Maxwell Air Force Base (a military microgrid)
The Maxwell AFB Microgrid is a research and development project to validate the basic functionality of autonomous engine controls based on the CERTS droop control concept. It does this by modifying the controls of existing diesel gensets and operating those with new generation that are located some distance away from the existing gensets but on the same distribution feeder. The goal is to determine if these generators can share the loads and maintain stability in an islanded mode.
The specifics of the project include two 600 kW diesel backup gensets that are located in one building and installing a new, CERTS-based 100 kW genset in a different building some distance from the first. The existing feeder connecting these two buildings will be sectionalized from the other loads by installing switchgear in the appropriate locations. This switchgear will isolate these two buildings from other loads on the feeder and create an experimental microgrid with two building loads and three generators.
Successfully demonstrating the stability of the controls will allow expansion of this microgrid to include more loads and additional generators that will maintain a stable microgrid, even in the absence of a central command and control architecture common to most microgrids today.
The ability to modify existing generators while adding new gensets with the CERTS droop functionality is an important milestone in the future deployment of microgrids, because a vast majority of existing buildings with mission critical functions already have legacy backup gensets that still have ample operational left life in them. Also, integration of new gensets with CERTS controls and renewable generation sources with inverters that have similar functionality can be readily integrated into such microgrids.
Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL, United States