Energy Distribution of the Future
As medical facilities, universities, offices, shopping complexes, resorts, and even micro communities make significant investments to become less dependent on the traditional power grid, they have begun to employ various distributed energy resources (DERs) such as generators, wind mills, solar panels, and fuel cells 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 DERs to direct to what loads 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 system as the ”brains behind the operation.” Information is constantly moving into and out of the ECC so it can make decisions based on current electrical availability. 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.
Unlike most installed PV systems, the ECC is able to operate even during a grid outage by using one of the other DERs as an anchor resource to be grid forming.
Loads are prioritized as either Critical, Essential or Standard. During power interruptions, or peak demands, additional DERs may be brought in to support the loads, and or standard loads shed to prevent system overload.
Examples of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)
Generators / Reciprocating Engines
Photovoltaics (PV) / Solar Power
Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)
Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
In the new microgrid model, generators become more than back-up power. They become one of several DERs that provide power when the ECC determines it’s needed.
Photo: Gensets Outside a Schneider Electric Facility in Franklin, Tennessee
Not Only about Reliability, But Sustainability
Corporate initiatives and environmental standards are evolving towards greater sustainability. Adding an ECC to your facility is a step toward that goal by incorporating renewable distributed energy resources. Not only will you be able to manage your power systems reliably and effectively, you will be able to use the ECC Wizard to configure your system to set benchmarks and capture power system data that will help you meet your sustainability goals, as well as provide reports to the organizations and government departments managing related programs:
- > The Net Zero project is working toward 100% net zero carbon buildings by 2050. Click here to learn more.
- > LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the mostly widely used green building rating system in the world,and is a globally recognized sustainability achievement. Click here to learn more.
- > RE 100 is a global initiate of more than 100 influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. Click here to learn more.
More than 75% of Schneider Electric manufactured products have been awarded the Green Premium ecolabel. Green Premium is the label that allows you to effectively develop and promote an environmental policy whilst preserving your business efficiency. This ecolabel guarantees compliance with the most up-to-date environmental regulations, but it does more than this.More than 75% of Schneider Electric manufactured products have been awarded the Green Premium ecolabel. Green Premium is the label that allows you to effectively develop and promote an environmental policy whilst preserving your business efficiency. This ecolabel guarantees compliance with the most up-to-date environmental regulations, but it does more than this.