Innovations in Energy Generation, Storage & Networks to Improve Efficiency and Ensure Reliability

White Papers > Energy Storage Microgrid > Innovations in Energy Generation, Storage & Networks to Improve Efficiency and Ensure Reliability

At Microgrid 2018 in Chicago, experts from FuelCell Energy, Younicos and Power Engineers explored the latest innovations in energy generation, storage, microgrids and networks.

Geoff Slevin, director, business development at FuelCell Energy, offered the case for fuel-cell microgrids. Fuel cells can be more efficient than competing baseload technologies and produce lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Fuel cells generate electricity, and sometimes usable waste heat, by virtue of an electrochemical reaction. They are more efficient than competing baseload technologies and produce lower CO2 emissions.

Slevin described a grid-connected 5.6-MW fuel cell powered by natural gas, which provides electricity and steam to the 160-acre Pfizer Groton campus — a private, critical facility microgrid. He goes on to highlight additional advanced microgrid projects that use fuel cells.

Dean Tuel, vice president of Americas sales at Younicos, walked through the benefits and possibilities of hybrid microgrids — for example, diesel plus energy storage application in remote areas. Younicos is a leader in mobile power solutions with expertise in hybrid and microgrid system integration.

Tuel began by explaining the ins and outs of a microgrid, or any interconnected series of load and distributed generation assets that can operate fully independent from a centralized grid. Such stand-alone operation is known as islanding, which enhances local resilience and services loads in case of emergencies. Tuel also provided case studies including a utility study with Austin Energy and a commercial and industrial case study with Panasonic.

Dan Jones, electrical system studies engineer and Power Engineers, and Keith Gray, SCADA project engineer at Power Engineers, explored island detection in microgrids through a case study. The study involves an oil refinery with a cogeneration plant. The refinery uses electricity and steam from cogeneration. But the generators could not stay online in the event the refinery electrical system was islanded from the utility. The goal of island detection is to detect an island condition and change generator control mode to keep refinery loads online.

Download the full Microgrid 2018 presentation for the latest in energy generation, storage and networks. 

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