Siemens is pushing into microgrid development with news of the launch of a new microgrid test bed at its New Jersey R&D facility. The Siemens Advanced Microgrid Research and Demonstration Lab will work to integrate more traditional power generation, storage, and management solutions with Siemen’s core solutions in the building automation and cloud platform space.
Microgrids must adapt and evolve to fit the needs of the environment, whether that be different loads, multiple power generation technologies, a wide range of energy storage needs, or frequent disconnects. This new ‘living lab’ will actively explore the integration of a wide range of these traditional microgrid components with the building itself. In many ways, the move mirrors the work being done in the grid services space to balance the grid, adjusting the usage of individual customers or units within the grid to maintain balance.
“The microgrid market has been growing quickly and we have the opportunity to test how each component of these systems work as a whole,” said Xiaofan Wu, Princeton Island Grid Project Manager, Siemens Corporate Technology. “The beauty of our R&D work in Princeton is that we have the power to investigate and validate highly innovative technologies continuously in a real environment, resulting in a clear blueprint for a more efficient and flexible microgrid system that can be replicated all over the world.”
Microgrids are know first and foremost by their ability to ‘island’ themselves from the grid. Islanding is typically done during a grid outage, but can happen for any number of reasons. When disconnected, microgrids traditionally work to manage the flow of electricity to maximize uptime and resilience through the creative utilization of on site energy generation and storage. While the foundation of Siemens’ new living lab is still a massive solar installation over the parking lot, it breaks into uncharted territory with the move beyond managing generation and storage into the systems within the building itself.
The foundation of Siemens’ new microgrid is a massive solar installation over the parking lot at Siemens’ Princeton facility. Right off the line, the new solar installation will provide 60% of the power required by the facility, but the team has a goal over the next three years of leveraging a suite of new technologies to ultimately power 80% of the facility with the array.