Why peak demand management matters

Power quality, Fundamentals

There are hundreds of power quality measurements you can take on electrical systems and equipment. Peak demand management is one of the best ways to help you uncover hidden costs, protect equipment from damaging conditions and reduce unscheduled downtime, all while improving system performance.

What is peak demand?

Peak demand is the highest average demand during all of the intervals in a billing cycle measured by power utilities. Utilities charge based on peak demand because they have to maintain infrastructure large enough to supply power at peak levels.

Note that a utility may charge the entire billing based on the peak demand. This means that if one demand interval is apparent, the utility can increase your utility bill for the entire billing period. Commercial and industrial customers can manage the high cost of peak demand surcharges by staggering load cycles to reduce total draw at any one time.

How to calculate peak demand

  1. Determine which demand intervals the utility uses (15 minutes is most common)
  2. Measure demand over time
  3. Look for significant loads operating concurrently and use demand measurement to verify readings for the individual loads

To collect the usage data, utilize power quality loggers and power quality analyzers.