Modular Control Architecture for Scalable, Resilient and Cybersecure Microgrids
Mike Simpson | Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), with our government, utility, and industry partners, aims to design, demonstrate, and validate a cost-effective networked microgrid solution that is scalable, resilient, and repeatable for diverse military installations. These three key features will be made possible through a holistic “bottoms-up” design approach, integrating modular system design, decentralized controls architecture, and standards-based resource integration. This solution is built on control systems technology developed and deployed in previous Department of Defense (DoD) microgrid efforts and will enable networked operation of multiple microgrids and integration across legacy generation assets, building loads, and distributed energy resources (DER). Key concepts of DER power sharing, multilayer network redundancy, sequenced outage recovery, coordinated system protection, and cyber-secure communications will be demonstrated.
As part of this project, the collective industry expertise by the Project Team – EPRI, S&C Electric Company, PowerSecure, and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) – will be leveraged in developing and testing a microgrid with networked control architecture within a military installation. This new modular architecture is expected to improve scalability, cost-effectiveness, and resilience through power-sharing among multiple DER, coordinated power outage recovery, and decentralized islanded operation at multiple levels. Functional requirements for the proposed control solution and system architecture will be developed and the microgrid system design will be validated in software- and hardware-in-loop testing environments. The S&C and Intelligent Power & Energy Research Corporation (IPERC) GridMaster® distributed microgrid control system will be utilized to demonstrate the proposed. EPRI’s co-simulation platform will be utilized for software-in-loop testing of the microgrid system integrated with the GridMaster controls system. The test bed will utilize circuit models, detailed (dynamic) DER models, standards-based communications protocols and advanced analysis and visualization techniques to simulate field conditions in a real-world microgrid. The hardware-in-the-loop testing will be carried out with SNL’s Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory (DETL). These testing capabilities will be used to validate the advanced control capabilities offered by GridMaster in executing multi-layer network redundancy, decentralized decision making, DER power sharing, sequenced outage restoration, and system protection coordination. The GridMaster system will control the distributed energy resources to satisfy various use cases, including black start, joining and separating building level microgrids, DER optimization, and reconnection to the utility grid. Each building-level microgrid will have a dedicated GridMaster Intelligent Power Controller (IPC) that can operate as a stand-alone supervisory system. All the IPCs within the campus will be in constant communication with each other and will decide collectively how best to parse the grid to ensure that critical and high priority loads remain energized.
The core concepts in this project are to demonstrate, through rigorous testing, a decentralized control architecture that will allow implementation of multiple networked microgrids that cost-effectively employ a combination of legacy generation assets, building loads, and DERs assets. The key beneficial goals include:
- Integrate combinations of legacy generation assets and DER for utilization as capacity resources in lieu of large-scale centralized resources.
- Enable DER power sharing, meet reliability targets, and increase the robustness to localized failures.
- Facilitate operation of multiple independent microgrids within a military site.
- Demonstrate procedures to expedite the installation and commissioning of networked microgrids, simplification of component and systems integration, and sequencing or intelligent phasing of modular expansions across a military installation over time while addressing the expected business and financial constraints of microgrid design-builds.