TRCA Energy Management System

The Living City Campus at Kortright is an initiative of the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA) and seeks to promote sustainability and green initiatives. Equipped with numerous PV Panels and Wind Turbines, TRCA has a renewable power capacity of over 50 kW.

TRCA required a fully featured Energy Management System (EMS) that allowed users to view live power data, troubleshoot problems within their power grid, and dynamically change calibration factors for embedded sensors.

The Before

  • Data Acquisition Devices (DAQ) deployed in the field take local measurements and write the data to a text file. Once a day, these text files are dumped to a large database.

  • These DAQ devices are remote, real-time, and autonomous. There was no automated way to know whether the device was performing its duties or not.

  • All calibration values for the sensors on the DAQ devices were hard coded within the software. A change to these values required the DAQ device to be taken offline and to rebuild the software.

  • System operators had no access to real-time information and relied on manual database queries on day-old data to troubleshoot problems.

See below for a block diagram of the previous system:

The Solution

  • Design and implement a secondary database that holds metadata and calibration values for all sensors and DAQ devices within the power grid.

  • Design a configurable, dynamic, and object-oriented software architecture to facilitate the acquisition, scaling, and logging of all sensor values.

  • Equip each DAQ Device with a broadcast signal that relays its health to the rest of the network. Any errors that occur on the device can be seen and handled by a system operator.

  • Implement a supervisor Energy Management System interface that allows system operators to view real-time data, device status, and perform analytics on archived data

  • Provide a web portal where users can easily see power grid data on intuitive websites and without needing to access the fully featured EMS software

See the figure below for the fully formed block diagram of the solution:

The Aftermath

TRCA System operators now have a fully automated Energy Management System in which they can easily view data, make changes to sensor calibrations, and detect potential/hazardous issues within their power grid in a reliable and efficient manner.


Tools Used

  • National Instruments Compact Field Point Controllers for DAQ Controllers (cFP-2220)

  • LabVIEW 2013 for DAQ Controller Real-Time program as well as the Energy Management System

  • MySQL 5.7 for the Database

  • LabVIEW Web Services to create the Web Portal

  • JavaScript/CSS/HTML for the websites

  • Acuvim Power Quality Meters for advanced analytics

  • TCP/IP, UDP, FTP, and MODBUS used as the communication protocols



EMS Renewable Analytics


EMS Live Channel Display