Energy Distribution of the Future
As medical facilities, universities, offices, shopping complexes, resorts, communities and others make significant investments to become less dependent on the traditional power grid, they have begun to employ various distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar photovoltaics (PV), battery energy storage systems, wind turbines, fuel cells, and generators to meet their sustainability goals.
Redundant power systems create a higher level of reliability, but only if the DERs are managed intelligently and aligned by importance of each load they’re serving. Schneider Electric Energy Control Centers (ECC) provide that intelligence, with the ability to assess available power sources and loads to determine which loads can be served by the DERs based on priority, to keep operations running reliability, regardless of what happens on the grid.
How an Energy Control Center Works
Think of the ECC as the ”brains" behind the operation. Real-time load and source data is collected and analyzed in order to make real time autonomous decisions that optimize the site's energy consumption. The ECC uses advanced algorithms to assess available power sources and their condition, as well as analyze load priority and energy requirements to determine when and what DERs to engage. The ECC has the ability to make critical decisions, and physically make adjustments to power sources and loads to ensure energy reliability.
Currently, most installed solar PV systems cannot operate during a grid outage; however, solar PV systems connected to the ECC are able to provide power when paired with another DER that is a grid forming anchor resource.
Loads are prioritized as either Critical, Essential or Standard. During power interruptions, or periods of peak demand, additional DERs may be brought online or standard loads may be shed.
- commercial buildings
- medical facilities
- schools & universities
- indoor agriculture
- military bases
- emergency response facilities
- ... and more
Examples of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)
- Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
- Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)
- Wind Turbines
- Micro Turbines
- Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
- Fuel Cells
- Generators / Reciprocating Engines
- Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
The ECC enables on-site generators to be used for more than back-up power. Generators are tied into the ECC to provide peak shaving as well as act as a voltage/frequency reference to enable islanding.
Photo: Gensets Outside a Schneider Electric Facility in Franklin, Tennessee
Energy Control Center Handout
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