ABB microgrid control system poised for UK university campus deployment

ABB, the Switzerland-headquartered power electronics company, has been selected by the University of Chester to install a microgrid control system that will enable researchers and students that the onsite Energy Centre to examine ways to better integrate renewable and conventional energy.

Located at the Thornton Science Park in Cheshire, northwest England, the 90,000 square meter Energy Centre is one of the largest and most advanced energy research hubs in Europe, and a key mission statement of the campus is to demonstrate how new and renewable energy technologies can be better understood and integrated.

ABB, which recently unveiled its new MGS100 microgrid suitable for edge-of-grid, grid-connected and fully off-grid connections, will supply the control system, which is a software that manages the microgrid’s integration and optimum deployment of various energy sources. Storage units will also be connected to the microgrid, which will draw energy from a solar PV array, combined heat and power (CHP) and a diesel generator.

ABB’s MD of its grid automation business Massimo Danieli remarked that the project is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to partnering with academia to find ways to promote the adoption of “leading-edge technologies”.

The main aim of the microgrid solution from ABB will be to demonstrate how distributed energy resources can work together to lower costs and emissions on a typical grid. The software enables greater penetration of renewables on to the grid, and the controller will manage the microgrid’s connection with the Energy Centre, as well as connection to the local grid.