Microgrid control systems

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General information

Name of companyFerntech
Website of companyhttps://ferntech.io
Name of productUMC (Universal Monitoring & Control)
Product is hardware and/or software-platformhardware & software platform
Product standardized or project-specific?both
Distribution in which countries?worldwide
Unique selling proposition of the productVisual programming tools to design microgrid control algorithms from the web-portal
CommentsWhite Label, Universal, sub MW, User-friendly

Services of the company

Company produces microgrid control hardwareno
Company programs microgrid control softwareyes
Company provides system integration of microgrid control hardware and softwareyes
Company provides EPC services for microgrid projectsno
Company provides operations and maintenance of microgridsno
CommentsWe offer the tools for the O&M of off-grid power systems

Scope of control system

Central monitoring and control unit (Hardware)yes
Control unit is standalone product or integrated into other device (if latter, which device?)Standalone product
Other hardware components (e.g. smart meters, sensors, switches, domestic appliances, …)We do not offer other components, but we can specify/recommend which ones could be used.
Software-Platform for monitoring and control of the microgridyes
Software-Platform is a cloud solution or installed on own server or computer?cloud solution
Software compatible with third party hardware?yes
Hardware compatible with third party software?yes
Monitoring and/or control of microgrid via smartphone app?no

Microgrid layout

Which customers is the product aimed at? (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, community, campus, military, …)Industrial, Energy Access, commercial
Focus on offgrid, grid-connected or mobile microgrids?OffGrid, Diesel Hybrid, Mobile microgrids
How many kilowatts of installed generating power can be integrated? (FROM - TO)10 kW - 1 MW
How many different generators can be integrated?As many as the genset controller enables
AC bus systemyes
DC bus systemyes
Hybrid AC and DC bus systemyes
Which control strategy is used to run the microgrid? (e.g. central control, master/slave control, distributed control, …)Central control
Which components are needed for grid forming in islanding operation? (e.g. battery, diesel generator, …)Battery, Bi-directional inverter, Genset
Can the system be retrofitted to existing energy system assets?yes
Can the system be expanded modularly after initial commissioning?yes


Supported communication protocols (e.g. Modbus TCP, Sunspec, KNX, Zigbee, …)All open protocols used within the physical layers
Supported communication interfaces (e.g. RS485, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, analog inputs an outputs, …)CAN, RS485, RS232, Ehernet, USB, Digital I/O
Connectable generators (e.g. solar PV, wind turbines, CHP, diesel generators, fuel cells, hydro power plants, …)Inverters, Solar chargers, Diesel generators
Connectable storage systems (e.g. batteries [lead, lithium, redox flow, …], flywheels, heat storage, …)Lithium batteries
Connectable loads (e.g. heat pumps, heating boilers, charging stations for e-mobility, refrigerators, …)external power relays for load shedding
What components/brands can be integrated 'plug & play'?Power electornics: SMA, Victron, Steca, Schneider, Studer, Morningstar, Voltronics, Eltek; Batteries: Pylontech, BYD, Autarctech; Genset controllers: Comap, Deepsea, CAT; Power meters: Qeed, Carlo Gavazzi, E-Gauge; Flow meters: Technoton; Weather sensors:Rainwise, IMT solar;
What components/brands have to be integrated manually?
How are components integrated manually? (e.g. connection boxes, command-line interface, ...)
Software-Platform has graphical user interface for integration and configuration of external devices?yes
Software-Platform has graphical user interface for programming energy management options?yes
Communication between control system and energy system assets is wired or wireless?wired communication
SCADA integration possible?opt.
Other options to connect the microgrid to a higher-level distribution grid (e.g. smart meter gateway, CLS-interface, ...)TBD
Can smart home systems be integrated into the microgrid?opt.
Is the data encrypted during data transfer? If so, how?Yes. Via industry standard encyprtion methods
How is the system protected against threats from outside?via Firewalls.
How are firmware updates realized?User updates the firmware manually


Grid conntected operationyes
Islanding operationyes
Automated transition from islanding to grid-connected mode and backopt.
Time required for transition from grid-connected to islanded mode (in seconds)
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)opt.
Operation is also possible without connection to the internetin grid connected and islanding mode
Operation is also possible without connection to control room of higher-level distribution system operator (DSO)in grid connected and islanding mode
Asset control of distributed energy resourcesyes
Load management defining curtailable loads and priority loadsopt.
Automated dispatch control and optimizationopt.
Automated Re-dispatching in response to external orders or unplaned internal events
Internal voltage and frequency regulation in islanding modeyes
Real time active and reactive power controlopt.
Control of power exchange and voltage levels at point of interconnectionopt.
Aggregated ramp rate control at point of interconnectionopt.
Phase balancing between different AC phasesopt.
Black start capabilityno

Energy management options

Increase in self consumptionopt.
Increase of self-sufficiencyopt.
Peak Shavingopt.
Charging of electric vehiclesno
Energy management of thermal energy assets? (e.g. heat pumps, thermal storage, ...)opt.
Backup poweryes
Zero feed-inno
Ancillary services for public grid (e.g. frequency regulation, reactive power control, …)Low Voltage grid support
Consideration of weather forecastsopt.
Consideration of energy load predictionsopt.
Consideration of changing energy prices on the energy marketno
Use of AI or self-lernings algorithmsno
Blockchain based billing and/or pay as you go solutionno
Participation in the energy marketno

Price indication

Hardware: One-time acquisition costs for central control unit (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)500 - 1500
Hardware: Monthly maintenance costs for central control unit (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)TBD
Hardware: Costs for other necessary system components? (e.g. smart meters, switches, …)
Software: One-time acquisition costs (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)200 - 500
Software: Monthly maintenance costs (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)TBD
Are there renting or leasing options? If so, what are those options?no
Price information availableyes

Best practice project

Information on reference projects availableyes
Best practice project - ongridToghether with our customers Kverneland Energi (https://kvernelandenergi.no/), we've implemented a control for 'end-of-line Low-Voltage grid support'. More information here: https://www.lysenett.no/nyheter/tester-batteri-i-nettet-article15252-15091.html https://energiteknikk.net/2019/07/tester-batterier-som-spenningsstotte specs: - 230V grid - 3 SMA Sunny Island - 1 Tesvolt Battery 19,6 Kwh
Best practice project - offgridToghether with our partners MFT (https://www.mft-koeln.de/) and Colenergy (https://colenergy.co/) we've developped a monitoring and control platform for a off-grid Reverse Osmosis (RO) water disalination plant. This 'light-house' project proved the flexibility of our technology to monitor and control both the energy and the water systems. A business model is also being tested based on gallons sales of clean water to the community. That project was selected as one of the best water-projects in Latin-America. more info here: https://ferntech.io/industrial-applications https://www.dw.com/en/clean-water-for-the-wayuu-in-colombia/av-44038759 https://www.kfw.de/stories/economy/innovation/drinking-water-demineralization-colombia/

Data update

Data updateNov 2019

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