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Modular Smart Micro/Nano-Grid Power Management System


Microgrids are being considered at DoD installations to better manage energy usage, with the objective of providing better efficiency, reliability, and higher integration of renewable generation such as wind and solar. While the benefits of microgrids are broadly touted, implementation has been slow and complex. A turnkey modular micro/nano-grid controller design is sought, that would expedite test and validation of the benefits provided by a microgrid in actual facilities test platforms. A modular approach would also result in standardization and high volume such that economy of scale and better reliability could be achieved than low volume production. The envisioned power controller would be analogous to a network router, be modular and expandable such that each controller shall be able to communicate with one another in a mesh-type network with cyber security features. Each power controller would be plug-and-play such that standard types of power generators such as PV and DC battery backup, grid connection, and loads can be detected and managed with minimal configuration. A modular approach would mean that the capacity of each controller may be small with a few controlling the power on a building but in sufficient aggregate the mesh of controllers would be able to manage a large base. Power would be transferred between buildings through existing power distribution lines. This would require integrated medium voltage solid state transformers in the power controller. Proposals should focus on hardware design, cyber security, and networking functionality of the concept in order to achieve desired results. PHASE I: Phase I should address hardware, cyber security, and mesh network algorithms. Determine feasibility and develop a concept for a solid state power converter capable of bidirectional power conversion with connection directly to the distribution line (4kV-7.5kV). The hardware should meet safety requirements for connection to the utility grid at medium voltage and be islandable. Cyber security solutions should address implementation of metering and controls that meet DoD Information Assurance Certification Approval Process. Also identify a design and concept for a modular hardware architecture to house the controls that would be universal and compatible with third party microgrid converters. Approaches for mesh network algorithms should be developed and simulation of aggregate functionality performed to demonstrate feasibility of intelligently managing load and generation across a base using 30kW modular controllers on each building. PHASE II: Develop and Integrate hardware, software, and cyber security Modular Smart Microgrid Power Management System prototype into an existing base power grid. Prototype hardware delivered will include a microgrid controller with networking capability, integrated cybersecurity features, and 4 ports for grid connection, PV generation, DC battery backup, and 120VAC loads. The hardware shall be tested and validated for capability to connect to medium range distribution voltages. PHASE III: Conduct full scale operational demonstration of micro-grid capability using modular controllers in a mesh-network between several buildings through existing distribution lines. Assist the Navy sponsor in transitioning a final design functioning Modular Smart Microgrid Power Management System into designated base power grids.
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