ennexOS: How Does SMA’s Energy Management Platform Work?

More and more companies and private households are discovering energy management to reduce their energy costs, to become more independent from electric utility companies and to secure a sustainable energy supply at the same time. For effective energy management, all energy sectors must be linked and their control optimized. Another important factor is the direct integration into the electricity market. To easily implement this, SMA has developed ennexOS. What is the IoT platform for energy management able to do and how does it work?

One platform for (nearly) everything

ennexOS is the first IoT platform for energy management that combines the data from different energy sectors in a complete system. Besides electricity, this also includes heat, refrigeration, cooling, storage and mobility. ennexOS analyzes all energy flows and will also intelligently control them in the future. The goal is to efficiently use available energy across all sectors and to identify potential savings. Thus, users can reduce their energy costs significantly. Power generators can also access the electricity market via the ennexOS platform. They can directly market surplus electricity without long processing times or additional equipment.

ennexOS has a modular design that makes it flexibly scalable and expandable. It is thus particularly easy for installers, energy consultants, system designers and operators of decentralized power supply systems of all sizes to use the platform according to their requirements and to leverage future business models in the energy market.

Planning systems across all sectors

This already starts with system planning and simulation: Until now, the individual sectors of an energy system had to be planned and calculated separately. Consolidating the individual results of the electrical and thermal calculations was not possible without significant effort. Accordingly, calculating the total energy system’s profitability was very difficult. Now, SMA’s planning software Sunny Design Pro   uses the possibilities of ennexOS to map the entire system. In doing so, it includes all power generators and electrical appliances.

Sunny Design Pro: Cross-Sector Energy System Planning

 

Installers, system designers and energy consultants simply enter the system’s key data online in the Sunny Design Pro user interface. After a short period of time, they receive a comprehensive system presentation with all important energetic and economic key figures.

Thus, they offer their customers a conclusive basis for decision-making with valid forecasts on the efficiency of the planned energy system. The parameters can be adjusted flexibly. This means that potential future system extensions can be simulated and calculated right from the planning stage. If the customer decides to implement a system, the system data is imported with ennexOS for commissioning. This saves time and minimizes costs.

The Data Manager M

The Data Manager M

A central interface with many possibilities

The SMA Data Manager is the central interface and communication unit for commissioning, monitoring, energy management and the integration into the energy market. The device can easily be mounted to a DIN rail or right on the wall.

An Ethernet cable connects it to the network. As a service interface, the WLAN interface known from the inverters allows easy access to the local user interface. As a result, the service technician does not have to access the customer’s existing IT infrastructure.

The innovative user interface and the integrated assistants of the SMA Data Manager allow easy commissioning of the entire system via laptop or tablet. Remote parameterization of the Data Manager and all connected devices is done via Sunny Portal powered by ennexOS. The energy monitoring and management portal is the core of ennexOS. It also plays an important role in the system operation.

After commissioning, the SMA Data Manager ensures the seamless communication between all elements of the system. It monitors the power generators and electrical appliances as well as battery-storage systems and identifies potential savings. It will also control all components across sectors in such a way that the available energy can be optimally used and marketed. All this is mapped by Sunny Portal powered by ennexOS. Here, PV system operators, installers, service technicians and investors can find flexibly adjustable dashboards with all important parameters.

 

The data analysis of all system components by the SMA Data Manager helps identify measures for increasing the energy efficiency and for better energy use. This includes, e.g., avoiding peak loads by starting different electrical appliances at staggered intervals or the targeted use of the battery-storage system for the supply in peak load times. To save electricity costs, the connected loads and storage systems can also be controlled in such a way that as much cost-efficient solar energy as possible is self-consumed and grid current that is additionally required is used during periods of low electricity rates. For the calculation of the optimum utilization schedule, ennexOS combines forecasts for solar energy generation and power supply rates.

Monitoring with ennexOS, including alarm function and reporting, also saves significant time and money during servicing and maintenance of the system. The event monitor records all events of the entire portfolio and offers flexible filter options. The data analysis evaluates historical data and compares the devices in different systems. Satellite-based data on solar irradiation and wind speed as well as module and outside temperatures eliminate the need for local sensors. PV system operators can assess the performance of all PV systems in their portfolio at a glance. Investors receive a neutral proof of performance.

Direct marketing included

In early 2018, SMA had already launched the Data Manager M for commercial applications. The device replaces the SMA Cluster Controller. Up to 50 devices (PV inverters, battery inverters, I/O systems and energy meters) can be monitored with the SMA Data Manager M. In addition to an interface for ripple control signal receivers and an SCADA interface, the SMA Data Manager M has a direct marketing interface.

This allows operators of PV systems with a capacity of more than 100 kWp to market excess solar power easily and without expensive additional components in the digital energy trade. For this, SMA developed the direct marketing solution SMA SPOT together with the Mannheim-based energy company MVV Energie AG. With the functions integrated into the Data Manager M, installers can start the direct marketing with minimal effort: After printing, signing and sending out the contract for SMA SPOT, all that is needed is a mouse click when commissioning the system via the Data Manager M.

MVV takes care of the complete processing for integration into the electricity market through coordinated interfaces and processes. SMA SPOT also takes the power consumption of the PV system operator into account.

Constant expansions

In addition to the Data Manager M, the Data Manager S for private applications and the Data Manager L for large commercial applications and PV power plants will be launched in the first quarter of 2019. The Data Manager S replaces the SMA Energy Meter.

Its modular design can be customized to meet the needs of home system owners. This includes a module for e-mobility, for example. It enables fast, easy and safe charging of electric vehicles, such as the new Audi e-tron, using the EEBUS standard. In the long term the Data Manager S will also replace the SMA Sunny Home Manager. PV system owners who already practice intelligent energy management with the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 will be able to use the ennexOS functions in the future through an easy software upgrade.

SMA is constantly developing the functions of the ennexOS system components. Approximately every three months, the Data Manager receives updates. These integrate solutions by new partners, for example, or present new digital business models. Thanks to the open interfaces of the SMA Data Manager, inverters and storage systems from other manufacturers will also be integrated and controlled in ennexOS. The automatic update function always keeps the users up to date. The future of the energy world remains exciting — and ennexOS is the perfect platform for it.

Do you have questions about ennexOS?

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