Open Architecture Microgrid Controller and HIL Validation
Thomas Bozada | U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development
Past microgrid implementations at military installations have had mixed results. The current funding available to installations to meet Department of Defense (DoD) and Service energy resilience goals is insufficient, resulting in partial solutions that often require significant redesign to improve. Current practices deliver vendor-specific solutions that are typically hard to operate and costly to upgrade. The objective of this effort is to virtually demonstrate the improvements in installation energy resilience and cost savings possible by using the Tactical Microgrid Standard (TMS) open microgrid architecture when compared to current practices. Additionally, this effort will use Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation (HIL) both to validate the use of TMS architecture and to show the benefits of verifying and testing microgrid designs using HIL test facilities prior to actual implementation.
The TMS open microgrid architecture is a Government-owned specification for vendor-agnostic microgrid controls, communication, cybersecurity, and electrical interconnection. TMS enables the seamless integration of existing and new capital equipment at fixed installations, while minimizing design and engineering costs. It allows for an installation microgrid to be built incrementally as funding permits, and scale without the need for significant reengineering. The TMS open architecture supports the conversion of on-site individual building backup diesel generators into a campus microgrid. For large systems with multiple controllers, different units can be designated as the master controller to facilitate microgrid sectionalizing, severability, and resiliency for eliminating individual points of failure.
The TMS open microgrid architecture is a cost-effective, superior solution to increasing installation energy resilience. It is applicable to any military installation. It simplifies the design and upfront engineering and when complete is easier to operate. The TMS open architecture supports incremental implementation of a microgrid that can incorporate most existing installation backup systems, either all at once or incrementally over time, as funding becomes available. The TMS open architecture is manufacturer-agnostic. It supports the interconnection of dissimilar power generation assets with minimal custom engineering. These assets can be added to or removed from the microgrid while it is operating without impacting grid quality and stability. New equipment can be added or older equipment replaced without unique engineering or recommissioning. It also adds significant resilience and operational flexibility by providing operators with the ability to segment an installation microgrid into smaller grids or into a dedicated single-source, single-load configuration. This segmentation can occur as a result of an intentional act or reaction to an incident that threatens the integrity of the microgrid, such as when a subset of the grid is lost due to equipment failure, operator error, or an intentional attack.