Today, companies not only consume energy, they also produce it. However, the time at which they use it and the amount necessary vary from one to another. DC-microgrids are there to interconnect companies and optimize their energy assets by sharing energy amongst them.
Origin of the MIRaCCLE project
In 2019, CE+T together with Klinkenberg, UCLouvain and HEPL submitted a project proposal, called MIRaCCLE. This initiative is aiming at designing and implementing a pilot DC-microgrid in an industrial parc located a couple of kilometers away from CE+T’s headquarters in Belgium.
Connecting companies together
The goal is to have a local energy community with companies located near to each other and interconnected by direct current through a microgrid installation.
Therefore, these companies will share the production of renewable energy (mainly photovoltaic), storage and connection to the public distribution network (RESA) in order to optimize consumption and only draw energy from the public network when it is available at the most attractive cost.
Moreover, the City of Herstal will benefit from an intelligent public lighting system directly connected to this microgrid.
Charging stations for electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles will complete the installation and will be available for every employee of the industrial parc.
How CE+T is involved?
Our mission in this project is to design and deliver the right converter and make sure it fits in the whole installation. Our expertise and knowledge in this field will help us achieve this goal. Moreover, as we are part of the CE+T Group, we can also rely on other talented people and resources.
One project, multiples challenges
Designing the right converter is not the only challenge to take up. The expertise of all the actors of this project will be useful to identify and define other aspects such as the optimum voltage level for the microgrid, the appropriated protective devices, the right control system and the efficiency gains through DC power.
Solar panels are now operational on the container dedicated to this project and the batteries will be installed soon.
The economic gain of this innovative concept could reach 30% for the companies and even 70% for the City of Herstal. Finally, the final goal is to replicate this installation in other industrial parks in Wallonia to relive the grid and help companies in their energy management.
The US-based start-up Orison has designed an innovative plug-and-play residential storage solution. This wall panel will be installed in Australia and Europe with CE+T’s technology embedded. The start of a huge revolution in the energy transition!
It’s time to change!
World energy consumption is increasing day by day and the grid is being pushed to its limits. Coupled with renewable energies and the expansion of electric cars, we will push the limits of today’s overloaded grid even further. Relieve the grid, lower energy cost and provide a backup solution is the offering of this solution. And that’s where Orison and CE+T Energrid come in.
Plug-and-play energy storage system
Orison, a US-based startup, has developed battery storage solution coupled with a home energy monitor that can be easily installed in any home or business: simply fix the panel on a wall, plug the battery into an ordinary electrical socket and you are operational! Each device has a maximum storage capacity of 2.2 kWh. If you need more power, just add more Orison panels to go up to 13.2 kWh. The size of your installation will depend on your energy production (renewable energies), your consumption and backup time. Estimate the size of your installation by visiting the Orison website (here).
The energy storage solution will help save money on energy costs. Coupled with a home energy monitor (included), the batteries can be charged when energy cost is lower, or generated by solar panels, and discharged at night when prices are higher.
In addition, in the event of a power failure, Orison’s modular battery system will provide backup to all equipment connected to it.
At the heart of the solution
Together with the smart power flow control, CE+T’s power electronics technology is the core component of this system. Based on Sierra 25 – 48/230, one proven product of CE+T Power’s multidirectional converter range, the solution offered has been redesigned to fit in a specific space and to become silent (the noise has to be very limited as the solution is designed for home). Therefore, CE+T Energrid has provided fanless multi-directional converters, Sierra 25 passive, that are integrated into Orison’s solution.
The three fully bidirectional ports (two AC and one DC) enable to manage the flows of energy circulating between the grid, the solar panels, the batteries and the critical loads.
Deal closed, systems on-field
Born 3 years ago together with CE+T Energrid itself, the collaboration of Orison and CE+T Energrid has been translated in a long-term deal and a 1st order of several million dollars. After passing regulatory approval, up to 4,000 Orison battery storage systems are slated to be tested in Australia. Tests in Europe and UK are also slated for testing before launching the product end of this year. And this is only the beginning!
Energy Management is not only a buzzword, it might have significant impacts for many companies. This case study proves it with the installation of a combined solution (energy management + backup) in a poultry farm.
The solution, designed, integrated and installed by the Belgian company Greenergy (website), is made up of lithium batteries, power converters and a complete energy management system. The system is connected to the PV installation and can be installed in new or existing buildings.
Case study description
This poultry farm has a particular electricity consumption profile. The photovoltaic installation generates more energy than what is consumed by the loads during the day and the need for energy at night is considerably high. For that reason, there is a lot of energy exchange with the utility grid: reinjection during the day and withdrawal at night.
The installation includes 60 kW/kVA of power converters. The three CE+T modules installed have a bidirectional DC port (for battery charge/discharge), an AC output supplying the loads and an AC input connected to both the grid and the PV installation.
215 kWh of lithium batteries are integrated in the solution. The storage solution is operated by the Greenergy home-made BMS developed to extend battery life and implement fail safes functions.
After few months of operation, the results are significant. From an annual grid consumption of 72 MWh, the farm now withdraws only 18 MWh from the grid representing a 75% reduction!
The graph below shows the electricity interactions with the utility grid during the month of April 2020. As you can see, the graph is almost always below the zero, representing the energy reinjected to the grid by the farm (when the batteries are full). Almost no energy is withdrawn thanks to the storage system, fueled by the PV, installed:
On top of that, the farm benefits from a power backup solution using the converters and batteries already installed.
Do you also want to reduce your energy bill? Or want to integrate our reliable converters into your custom solution?