Siemens Creates Living Lab in Princeton, NJ to Demonstrate Microgrids

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Siemens, one of the largest companies in the microgrid arena, has created a living lab at its US technology headquarters in Princeton, N.J. to demonstrate how similar facilities can use microgrids.

living lab

Parking lot solar array at Siemens technology headquarters in Princeton, NJ

The microgrid includes solar photovoltaics, battery storage, electrical power infrastructure, building management systems and microgrid control systems. Researchers will study each component of the microgrid and how the system works as a whole to provide a blueprint for universities, office parks, industrial sites and similar facilities.

The living lab also will demonstrate the ability of microgrids to help with sustainability goals. The headquarters facility is expected to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% because of the microgrid.

“Microgrids continue to become an integral part of our modern-day energy systems because they not only provide an answer to threats like extreme weather and power outages, but will also play a significant role in helping cities and communities meet their challenging CO2 reduction targets,” said Dave Hopping, president and CEO, Siemens Smart Infrastructure North America.

Hopping added that Siemens wants to “demystify the difficulties around installing and operating a microgrid to provide a clear path towards clean energy and carbon neutrality.”

Siemens researchers will investigate and demonstrate grid management and algorithms to reduce energy use and expand the system’s flexibility and carbon efficiency. The team also will test how the technology behaves in various scenarios, including when it is islanded from the grid.

The research lab will use a range of Siemens products among them its advanced microgri controls and its switchgear and transfer switches by Russelectric, a Siemens Business.

The microgrid will connect to the Siemens MindSphere cloud-based platform with data analytics and system monitoring technologies with support provided by its MindSphere team in Austin, Texas. The system includes dashboards that provide building occupants and engineers with real-time data on how the grid is operating and performing

“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,” said Xiaofan Wu, Princeton Island Grid project manager, Siemens Corporate Technology.

Siemens is involved in some of the highest visibility microgrid projects in the US, among them Blue Lake Rancheria in Humboldt County, California and the Commonwealth Edison Bronzeville microgrid in Chicago.

Learn about microgrids for colleges and universities in the Microgrid Knowledge whitepaper, “The Genius of Microgrids in Higher Education,” available in a free download courtesy of Siemens.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

Comments

  1. ““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,” said Xiaofan Wu, Princeton Island Grid project manager, Siemens Corporate Technology.””

    The mention of analytics also leaves the door open to best practices per technology used. For instance, a micro-grid using lithium ion battery technology is very accommodating with fast action grid services like frequency and voltage regulation. Something like CAES a more long term generation resource or redox flow battery technology for very large scale energy storage systems, perhaps up to 100 hours of energy storage would allow storm fronts or several cloudy days of energy storage. With the proper analytics applied to the proper energy storage system, one could have alternative energy generating power to save to energy storage, then dispatched at night. IF one has several really good days of alternative energy production, this energy could be “shuttled” to areas with more clouds and solar PV and wind generation interruptions. The Capacity market in the North and North West is usually “overbought” costing ratepayers a lot of money each year, this could be trimmed quite a bit with the proper infrastructure in place. A day ahead energy market would be a much more efficient energy market.

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