Microgrid control systems

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General information

Name of companyPhoenix Contact
Website of companywww.phoenixcontact.com
Name of productPLCnext Hybrid Control
Product is hardware and/or software-platformhardware & software platform
Product standardized or project-specific?both
Distribution in which countries?typical PV-markets
Unique selling proposition of the productmodular in hardware and function
CommentsThe system is based on our latest standard PLC platform which allows to use pre-defined function sets as well as own code based on IEC61131, High-level language or even Matlan Simulink

Services of the company

Company produces microgrid control hardwareyes
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
Commentsdue to the specific demands in such projects, we prefer to have a solar/Hybrid EPC in order to do the individual adaption

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?)stand-alone as IP20 set or boxed version for wall mounting
Other hardware components (e.g. smart meters, sensors, switches, domestic appliances, …)wheather sensors, load flow sensors, protection relays, energy meters, demand site management
Software-Platform for monitoring and control of the microgridyes
Software-Platform is a cloud solution or installed on own server or computer?installed on own server or computer
Software compatible with third party hardware?yes
Hardware compatible with third party software?yes
Monitoring and/or control of microgrid via smartphone app?opt.
Commentsmodularity in terms of hardware means: usability of all brands of PV-Inverters, genset controllers via standard interfaces or extra I/O points, modularity in terms if software means: pre-defined functions in libriaries or as individual code for specific functions, operator can use own existing code or can create exclusive code for his application

Microgrid layout

Which customers is the product aimed at? (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, community, campus, military, …)the simpliest system is interlocking PV Power Generation with Gensets in order to avoid reverse power, that is starting pricewise at around 1000€, due to modularity there are no boundries upwards, depending on the optimization goal
Focus on offgrid, grid-connected or mobile microgrids?all variants are possible
How many kilowatts of installed generating power can be integrated? (FROM - TO)unlimited
How many different generators can be integrated?unlimited
AC bus systemyes
DC bus systemopt.
Hybrid AC and DC bus systemopt.
Which control strategy is used to run the microgrid? (e.g. central control, master/slave control, distributed control, …)central control with opt. distributed sub-controls, using rule-based control strategy with machine learning as further optimization
Which components are needed for grid forming in islanding operation? (e.g. battery, diesel generator, …)Diesel or Gas Gensets, batteries, island-inverters as voltage sources
Can the system be retrofitted to existing energy system assets?yes
Can the system be expanded modularly after initial commissioning?yes
Commentsmodularity is the key, as mentioned before


Supported communication protocols (e.g. Modbus TCP, Sunspec, KNX, Zigbee, …)support of physical interfaces an their typical protocols, the system can be adopted to proprietary protocols
Supported communication interfaces (e.g. RS485, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, analog inputs an outputs, …)support of physical interfaces an their typical protocols, the system can be adopted to proprietary protocols
Connectable generators (e.g. solar PV, wind turbines, CHP, diesel generators, fuel cells, hydro power plants, …)all of them in terms of communication, which asset makes sense when at what size depends on the simulation results
Connectable storage systems (e.g. batteries [lead, lithium, redox flow, …], flywheels, heat storage, …)all of them in terms of communication, which asset makes sense when at what size depends on the simulation results
Connectable loads (e.g. heat pumps, heating boilers, charging stations for e-mobility, refrigerators, …)all of them in terms of communication, which asset makes sense when at what size depends on the simulation results
What components/brands can be integrated 'plug & play'?PV inverters and wheather sensors from Solarworx libriary, Gensets with Cummins Power Command or Woodward easYgen and many more
What components/brands have to be integrated manually?that is to be checked depending on interface, protocol and revision of third party device
How are components integrated manually? (e.g. connection boxes, command-line interface, ...)if there is a physical interface existing, we will need the appropriate protocol description in order to create a driver function block which will be afterwords included in the libriary
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?both
SCADA integration possible?yes
Other options to connect the microgrid to a higher-level distribution grid (e.g. smart meter gateway, CLS-interface, ...)via standard protocols
Can smart home systems be integrated into the microgrid?yes
Is the data encrypted during data transfer? If so, how?no encryption required on the field level if the communication lines to not go beyond the network boundaries
How is the system protected against threats from outside?VPN, TLS 1.2
How are firmware updates realized?manually update if demanded


Grid conntected operationyes
Islanding operationyes
Automated transition from islanding to grid-connected mode and backyes
Time required for transition from grid-connected to islanded mode (in seconds)
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
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 loadsyes
Automated dispatch control and optimizationyes
Automated Re-dispatching in response to external orders or unplaned internal eventsyes
Internal voltage and frequency regulation in islanding modeyes
Real time active and reactive power controlyes
Control of power exchange and voltage levels at point of interconnectionyes
Aggregated ramp rate control at point of interconnectionyes
Phase balancing between different AC phasesopt.
Black start capabilityyes
Commentsmainly due to function of used third party assets

Energy management options

Increase in self consumptionyes
Increase of self-sufficiencyyes
Peak Shavingyes
Charging of electric vehiclesyes
Energy management of thermal energy assets? (e.g. heat pumps, thermal storage, ...)yes
Backup poweryes
Zero feed-inyes
Ancillary services for public grid (e.g. frequency regulation, reactive power control, …)
Consideration of weather forecastsyes
Consideration of energy load predictionsyes
Consideration of changing energy prices on the energy marketopt.
Use of AI or self-lernings algorithmsyes
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)from 1000 onwards
Hardware: Monthly maintenance costs for central control unit (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)no mounthly costs
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)from 2000 onwards
Software: Monthly maintenance costs (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)no mounthly costs
Are there renting or leasing options? If so, what are those options?not via Phoenix Contact
Price information availableyes

Best practice project

Information on reference projects availableyes
Best practice project - ongrid
Best practice project - offgridSoftdrink producer in Nigeria, 10MW Diesel/Gas Gensets with 1MWp PV power and load management

Data update

Data updateNov 2019

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