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Load profile

Load profile

Overview
In electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

, a load profile is a graph of the variation in the electrical load versus time. A load profile will vary according to customer type (typical examples include residential, commercial and industrial), temperature and holiday seasons.

In the electricity generation
Electricity generation
Electricity generation is the process of generating electric energy from other forms of energy.The fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered during the 1820s and early 1830s by the British scientist Michael Faraday...

 sector, a load curve
Load curve
]A load curve is a chart showing the amount of electrical energy customers use over the course of time. Power producers use this information to plan how much electricity they will need to make available at any given time...

 is a chart showing the amount of electricity customers use over a period of time. Generation companies use this information to plan how much power they will need to generate at any given time.
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Encyclopedia
In electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

, a load profile is a graph of the variation in the electrical load versus time. A load profile will vary according to customer type (typical examples include residential, commercial and industrial), temperature and holiday seasons.

Power generation


In the electricity generation
Electricity generation
Electricity generation is the process of generating electric energy from other forms of energy.The fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered during the 1820s and early 1830s by the British scientist Michael Faraday...

 sector, a load curve
Load curve
]A load curve is a chart showing the amount of electrical energy customers use over the course of time. Power producers use this information to plan how much electricity they will need to make available at any given time...

 is a chart showing the amount of electricity customers use over a period of time. Generation companies use this information to plan how much power they will need to generate at any given time. A load duration curve
Load Duration Curve
A load duration curve is used in electric power generation to illustrate the relationship between generating capacity requirements and capacity utilization.A LDC is similar to a load curve but the demand data is ordered in descending...

 is similar to a load curve. The information is the same but is presented in a different form. These curves are useful in the selection of generator
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

 units for supplying electricity.

Electricity distribution


In an electricity distribution
Electricity distribution
File:Electricity grid simple- North America.svg|thumb|380px|right|Simplified diagram of AC electricity distribution from generation stations to consumers...

 network
Grid (electricity)
An electrical grid is a vast, interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers. It consists of three main components: 1) generating plants that produce electricity from combustible fuels or non-combustible fuels ; 2) transmission lines that carry electricity from power...

, the load profile of electricity usage is important to the efficiency and reliability of power transmission. The power transformer
Transformer
A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic field...

 or battery-to-grid  are critical aspects of power distribution and sizing and modelling of batteries or transformers depends on the load profile. The factory specification of transformers for the optimization of load losses versus no-load losses is dependent directly on the characteristics of the load profile that the transformer is expected to be subjected to. This includes such characteristics as average load factor, utilization factor, and responsibility factor, which can all be calculated based on a given load profile.

A transformer typically has a cyclic rating allowing for the variation in the load profile. This cyclic rating allows the transformer to be overloaded at peak times so long as there is a sufficient cooling down period at the lower point in the load profile.

Retail energy markets


In retail energy markets, supplier obligations are settled on an hourly or subhourly basis. For most customers, consumption is measured on a monthly basis, based on meter reading schedules. Load profiles are used to convert the monthly consumption data into estimates of hourly or subhourly consumption in order to determine the supplier obligation. For each hour, these estimates are aggregated for all customers of an energy supplier, and the aggregate amount is used in market settlement calculations as the total demand that must be covered by the supplier.

Calculating a load profile


Load profiles can be determined by direct metering but on smaller devices such as distribution network transformers this is not routinely done. Instead a load profile can be inferred from customer billing or other data. An example of a practical calculation used by utilities is using a transformer's maximum demand reading and taking into account the known number of each customer type supplied by these transformers. This process is called load research.

Recording load profiles


Actual demand can be collected at strategic locations to perform more detailed load analysis; this is beneficial to both distribution and end-user customers looking for peak consumption. Smart grid meters
Smart meter
A smart meter is usually an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the...

, utility meter load profilers, data logging sub-meters and portable data loggers are designed to accomplish this task by recording readings at a set interval.

See also

  • Electricity generation
    Electricity generation
    Electricity generation is the process of generating electric energy from other forms of energy.The fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered during the 1820s and early 1830s by the British scientist Michael Faraday...

  • Electric power transmission
    Electric power transmission
    Electric-power transmission is the bulk transfer of electrical energy, from generating power plants to Electrical substations located near demand centers...

  • Electricity distribution
    Electricity distribution
    File:Electricity grid simple- North America.svg|thumb|380px|right|Simplified diagram of AC electricity distribution from generation stations to consumers...

  • Off-peak
  • Peak demand
    Peak demand
    Peak demand is used to refer to a historically high point in the sales record of a particular product. In terms of energy use, peak demand describes a period of strong consumer demand.- Peak load :...

  • Relative cost of electricity generated by different sources
  • Transformer
    Transformer
    A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic field...

  • Vehicle-to-grid
    Vehicle-to-grid
    Vehicle-to-grid describes a system in which plug-in electric vehicles, such as electric cars and plug-in hybrids , communicate with the power grid to sell demand response services by either delivering electricity into the grid or by throttling their charging rate.Vehicle-to-grid can be used with...


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