Frequently Asked Questions

What does it all mean?

KrakenFlex is an adaptable SaaS solution that can perform a whole range of functionality. It acts as a DERMS for grid operators, a VPP for retailers, and a DER analytics platform for asset owners - but what do all these terms actually mean? Here we debunk the acronyms!

What is DERMS?

Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems or DERMS is a platform that can be used to control multiple assets of any size and scale for a variety of purposes. Use cases for this include:

  • grid support services and ancillary services (such as frequency response, balancing mechanism or voltage/reactive power services) 

  • demand side response (such as being able to flexibly turn off large load assets) 

  • as well as the ability to control utility scale renewable generation (wind and solar) in real time and remotely - enabling curtailment of assets if and when required 

For more information on what we can flex see Andy’s blog - A beginners guide to energy flexibility

 

What does a DERMS do?

It enables asset owners, traders, energy retailers or system operators to control any asset remotely and in real time. This could be a 3kW heat pump right up to a 50MW utility scale battery.

At a fundamental level, a DERMS is a control system specifically designed to handle DER. It acts as control mechanism to simplify the management of these systems and feed information into other utility backend systems for planning, operations, and customer engagement. It basically turns things on and off!  Furthermore, an outage management system (OMS) or a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system is usually needed to provide all DERMS functionality.


How does this differ from a VPP?

A virtual power plant is a form of optimisation, where multiple different asset classifications (wind, solar, battery etc) could be aggregated together to provide the services that would have otherwise been provided by a centralised power station. This could be for a microgrid (to use and share local energy), to manage supply and demand fluctuations (peak shaving), or to efficiently control various electric vehicles to manage supply and demand. 

 

Who uses KrakenFlex?

Anyone who wants to control DER. We at KrakenFlex work with:

  • Asset owners (for example people who own batteries, solar PV or wind turbine)

  • Traders (people who are using operating assets to earn a return e.g. utilising a battery to provide frequency support to the grid)

  • Energy retailers (like Octopus Energy who are able to offer new services and/or products to customers, e.g. EV tariffs, or specific time of use retail tariffs to incentives load shifting)

  • System operators (like Elia, who are a Transmission operator looking to manage demand and frequency on their network - details)

What is the benefit of all this functionality?

​The ability for our platform to manage large numbers of distributed assets can lead to a more flexible and therefore a more resilient grid. This is especially important as more renewable energy sources come online. For example, voltage fluctuations that result from the high variability of solar PV can be effectively dealt with by optimizing DERs, including client loads, on the grid.

The KrakenFlex platform allows for: 

  • Aggregation – Combining portfolios of assets into grid-wide resources to balance supply and demand

  • Simplification – A one stop shop for multiple assets of any size or scale

  • Automation – Employing algorithms to automate pre-determined responses, utilising machine learning

  • Optimisation – Ability to ensure assets are fully utilised and value is created

How long does it take to implement KrakenFlex?

It depends! Depending on the size and scale of the assets to be controlled and optimised. Typically it takes KrakenFlex 2-6 weeks to connect and control a new device. Functionality beyond that will vary depending on the specific requirements and use cases.