Today’s traditional grid design poses a number of challenges, including increasing demand, new electrical loads, and aging infrastructure. With existing technology, it’s difficult to efficiently utilize the distributed, dynamic generation of renewable power sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. This challenge is amplified globally as many nations strive to reduce carbonization by switching to forms of renewable energy.
Power generation microgrids and grid resilience
Through a sponsorship from the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), we’ve teamed up with Cisco and Real-Time Innovations (RTI) to create the “Microgrid Communication and Control Testbed” to assess the viability of a new IIoT-based solution for the power sector. The microgrid testbed brings the needed flexibility of real-time analytics and control to increase efficiencies in this legacy process—ensuring that power is generated more accurately and reliably.
So how does it work? The testbed technology re-architects the power grid system into a series of distributed microgrids that control smaller areas and support load, generation, and storage. Power generation microgrids can operate independently from the main grid but still interact with existing infrastructure. The testbed is designed to show how processing, communication, and monitoring technologies can help improve grid resiliency and efficiency. Microgrid technology is thought of as a critical component to help properly manage the growing adoption of renewable energy generation technology.
Testbed results on display at IOT Solutions World Congress
We’ll be demonstrating the following components of our microgrid demo during IOT Solutions World Congress, in Barcelona, October 25-27. If you happen to be at the show, visit us in Booth 525, Pavilion 1.
Machine-to-machine communication for measurement, processing, and control at the edge
Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard publish/subscribe messaging for distributed applications
Intelligent, programmable gateways for bridging existing devices to new processing and communication technologies
What’s next for the testbed?
With the technology integration and proof-of-concept aside, we’re focusing on Phases 2 and 3 of the testbed to improve distributed energy resilience. This includes demonstrating the scalability of our framework in a simulated environment at Southern California Edison’s Controls Lab (Phase 2) and deploying it in a real-world environment at CPS Energy’s “Grid-of-the-Future” microgrid test area in San Antonio, Texas (Phase 3). The testbed is set to complete in the summer of 2017.