False Peaks and Double Peaks are just two types of Electrical System Peaks, there are actually six. We break them down and describe each of the six types.
EnPowered simplifies energy management. This article is part of our instalment of 'Predicting Peaks' series. We discuss the current environment about Peaks and present some easy-to-use- tools and tips on how to forecast and respond to then.
Just as how no two mountain peaks are the same, neither are two electrical system Peaks exactly the same. Fortunately, there are models and landmarks to help explorers of both kinds of peaks. At EnPowered we've identified six types of Peaks. For those of you looking to make sense of Peaks and energy markets, it is important to familiarize yourself with the types of Peaks, not only to better understand how to respond, but also to make sense of the information being provided by service providers, peak prediction services, or energy consultants. Let’s outline a quick introduction to the six types of Peaks you’ll encounter.
1. BASIC PEAKS
2. FLAT TOP PEAKS
3. SURPRISE PEAKS
4. DOUBLE PEAKS
5. MORNING PEAKS
6. FALSE PEAKS
|BASIC PEAKS | These represent around 60% of all Peaks, and they follow a standard bell curve. System operators predict a Peak and the Peak hour occurs despite the market curtailing - these are an easy type of Peak to predict and plan for.|
|FLAT TOP PEAKS | These are fairly rare occurrences that account for only 10% of Peaks. When such a Peak occurs, energy usage rises as predicted but then plateaus for several hours afterwards. This makes it very hard to determine a Peak hour, which in turn makes it difficult for companies to know whether they have captured the right Peak or not. Moreover, since only five Peaks matter (in many markets) each year, missing one can lead to substantial financial burdens.|
|SURPRISE PEAKS | While only representing around 10% of Peaks, these phenomena are becoming more common, especially as more companies join demand response programs, making publicly available Peak prediction data less reliable due to the increasing number of variables. Surprise Peaks occur when system operators fail to predict a Peak, leading to a lack of curtailment and higher than expected usage.|
|DOUBLE PEAKS | Around 10% of all Peaks, Double Peaks arise when the market overreacts to a predicted Basic Peak. This leads to the predicted Peak hour not occurring since everyone responds to the initial warning, which in turn leads to the hours immediately before and after the predicted Peak becoming the actual, real Peaks.|
|MORNING PEAKS | These kinds of Peaks only occur a few times per year, in particular when system operators predict that a Peak will occur in the afternoon, but due to rain or curtailment the Peak instead occurs much earlier in the day. If such a Peak comprises one of the top 5 largest Peaks of the year, then it can cause major problems for companies hoping to capture all five, given its unpredictable nature.|
|FALSE PEAKS | The vast majority of Peak events - some 80% - are False Peaks, namely Peaks which are not large enough to count towards the top 5 (the only ones that deliver savings if met). Take note that a Peak can have multiple identities (e.g. false and basic or false and morning), in case you are wondering why the respective percentages accorded to each Peak type in this breakdown collectively surpasses 100%.|
Lastly, if these different types of Peaks seem confusing, don’t worry; get EnPowered or let your service provider worry about these differences instead. Understand that any Peak Prediction software or service provider should be clear and straightforward, informing you in a Yes or No manner whether to respond to a predicted Peak or not. You want to be confident in your Peak responses and limit the number of times your business does decide to response. Be wary of consultants that don’t provide firm answers or offer clients a probability range in lieu of firm predictions. Understanding these peaks is a great first step, but at the end of the day accuracy is key to your Peak confidence.