Linked Microgrids to Increase Supply Security in Sri Lanka

Insights – Thursday, Novermber 17, 2020

Pilot project uses technology from German microgrid experts at DHYBRID to connect stand-alone grids in order to ensure a fail-safe supply of renewable power.

Sri Lanka’s leading utility company, Lanka Electricity Company (LECO), has taken a pioneering approach to the power grid of the island. In the first stage a grid-connected microgrid will be establishedto provide the campus of Sri Lanka’s renowned technical university with power. It relies on the Universal Power Platform energy management system of the Munich-based technology company DHYBRID as well as an energy storage system, which offers 400 kWh of capacity and an output of 400 kW. Power is generated by four roof-mounted solar systems with a combined output of 350 kWp. A diesel generator is reserved for exceptional circumstances.

Network of grid-connected microgrids for more security

In order to implement the microgrid concept across a broader area, additional grid-connected microgrids are planned. Connecting these microgrids via the public grid to one another will create a supply system that maximizes local energy use while also preventing area-wide power failures. This way, a secure energy system is created that can be expanded at any time.

The concept of connected microgrids offers several advantages over a power system that lacks independent sub-grids. It is easier to coordinate consumers and producers of renewable energy in small-scale, local grids than in a centralized system. Furthermore, if there is a power outage, the individual microgrids automatically disconnect from the public grid to provide uninterrupted on-site power. This offers operators a high degree of stability and saves them money.

If the public grid fails, the DHYBRID Universal Power Platform (UPP) automatically opens the mains breaker, which creates a local stand-alone grid managed by the UPP without interrupting the power supply. When the system detects that the public grid is available again, it measures the necessary parameters and resynchronizes the battery inverter, before seamlessly reconnecting the microgrid to the public grid.

Automatic compensation for fluctuations

The energy management system of every microgrid controls all local power generators, manages key electrical loads and avoids disruptions. Together with the storage system, it automatically compensates for fluctuations in renewable power generation, thereby increasing the autonomy of the local microgrid. Since a significant proportion of locally generated renewable energy is consumed on-site, only minimal amounts of electricity have to be drawn from the national power grid. This approach also relieves strain on the public grid by using load management to ensure a more constant feed-in of surplus renewable energy.

The author:

Fabian Baretzky, Technical Sales Manager

DHYBRID Power Systems GmbH

The ees International Magazine is specialized on the future-oriented market of electrical energy storage systems, not only from a technological-, but also a financial and application-oriented point-of-view. In cooperation with ees Global, the ees International Magazine informs the energy industry about current progress and the latest market innovations.

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