First DC-microgrid for inter-companies use in Wallonia

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.

Picture from Klinkenberg

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.

What’s next?

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.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to be informed
of the next steps of this project!

“DC distribution is safe” says Nicolas, our intern who completed his master thesis

This year, Nicolas Coumouyn, an industrial engineering student from HELMo Gramme, has joined our team for his internship and master thesis [in French] related to insulation fault management in telecommunication infrastructure power supply systems.

Such supply systems may involve DC distribution for its advantages over AC (cf. Volta seminar recorded last year [in French]). They address the needs of the telecom market, the first for CE+T Power with their Metrogrid solution (cf. left figure here below). Such systems efficiently rely on an IT earthing scheme and insulation monitoring devices (cf. right figure here below) which lead, in case of fault to ground on one of the conductors, to a fault current quickly decreasing towards a safe value - smaller than 25 mA - with respect to effects on the human body.

Such design aspects will also shape the infrastructure to be implemented in the framework of the MIRaCCLE project awarded to CE+T by the Walloon government few months ago.

Learn more from Nicolas' defence slides [in English or French] and thesis [in French]...

Congrats, Nicolas!

Our MIRaCCLE project has been selected for funding by the Walloon government

In 2019, CE+T Energrid together with Klinkenberg, UCLouvain and HEPL submitted a project proposal at pôle MecaTech aiming at designing and implementing a pilot DC microgrid in the industrial parc "Hauts-Sarts" a couple of kilometers away from CE+T.

This project has been selected for funding by the Walloon government. More [in French] on MecaTech website...

Want to replay Volta’s DC distribution seminar powered by CE+T Energrid and CE+T Power?

Few months ago, we delivered a series of seminars about DC distribution for Volta [French website], the Belgian federation of electrotechnics sectorial organizations. They gifted us by recording one of them... Here are the videos [in French] for your eyes only!

A great team work result by Philippe Ledent, Gilles Geron and Benoît Bidaine!

An SBIPV multiport DC/DC converter prototype by our intern

This year, Víctor Hernández Sierra, an electrical engineering student from ULiège, has joined our team for his master thesis aiming at designing, simulating and implementing a multiport DC/DC converter prototype for Standalone Building-Integrated Photovoltaic (SBIPV) systems.

He presented his results to the team and successfully defended his thesis at the end of June.

Felicidaded y suerte!

His thesis is available from the MatheO repository.

Direct Current power distribution – Is the current war revived?

Volta [French website], the Belgian federation of electrotechnics sectorial organizations, has invited us to address this topic in the framework of 5 seminars delivered (in French) in 5 Wallonian cities in May and June.

La distribution en courant continu est de plus en plus mise en avant, pas dans le but de remplacer la distribution en courant alternatif que l'on connait bien mais plutôt pour fournir une solution optimale entre distribution en courants continu et alternatif.

Diverses raisons font que la distribution en courant continu revient sur le devant de la scène :

  • évolutions technologiques ;
  • augmentation de l'intérêt vis-à-vis des sources d'énergie renouvelable telles que les panneaux photovoltaïques ;
  • amélioration et diversification des équipements alimentés en courant continu (LED, équipements électroniques) ;
  • augmentation de l'intérêt vis-à-vis du stockage d'énergie au moyen de batteries stationnaires ou mobiles (voitures électriques) ;
  • utilisation de lignes haute tension en courant continu pour interconnecter des réseaux alternatifs ;
  • ...

Que pouvez-vous attendre de cette soirée d'info ?

La fédération Volta se concentrera sur l'intérêt d'une distribution en courant continu dans un bâtiment ou à une échelle locale de manière plus générale. Les raisons de cet intérêt grandissant pour une distribution en courant continu seront détaillées en même temps qu'une comparaison avec une distribution en courant alternatif.

Les spécificités d'une infrastructure de distribution en courant continu seront ensuite abordées avant de finir avec une présentation de différents exemples concrets dans des domaines aussi variés que l'éclairage intérieur ou les datacenters.

Soyez les bienvenus à l'une des sessions suivantes :

En pratique

  • 18h30 Accueil sandwiches
  • 19h00 Présentation
  • 20h45 Networking drink
  • 21h45 Fin

Vous pouvez vous inscrire jusqu'à 5 jours avant l'évènement. Cliquez sur la date de votre choix pour vous inscrire.

Sessions organisées par la fédération Volta.