utility pursued DOE support along with the OMNETRIC Group, which is a joint venture between Siemens
AG and Accenture.
According to Laval, the lab had disparate distributed energy resources (DER) and sought a way to stitch
those assets together easily.
“They asked for an open-source, interoperable
platform” to support integration efforts, Laval recalls.
INTEGRATE was the name of the project, and it was
implemented with the National Renewable Energy
“INTEGRATE stands for Integrated Network Test-bed for Energy Grid Research and Technology Experimentation,” said Andrew Hudgins, project leader
at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF).
“The overall objective for INTEGRATE is to enable
clean energy technologies to increase the hosting capacity of the grid by providing grid services in a holistic manner using an open source or open-standard,
interoperable platform,” he said. Hudgins adds that
OpenFMB offers a “more plug-and-play approach” to
connecting DER such as solar, wind, and battery and
energy storage to the grid.
To validate the OpenFMB framework, OMNETRIC
Group used it with the Siemens Microgrid Management System (MGMS). That, plus a 500-k W microgrid that used simulated wind and solar power, was set
up at the ESIF. “We have a 1 MW grid simulator, PV
and wind simulators, and we were able to utilize the
solar profiles from the NREL campus for this project,”
Hudgins said. Through its Research Electrical Distribution Bus (RedB) the ESIF can connect real hardware
and equipment to a grid, PV and real-time digital simulators, replicating real-world grid conditions and the
various devices connected to it.
“We wanted to show how OpenFMB can enable a microgrid management
system to control decisions in real time,” Hudgins said. “What we learned in
the ESIF helped inform Duke Energy and CPS Energy about how to structure
and manage their microgrids.”
ALL AND NOTHING
Duke Energy’s microgrid, which is located at the utility’s Mount Holly Research and Development Center, tested the ability for OpenFMB to make
grid-edge control truly viable.
For the INTEGRATE project demonstration, the Duke Energy team didn’t
export energy onto the grid and they targeted net zero consumption when
the PV was producing during the day. The utility’s Dr. Laval explains why:
“OpenFMB enabled us to implement and integrate our microgrid so quickly,
we outpaced our interconnection application process,” Laval said, adding that
“it can take anywhere from 16 to 18 months to get approval to export energy.”
Unlike many microgrids, Duke Energy’s microgrid has no generation source
with spinning mass to provide inertia, so if power is lost, it’s lost instantly. That
meant this facility had to coordinate solar, storage plus a load bank to ensure
no power crept back onto the grid when the solar generation was running full
throttle during the test project.
Given these conditions, the Duke Energy team knew they didn’t have time
to wait for data signals to travel to a centralized computer and then wait again
for control signals to come back to that load bank or storage system. “Our
system has layered intelligence doing distributed applications,” Laval explains.
That is, Duke Energy delegated optimization routines to the field devices.
They only used the microgrid management system to control the point of
common coupling with the grid.
Duke Energy demonstratee that it could switch from the battery energy
storage system from a current source mode in grid connected mode to a voltage source mode during a microgrid islanding event within a few cycles to
enable a seamless transition without the need to black start. The team also
successfully managed its net-zero optimization routines with device-specific,
Now, Duke Energy is working with SEPA to expand the original OpenFMB use cases. “We’re adding a new one called ‘DER circuit segment
Duke Energy microgrid