WiSys Technologies

Integrated Microgrid Energy Management System with Proactive and Comprehensive Control

WiSys is currently seeking a strategic partner in the power monitoring and control industry that is interested in further developing this innovative energy grid management system, ultimately providing a route to market for its commercialization.

WiSys Technology Number: T170026
Patent Filed: November 9, 2017
Status
Patent Pending
Stage of Development:

This technology has been successfully tested under different weather types, load profiles and outages in a real-world, building-based microgrid environment that includes the utility grid power supply, rooftop solar panels, capacitor banks and various building electric loads. 

Overview

The growth in the microgrid market comes with a corresponding demand for judicious utilization and management of power. In addition, the movement towards environmental sustainability has led to the incorporation of more renewable energy sources and non-traditional types of power loads in microgrid applications, including solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles. While typical existing microgrid energy management techniques focus on the inclusion of renewable resources in the supply of power, they do not use the renewable resources to their full power generation capacity and also ignore the interaction between the microgrid and the utility grid. This insufficient microgrid energy management leads to longer payback periods for the installation of renewable resources and higher microgrid operation costs than necessary. 

Invention

Electrical and software engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville have developed a novel, software-based, microgrid energy management system that improves upon existing technology in several ways. This innovation achieves coordinated and optimal control of various energy resources throughout the microgrid system by integrating real power, reactive power and voltage control into the same stage. This proactive and comprehensive microgrid energy management was demonstrated to provide up to 20% improvement in the utilization of the power-generating capacity of renewable resources, which can especially help industrial facilities to meet minimum power factor thresholds set by utility companies and avoid monetary penalties. In addition, it enables interaction between the microgrid and utility power grid to allow the microgrid to facilitate utility power grid operation, which can help increase microgrid revenue. The final product will be software that runs on a computer or embedded hardware and allows end users to control microgrid components automatically or manually.

Applications

  • Individual buildings
  • Campuses and bases – industrial, academic, commercial, military 
  • Islands and remote sites
  • Small cities and communities

Benefits

  • Building block for smart grids
  • Reduction in electric bills:
    • Improved energy efficiency
    • Up to 20% improvement in utilization of renewable resource power generation capacity
    • Up to 3.8% improvement in power factor to meet utility grid thresholds and avoid monetary penalties
  • Integrated and coordinated control of real power, reactive power and voltage for all resources on the microgrid
  • Customer facilitation of utility grid operation
  • Reduction in environmental impact
  • Enhanced power quality and service reliability
Institution
UW-Platteville UW-Platteville
Inventors
Fang Yang
Zhao Li