Energy trading software

Situation:

Our client from the energy industry, Dunstan Thomas, had a program for suppliers' activity management, but it was not providing a visual appealing user experience because it was using legacy technology. Maintenance was very difficult, so the client wanted a modular new application, with minimal investment. The purpose of the existing software is to help Energy Traders balance their portfolios and trade in the market, plant operators to notify their latest position and manage real time generation. This application allows parties to model retail or wholesale energy contract to ensure that they are meeting contractual requirements and sourcing their energy requirements in the most efficient manner.

Dunstan Thomas wanted to rewrite the application in several steps, with minimum cost.

As a first phase, we developed a modern user interface for the existing energy trading software. The architecture would allow for a gradual transition from legacy clients to new clients.

Dunstan Thomas high-level solution description:

The software application, called Genstar4, is a flexible, modular solution covering trading and trade nomination, asset scheduling, asset dispatch, position monitoring, balancing bidding and settlements in the UK electricity market.

The app dispatches assets across the full spectrum of energy sources including thermal (gas, oil and coal) and renewables (onshore and offshore wind, hydro and pumped storage). It is delivered either on premise or as a hosted service with flexible cost models supporting traders, new entrants, IPPs and portfolio generators alike across the full energy mix.

The solution provides decision support and powerful trend analysis for participants in the balancing bidding market (bids and offers). Genstar4 also supports electricity retail processes including meter data management, demand forecasting and cost & pricing calculations.

The application's Adaptive Portal provides powerful online dashboard intelligence for data and any software system within an IT landscape.

Kepler contribution:

The legacy system was improved by adding a modern Web API opening it for easy access from different type of clients in the future and improving the legacy security infrastructure.

The Electronic Dispatch and Logging (EDL) module interfaces to National Grid (NG) for the exchange of information in near-to real-time as stipulated in the Grid Code.

The EDL module manages communication with the NG EDL messaging interface that is installed at each station or wind farm control point. This module provides access to the NG messaging system, so it allows the Station Operators to submit operational dynamic parameters for the generation assets to NG, and to receive dispatch instructions for Bid-Offer Acceptances and other Ancillary Services. This enables the Station Operators to respond to instructions to change output levels in real-time.

The EDL module supports the following activities:

  • Sending changes in operational plant dynamic data to NG
  • Receiving Bid and Offer Acceptances (BOAs) from NG
  • Receiving Ancillary Service Instructions from NG
  • Maintaining Logs of Submissions, BOAs and Ancillary Instructions

GENSTAR4 ASSET MONITOR

Monitoring performance in real-time is critical when deviations from an agreed schedule result in imbalance penalties being levied. Genstar4 provides a clear graphical representation of output or consumption against target schedule and contractual commitments, with warnings of imbalances

The Asset Monitor module supports the following activities:

  • Monitoring generating unit performance in real-time;
  • Assessing performance at the aggregated level;
  • Reporting on imbalances.

Technologies:

For this project that was released in 2017, we used: Visual Studio 2015, C#, WPF, Web API, OWIN, ASP.Net; Identity Framework, COM, MVVM, MEF, Unity, SQL Server CE 4, log4net, .Net Named Pipes, Microsoft SignalR, Infragistics Professional (UI for WPF), mediator pattern for inter-model communication, advanced WPF technics like writing custom markup extensions, re-writing control templates, advanced converters, advanced command bindings, generic object types realized at runtime by implementing the new ICustomTypeProvider interfaces, Unit of Work and Repository patterns.

Gains:

The client’s gains include:

  • A new and improved modular application for monitoring the activity of energy suppliers, that was rewritten with minimal investment.
  • Increased performance and robustness compared to the legacy modules designed for running in a 24h real time environment.

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