Microgrid control systems

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General information

Name of companySwitchDin
Website of companywww.switchdin.com
Name of productSwitchDin Stormcloud / Droplet for Microgrid
Product is hardware and/or software-platformhardware & software platform
Product standardized or project-specific?both
Distribution in which countries?AUS, EU, UK
Unique selling proposition of the productSolar and battery vendor agnostic, highly secure, edge computing for autonomy and local coordination of micro-grids, cloud platform for centralised control for virtual power plants
CommentsSwitchDin's edge computing technology provides a secure, simple and reliable platform for 'device to control room' management of distributed energy resources (DERs) in microgrids and virtual power plants. SwitchDin's technology integrates with most PV inverter & battery storage products, solving inter-device communication hurdles and creating a uniform interface for smart control of stand-alone microgrids as well as embedded networks. It also enables virtual control of demand response enabled devices (DREDs) - providing more options for ‘big picture’ microgrid management.

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

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?)
Other hardware components (e.g. smart meters, sensors, switches, domestic appliances, …)
Software-Platform for monitoring and control of the microgridyes
Software-Platform is a cloud solution or installed on own server or computer?both is possible
Software compatible with third party hardware?yes
Hardware compatible with third party software?yes
Monitoring and/or control of microgrid via smartphone app?yes

Microgrid layout

Which customers is the product aimed at? (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, community, campus, military, …)utilities, manufacturers, integrators, aggregators
Focus on offgrid, grid-connected or mobile microgrids?off-grid, grid-connected - mobile also possible but not focus
How many kilowatts of installed generating power can be integrated? (FROM - TO)unlimited
How many different generators can be integrated?unlimited
AC bus systemopt.
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, …)distributed control, central control, master/slave control
Which components are needed for grid forming in islanding operation? (e.g. battery, diesel generator, …)Determined by others
Can the system be retrofitted to existing energy system assets?yes
Can the system be expanded modularly after initial commissioning?yes
CommentsSwitchDin provides a technology solution for integration and control of DER. Our customers lead system design, implementation and operation.


Supported communication protocols (e.g. Modbus TCP, Sunspec, KNX, Zigbee, …)Modbus TCP, Sunspec, DNP3, IEEE2030.5, IEC61850
Supported communication interfaces (e.g. RS485, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, analog inputs an outputs, …)RS485, ethernet, wireless LAN, analog inputs & outputs, RF Mesh
Connectable generators (e.g. solar PV, wind turbines, CHP, diesel generators, fuel cells, hydro power plants, …)solar PV, diesel generators (may be expanded as required for specific projects)
Connectable storage systems (e.g. batteries [lead, lithium, redox flow, …], flywheels, heat storage, …)any batteries (may be expanded as required for specific projects)
Connectable loads (e.g. heat pumps, heating boilers, charging stations for e-mobility, refrigerators, …)heat pumps, heating boilers, ev charging stations, airconditioners and other AS4755-compatible. Relay control is also an option (may be expanded as required for specific projects)
What components/brands can be integrated 'plug & play'?Most popular brands of solar PV and battery inverters, power meters, AS4755 DREDs, battery management systems
What components/brands have to be integrated manually?Any new device can be integrated under our Integration Partner Program
How are components integrated manually? (e.g. connection boxes, command-line interface, ...)SwitchDin provides a once-off software integration service for new devices.
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, ...)SwitchDin supports a number of AMI WiSun RF-Mesh smart meter networks, and can provide integration services for various DERMS and ADMS systems
Can smart home systems be integrated into the microgrid?yes
Is the data encrypted during data transfer? If so, how?Yes - certificated encryption to utility standard
How is the system protected against threats from outside?The platform complies with utility grade security practices and has undergone full testing
How are firmware updates realized?There is a continuous over-the-air incremental update process with regular version release.


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)Islanding is managed by connected devices.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)yes
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 capabilityopt.
CommentsSwitchDin's technology can be deployed in conjuction with a range of equipment types and brands to deliver required functions

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, …)Frequency response capability in development, reactive power control possible depending on equipment deployed
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 marketyes

Price indication

Hardware: One-time acquisition costs for central control unit (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)on request
Hardware: Monthly maintenance costs for central control unit (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)on request
Hardware: Costs for other necessary system components? (e.g. smart meters, switches, …)on request
Software: One-time acquisition costs (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)on request
Software: Monthly maintenance costs (without VAT) FROM - TO (approx. retail price in Euro)on request
Are there renting or leasing options? If so, what are those options?no
CommentsSwitchDin's Droplet controller is a decentralised system and does not require a central control unit. Pricing depends on number of seperate DER units. There is a hardware and software once-off cost and a recuring monthly service subscription.
Price information availableno

Best practice project

Information on reference projects availableyes
Best practice project - ongridIndustrial microgrid in Western Australia: https://www.switchdin.com/industrial-microgrid-case-study The goal in this project was to improve electricity supply reliability and resilience to power quality issues for industrial food processing client connected to the regional Western Australia’s regional Horizon Power network, while working within significant energy import and solar export constraints. The client also had plans to expand production, necessitating an expansion of an existing solar PV system with additional PV as well as batteries. SwitchDin’s platform made it possible for the client to integrate a range of new components (including an existing PV system with over a dozen inverters) while complying with the network’s zero solar export and 140kW import restrictions. The retrofit included three PCSs to form the local grid, 755kWh of battery storage, power metering for loads & generators, another 150kW of solar inverter capacity and a 160kW diesel generator. SwitchDin’s Droplet™ controllers provided the basis for single-portal monitoring, control and data management in this complex situation; smart control algorithms facilitated self-consumption control during normal operation, microgrid management during islanding events, and smart generator auto-start for low battery state of charge and black start scenarios SwitchDin’s technology allowed the client to increase industrial production, renewable energy generation and supply reliability while working within significant network constraints.
Best practice project - offgridStand-alone community microgrid in regional Queensland: https://www.switchdin.com/lockhart-river-case-study Located on the Cape York peninsula, the township of Lockhart River is a community of about 700 people. Power for Lockhart River town was delivered primarily by diesel powered generators over an isolated network (microgrid) managed by Energy Queensland but not connected to the larger grid. Working with energy services company Yurika, SwitchDin industrial Droplet™ controllers were installed at each of the DER sites in the township. SwitchDin worked closely with the utility, Ergon Energy to integrate the Droplets™ with Ergon’s SCADA includnig at the diesel power station, while orchestrating distributed resources to help achieve the network reliability and quality whilst improving overall efficiency. The Droplets™ received resource data from the power station, providing a simple, single consolidated control and monitoring interface for the client. Droplets™ also implement power station dispatch instructions in real time, providing instrumentation for crucial control calculations at the edge of the grid. Each site contains differing quantities and sizes of generation resources from four different equipment manufacturers: AC-coupled solar PV provided by SMA Sunny Tripower inverters (10 to 26kW), DC-coupled solar by Schneider MPPT 60 800s, plus Ecoult Batteries and Selectronic SP PRO battery inverters operating in three phase mode. Droplets™ virtualise these assets so that the utility “sees” a single virtual controllable resource at each site.

Data update

Data updateNov 2019

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