand, right down to the “grid edge”. Traditional approaches to Volt-VAR Optimization (VVO) and Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) involves Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs), Municipal Utilities and Cooperatives (Co-ops) to lower system voltage and control demand on the utility-side by acting on the primary side. However, that approach is not only centralized, it’s also less effective. Such centralized grid control approach that has worked for decades lacks a fundamental ability to react quickly at the periphery of the grid:

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The fluctuations are on the consumer-side—the Grid Edge—and that is where Varentec comes in. Unlike other Grid Edge Volt-VAR Control solutions, Varentec’s ENGO+GEMS offering is a distributed Grid Edge Volt-VAR Control solution that enables demand control at the Grid Edge—as well as real-time, autonomous monitoring, VAR management and optimization and feeder operation through a web-based platform. The result is a faster, more responsive and versatile Grid Edge Volt-VAR Control solution than any centralized VVC/VVO/AMI-based solutions.

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By exploiting this new architecture, Varentec offers a suite of solutions that are proven to deliver tangible benefits and unprecedented grid control – from substation to customer, including these key benefits:

Deploy ENGO+GEMS at your utility and realize even more benefits.

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Hardware devices at the Grid Edge.
Cloud-based software platform at the Utility.

The Varentec ENGO+GEMS solution comprises hardware devices and an overarching software platform. The hardware components, Varentec’s ENGO fast-acting power-electronics devices are installed close to consumers on the secondary side of a distribution service transformer to autonomously sense and regulate voltages by injecting dynamically reactive power (VAR). The software component, Varentec’s Grid-Edge Management Solution (GEMS), acts as a supervisory control and provides a data analytics and visualization engine to achieve a desired system-level voltage profile to meet grid objectives.

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The GEMS software platform is a secure Volt-VAR management application that provides unprecedented visibility to voltage across an electrical distribution system. Some AMI meters do not have sufficient precision in their voltage measurement. Most AMI systems do not sample or transmit voltage measurements to allow a real time grid edge monitoring and visibility as they do may only provide a few measurement points per day, with a long lag time. ENGO+GEMS solution provides voltage visibility in near real-time, or at prescribed intervals such as 1 hour. In the plot below, refreshed in as little as seconds upon demand, a grid operator can see the high, low and average voltage at each ENGO installation point, at a glance, for an entire feeder.

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This advanced hardware/software combination realizes unparalleled results for grid efficiency, demand control (peak demand reduction and energy savings), Grid Edge Volt-VAR Control and PV integration.