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Microgrids

Microgrid benefits add up. Reliable, resilient power and better use of renewable sources. Getting there in today’s rapidly changing energy market is the challenge you face.

POWER Engineers can help you realize all of a microgrid’s potential benefits.

POWER can help take you through the maze of choices of what to do and how to do it. Our deep design experience allows us to efficiently deliver solutions that work best for you and also meet your high requirements for electric power resiliency and sustainability.

We can help you successfully integrate renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal or biomass into the microgrid electrical system. This includes designing energy storage systems critical to your effective use of renewable energy. POWER applies sound system engineering and design to give you a successful approach to operating seamlessly on or off the utility grid.

POWER provides you a one-stop shop for your microgrid engineering needs. Our wide variety of experts can support your project with electrical system design and automation services. You also can call on our experts to meet your needs for demand control and power management as well as secure communication and flexible protective relaying for a microgrid operation with high availability.

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies are crucial to practical decisions about your microgrid project. POWER’s electrical studies experts can help you navigate the unique technical issues that could arise at your site.

Answers to these questions and more should be determined at the microgrid feasibility stage:

  • To what extent can existing sources be used?
  • How much energy storage and solar photovoltaic energy is practical and stable?
  • How will VAR resources be established and controlled?
  • Which loads are critical and which can be interrupted to preserve continuity?
  • What equipment and controls are required to make the new microgrid perform properly?

Our diverse technical team pulls experts from many disciplines to engineer solutions that meet your needs. We also deliver documentation that is detailed, concise and clear.

You gain the confidence that you’re moving forward with the best solutions and that you have a system engineered to meet your unique operational needs.

Feasibility Services

  • Analysis of available traditional generation, renewable and energy storage resources
  • Reactive power flow and voltage stability analysis
  • Electrical distribution system design and capacity analysis
  • Critical and non-critical load requirements
  • Islanding and paralleling equipment
  • Frequency and voltage stability
  • Protection system operation and critical clearing times
  • Black-start capability

System Analysis and Modeling

You want to make sure that your microgrid project will operate as you expect. POWER Engineers’ system analysis and modeling can verify that it will.

Predicting electrical system performance under all conditions is vital to planning, permitting, designing, operating and protecting your system. POWER experts use state-of-the-art modeling software to provide a roadmap for investment in your power system.

If necessary and appropriate, we also can characterize the performance of traditional generation sources that will operate in the new microgrid.

You gain solution-based expertise that presents practical alternatives which balance cost, system capacity and reliability.

Services

  • Microgrid electrical models to predict and verify microgrid operation, including real and reactive power flow models
  • Real Time Digital Simulator
  • Electrical fault and protective relay coordination analysis
  • Arc flash hazard analysis
  • Stability analysis for islanding, paralleling and black-start operation under heavy-load and light-load conditions
  • Generator performance characterization

Interconnection Studies

A microgrid interconnected to the utility grid raises operational issues. You need to know what those issues are to preserve the safety, reliability and service quality of your power system.

POWER’s interconnection studies provide you with that information.

We understand both the electrical performance requirements necessary for a dependable, resilient microgrid, and also the interconnection control, protection and SCADA requirements that your local utility demands. Keeping your expensive equipment and utility staff safe and functional are top concerns.

You gain the confidence that your microgrid interconnection is predictable, protected and reliable.

Interconnection services

  • High-voltage and low-voltage ride-through studies
  • Transient overvoltage studies
  • Utility back-feed detection and islanding protection
  • Protective relaying coordination
  • Synchronism checking and paralleling controls
  • Black start studies

SCADA Interface

Accurate and reliable information displayed clearly and immediately is critical to your microgrid operation.

You can count on POWER Engineers to design SCADA systems tailored to your equipment’s capabilities and operating needs. We deliver integrated SCADA systems that collect the data and provide the controls you need for routine and emergency microgrid operation.

You not only gain information about your microgrid’s condition in real time, you also attain a system that works efficiently and reliably with the larger utility. You acquire the ability to securely control microgrid equipment from a central site or, if you prefer, a remote location.

POWER begins each SCADA project with a clear understanding of your microgrid system. Our experts work with you to gain a firm knowledge of your needs and ultimate goals. We help you take advantage of today’s technology in a system that’s right for you.

