Microgrid Consulting

Microgrid Labs is here to support you through the entire life cycle of a Microgrid project – from concept to commissioning. Our highly experienced team  can help you navigate all phases of the project - from initial assessment and feasibility study, to planning and implementation. We make sure the project is technically feasible, economically viable, and implemented successfully. 

Step 1: Assessment

  • Are you struggling with high energy costs? Are you faced with frequent power outages? Do you have power quality issues? Do you have critical loads that need to be kept ON during a power outage? Do you have potential for on-site renewable generation? Is there an opportunity to participate in energy markets? Is Microgrid Labs the right solution for you?
  • Our initial assessment addresses these and related topics to establish an initial energy baseline for your facility. We take a step-by-step approach to create the baseline that will help you understand where you are now, where you want to be in future, and what your different options are. We use modeling and optimization tools like DER-CAM (from LBNL) to establish the baseline based on historic load data, current on-site generation, weather, and tariffs. 

Step 2: Planning

  •  While the initial assessment focused on the "As-Is" situation, planning focuses on the "To-Be". This includes evaluating the different options for technical and economic viability to arrive at the configuration that provides the best economic value. It answers questions such as: do I need storage? What type  – electrical or thermal? How long can I island? How much load can I support? How much is such a system going to cost? 
  • We use modeling and optimization tools like DER-CAM to determine the optimal equipment combination and operation based on historic load data, generation and storage options, weather, and tariffs. The simulations include assumptions for both grid connected and islanded operations. This exercise is further refined using "What-If'"scenarios to arrive at an optimal Microgrid configuration.

Step 3: Design

Design expands the results of the planning process into a set of technical artifacts that can aid procurement and implementation. This consists of the following:

  • Conceptual design provides a high-level design of the Microgrid based on the optimal configuration suggested by the software. This will include a set of options, high-level scope of work, budget estimates, and potential economic and environmental benefits.
  • System design builds on the conceptual design to create an implementable solution. This will include validating the steady state models, dynamic modeling to analyze the network's dynamic behavior, deriving the load shedding logic, design of the protection system, detailing of use cases, defining the control system architecture, and creating procurement specifications for Microgrid-specific devices, like energy storage.
  • Detailed design expands on the system design to provide detailed procurement specifications for contractors to bid. This is typically done by A&E services firms or by EPC companies. 

Step 4: Systems Integration

Implementing any advanced energy control system for a large facility can be challenging. Microgrid control systems are not simple data acquisition systems. Functional requirements of a Microgrid are much more complex and include the following:

  • Controlling an independent grid
  • Controlling demand while connected to the grid via multiple generation, storage, and demand response assets
  • Transitioning from one mode to another
  • Keeping the islanded network stable

The overall Microgrid control system is really a system within a greater network. Typically a Microgrid control system will need to interact with several other systems (e.g. generator control systems, substation automation systems, building management systems etc.) in order to realize efficient and optimized operations of the Microgrid.​​