Siemens Launches an Advanced Microgrid Demonstration Environment at Its New Jersey R&D Hub
August 3, 2020 | Princeton, NJ
- New living lab incorporates photovoltaics, battery storage, power infrastructure equipment, building automation and cloud platforms, setting the standard for the next generation microgrid
- Microgrid lab will also result in a lower CO2 footprint for the Princeton facility
Siemens USA has launched an advanced microgrid research and demonstration environment at its U.S. Corporate Technology headquarters in Princeton, NJ. The living lab will validate the latest technologies in order to provide the market with a comprehensive blueprint of how microgrids can be flexibly operated in similar applications such as universities, office parks and industrial sites while reducing the adverse impacts of energy uncertainty.
The Princeton microgrid integrates technologies across the company’s Smart Infrastructure portfolio including photovoltaics (PV), battery storage, electrical power infrastructure, building management systems and microgrid control systems, allowing researchers to study each component of the microgrid and the system as a comprehensive solution. The living lab, which was developed utilizing automated microgrid design tools, will also result in a 50% reduction of the Princeton facility’s CO2 footprint.
Siemens researchers will focus on investigating and demonstrating grid management functionality and creating algorithms to expand the system’s flexibility and CO2 efficiency while reducing energy consumption. The microgrid will be powered by the renewable energy generated by the PV system, storing excess energy to be used when needed. The team will also introduce tests to see how the technology behaves in various scenarios, including completely islanding the system from the grid.
“Microgrids continue to become an integral part of our modern-day energy systems because they not only provide an answer to threats like extreme weather and power outages, but will also play a significant role in helping cities and communities meet their challenging CO2 reduction targets,” said Dave Hopping, President and CEO, Siemens Smart Infrastructure North America. “Our goal through this unique research project is to demystify the difficulties around installing and operating a microgrid to provide a clear path towards clean energy and carbon neutrality.”
The microgrid’s loads and energy assets are controlled by seamless Advanced Microgrid Controls, an integrated software and hardware solution comprised of Siemens state-of-the-art SICAM microgrid controller and Russelectric switchgear and transfer switches. Russelectric, A Siemens Business, has been providing critical power solutions to mission critical facilities for 50 years.
The microgrid will connect to the Siemens MindSphere cloud-based platform with data analytics and system monitoring technologies with support provided by the MindSphere team located in Austin, TX. The system features a new user-friendly dashboard for both building occupants and engineers that provides real-time data on how the grid is operating and performing, a feature that has recently received a Red Dot Design Award.
“The microgrid market has been growing quickly and we have the opportunity to test how each component of these systems work as a whole,” said Xiaofan Wu, Princeton Island Grid Project Manager, Siemens Corporate Technology. “The beauty of our R&D work in Princeton is that we have the power to investigate and validate highly innovative technologies continuously in a real environment, resulting in a clear blueprint for a more efficient and flexible microgrid system that can be replicated all over the world.”
Enhancing the ability of organizations and municipalities to control their own energy destinies in times of crisis and uncertainty, Siemens has been pioneering microgrid technology in the U.S. over the past decade, including its work with Blue Lake Rancheria in Northern California and the Commonwealth Edison Bronzeville microgrid in Chicago. The company has strengthened its portfolio to address every component of a microgrid system from management software to battery storage and electrical power infrastructure.
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Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. The company is active around the globe, focusing on the areas of intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed companies Siemens Energy, the global energy business of Siemens, and Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the energy systems of today and tomorrow as well as the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (as part of Siemens Energy), Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2019, Siemens USA reported revenue of $26.5 billion and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.