You gain a strategy that provides a best-value solution to integrate your information systems in a secure, reliable, robust and controllable operation.

SCADA services

  • SCADA and control system architecture
  • Design, implement and commission secure SCADA systems
  • Collect, aggregate and present data sets
  • Secure system controls
  • Fiber optic and wireless communication channel design
  • Cyber security

Communication

Knowing what’s happening is critical to effective microgrid control.

You need communication that provides operators with situational awareness, the real-time feedback necessary to make smart decisions about your system.

POWER’s experts can help you connect protective relays, meters, microgrid controllers and equipment through a secure, reliable communication network. Your operators gain access to real-time information on video screens at control points. Other authorized data users also obtain relevant details about your system’s condition.

You get data that meets your standards and is easy to use. You can track everything from system voltage levels to equipment performance to faults. Devices that were once isolated become connected, and you are able to continuously monitor and check for errors.

You gain improved situational awareness and security.

Services

  • Conceptual design and architecture
  • Equipment specifications
  • Device and channel configuration
  • Cyber security

Microgrid Security

How are your microgrid’s critical cyber and physical assets best protected? By building security into your system and operations.

That’s why POWER treats cyber and physical security as a part of our overall engineering and design processes. This proven approach keeps SCADA, control systems and facilities protected and responsive to security threats. This includes keeping secure facilities that are subject to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection standards.

You gain the confidence that your security is engineered to protect people, systems and sites while delivering a robust operation.

Security services

  • Cyber and physical vulnerability assessments and studies
  • Enterprise and infrastructure planning
  • Network design, engineering and implementation
  • SCADA system development and security solutions
  • Critical router and server configuration
  • Low-impact failure mode analysis
  • Process simulation
  • Configuration, change and patch management
  • Security weakness mitigation reports
  • Firewall and data diode security solutions
  • Security policy and specifications for developers and suppliers
  • Ethernet switch and gateway configuration
  • Risk assessment studies
  • Independent risk assessment verification
  • Facility security plans to deter, detect and delay
  • Independent, third-party security reviews

Microgrid Protective Relaying

Your microgrid deserves protection.

POWER’s team understands the value of your electrical service and your investment. Protecting your system includes carefully studying fault conditions in both parallel and islanded operating modes, then thoughtfully applying and coordinating protective relays and their elements.

Understanding the dynamic performance of microgrid energy sources and loads is critical to protecting your system. Our experts study the expected performance of your microgrid using a range of electrical modeling software.

With a clear picture of your system, we can coordinate devices to clear faults rapidly and precisely. You are able to maintain the highest possible service availability for critical loads. Your microgrid stays protected whether you’re operating in parallel with the utility grid or islanded from it or during a black start.

When you turn to POWER, you gain engineering solutions that meet your unique operational goals using the best sensitivity, selectivity, control and security features found in today’s devices. You make the most of your system’s performance.

Services

  • Identify, coordinate and set protective relays
  • Multiple relay setting regimes to cover parallel, islanded and black start operation
  • IEC 61850-based controls where needed
  • Local operator interfaces
  • Electrical arc flash hazards analysis
  • Arc flash protection schemes

Microgrid Control

Microgrids promise you greater flexibility and reliability in today’s rapidly changing energy environment.

Yet those benefits come with their own set of challenges. Microgrid operational control is one of the most important issues you face in creating a stable system.

POWER’s experts can help you meet those challenges with controls that improve your ability to isolate, or island, the microgrid from the larger electric system. Our experts can design and implement controls for the sequence of actions needed for a black start as well as for a smooth return to operating on the grid.

POWER’s team also can help you improve management of renewable and traditional sources when connected to the larger grid.

You gain solutions that help you make the most of operating your microgrid, whether it’s operating on or off the utility grid.

Services

  • Operating sequence development and documentation
  • Static and dynamic electrical models of microgrid performance for islanding, paralleling and black start modes
  • Real and reactive power flow studies
  • Performance analysis for inverter-based energy sources such as solar, flywheel, BESS, etc., as well as traditional sources such as reciprocating engine, combustion turbine, hydro-electric, etc.
  • Microgrid control architecture, specification and configuration
  • Paralleling breaker controls
  • Load preservation, load shedding and power management systems to balance critical load and energy generation and storage capabilities
  • Failure mode and risk analysis