Optimizing power system monitoring and control is well known for improving energy reliability, efficiency, and safety. Today, buildings commonly use two solutions, Building Management Systems (BMS) and Electrical Power Monitoring Systems (EPMS), to monitor electricity consumption and equipment. But, what are they, and how do they differ?
BMS vs. EPMS
Building Management Systems (BMS)
Building Management Systems (BMS) use automated computer systems to control and monitor mechanical, electric, and plumbing systems, such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), lighting, power, gas, fire, and security systems.
Platforms for BMS can alert operators when electrical system issues arise through basic alarms and controls. Yet, they lack the capabilities for advanced power quality monitoring systems.
Electrical Power Monitoring Systems (EPMS)
Electrical Power Monitoring Systems (EPMS) build upon BMS capabilities. EPMS offer intelligent and detailed information on the electrical distribution network, which conventional BMS systems cannot obtain. Electrical Power Monitoring Systems (EPMS) provide detailed analyses and reporting on power quality and other vital metrics. Subsequently, this allows users to optimize energy use and identify opportunities to reduce electrical power consumption.
Today, facility managers know that reducing energy consumption and waste is a valuable tool to streamline efficiency and lower costs needed for critical infrastructure uptime. EPMS allows facilities to manage and monitor electrical systems while visualizing consumption and cost. Power quality monitoring significantly benefits EPMS by identifying power quality issues that might impact sensitive electronics. Furthermore, power quality monitoring enables building and facility owners/operators to minimize the risk of equipment going offline.
Who Benefits from EPMS?
Data centers often benefit the most from an EPMS. These facilities consume 4% (and growing) of the total US energy consumption.
For instance, every data center operates with critical power systems and software. These systems and software require constant monitoring and control and uninterrupted power sources to function properly.
Central Energy Plants
Other facilities that benefit from an EPMS are central energy plants. They allow operators to avoid issues before causing any downtime, especially in life-saving medical facilities, with critical care procedures.
Industrial and Manufacturing
Industrial and manufacturing facilities are massive energy consumers benefiting from an EPMS.
EPMS allows them to use the data collected to monitor, control, and implement changes to reduce and streamline energy costs. Moreover, they minimize power loss and provide a safer and more efficient workplace.
Airports have an electrical system that needs to function 24/7 for the safety of all workers and travelers at the airport. Therefore, incorporating an EPMS with a BMS gives owners/operators as much control and monitoring tools at their disposal. In short, this allows the facility to operate as efficiently and safely as possible with all electrical systems.
Integrating an EPMS into a facility with a BMS provides the owner/operators with as much electrical data to help manage, analyze, and trend electrical data to maximize power efficiency and consumption. It allows them to pinpoint electrical issues to minimize downtime and stay on top of the electrical system performance before failure occurs.
An EPMS communicates once every second. As a result, they provide real-time data transfer and detailed data of power quality issues; with data and speed, a facility management team can react quickly to resolve any issues with their facility’s electrical power system.
Is an EPMS Integration Right for Your Facilty?
Power monitoring systems should, suppositionally, be integrated with a building’s other engineering systems, but rarely happens in practice. Electrical distribution systems evolve as new equipment is acquired, systems are adjusted, and processes change.
Once viewed as a luxury, these capabilities are necessary today to keep complex facility operations running effectively and efficiently. Ensure that your system is functioning properly to plan and adjust accordingly.
Contact an APT professional today and let us help find the best solution to fit your facility’s needs.
Looking for an EMPS Upgrade?
Go to our EPMS Upgrade page and get a quote today! Select the level of support you need to upgrade your EPMS system minimizing the impact on your operation.
Not sure which package is right for you? Contact APT and one of our technical experts will assist you in selecting the upgrade that best suits your needs.
Nick Skarvelis, APT Senior Electrician