3DMicroGrid is on the design, development and demonstration of a future-proof active smart micro-grid system to integrate and optimize multiple small to medium sized energy sources and loads. The overarching objective is to capitalize on the availability of local and large renewable energy resources and adapting them for solutions to sustainability in terms of electric power demand and supply. A demo smart micro-grid system will be built integrating all energy components, in an effort to (i) maximize renewable energy utilization, (ii) reduce the carbon footprint by minimizing consumption, (iii) improve the power quality while ensuring economic feasibility, and (iv) replicate similar setups to institutions and commercial and rural sites. 3DMicroGrid undertakes a detailed campus assessment of existing energy scenarios, including: energy consumption; diesel consumption and generation efficiency; loads and their classification; consumption patterns such as human presence and behavior; power quality with respect to grid power, switching between various distributed power sources, and techno-commercial assessment.
3DMicroGrid will also assess other studies related to the establishment and justification of a smart micro-grid while utilizing various equipment, sensors, meters, hardware, and software for measuring, monitoring and analyzing the required data to undertake the study. Different power saving strategies will be envisaged, including load/demand forecasting; renewable energy generation forecasting, integration with weather sensors; utility grid’s power outage pattern identification; prioritizing loads and exercising the option of demand response; identifying the appropriate distributed generator to turn-on; and exercising the option of storage technology utilization of appropriate size. It is expected that the 3DMicroGrid will provide distinct benefits like energy savings, frequency support, and demand side management.
The wider objective of 3DMicroGrid is to setup an accurate dynamic model of the MCAST Micro-Grid that will be designed based on the structure of all the individual components among its local controllers using software platform (Digsilent). Innovative methods will be used for enhancing the accuracy of these models by incorporating parameters estimation method in combination with the measurements from the real field. The proposed techniques will be generalized in order to be applicable in any micro-grid scale and any micro-grid components.
The scientific and technical objectives sought in this proposal are, primarily, to:
The benefits inherent to Micro-Grids are; improved power quality, reduced transmission losses and carbon emissions, localized operation and control, robustness and resilience owing to diverse energy sources, optimal load scheduling, possibility to incorporate energy management systems, better use of renewable energy sources and less dependency on external suppliers of energy and fuel. Micro-grids allow the local community to take ownership of the generation of energy, as community members may very well host PVs and wind turbines which feed the Micro-Grid from which the community draws its energy needs.
3DMicroGrid has a structured workplan addressing management, dissemination, development, exploitation, and sustainability. 3DMicroGrid activities and outcomes will not be limited to participating institutions, but rather disseminated to institutions and communities at large. MicroGrid applications and services will be extended to include professionals, engineers, and staff members of institutions. Disseminating knowledge and experiences will create new prospective professionals and entrepreneurs. It will also allow for more multicultural diversity among the Mediterranean institutions.