One of the Army’s modernization goals is to install a microgrid on each of its installations by 2035. Cummins, a longtime supplier of generators to the U.S. military, recently opened a microgrid testing laboratory that could help the Army reach its power goal.
A microgrid is an energy system “made up of sources, loads, connections and controls” connected together, said Cummins lab manager Corey Bergendahl. Pulling energy from a variety of sources, a microgrid can function as part of the main power grid and maintain power if a grid goes down or can provide power to facilities or communities that are not connected to the main grid.
Cummins’ new Power Integration Center is a 20,000-square-foot space at the company’s power generation facility in Minnesota. It contains an outdoor test area, a main switchgear room, an electrical mezzanine and an engineering control room, allowing Cummins personnel and clients to test different microgrid configurations.
“We wanted to build our microgrid lab in a way that it was not just a single-use case,” Bergendahl said at the center’s opening event.