Load Facing Nanogrid Load Controller

Common problem of today’s micro-grids is that they are overdesigned in order to provide stability when inductive loads come online.  Inductive loads can be water pumps (potable or waste water), compressors (fridge), fans (HVAC), and they are directly connected to the AC side of the micro-grid, and can consume enormous amount of current (power) during the start-up, which very often destabilize the micro-grid’s operation.  

  Picture: Microgrid picture with PicoCells at the edge where loads are

Therefore, if each one of these inductive loads has PicoCell controller that decouples inductive load from the micro-grid, PicoCell controller will make sure that inductive load does not generate power spike for the grid. Furthermore, because PicoCell has bidirectional communication capability, it is possible not only to monitor inductive loads operation and provide power metering services for the micro-grid operator, but also to schedule operation of those inductive loads based on the excess power that might exist in the microgrid. This occurs when the battery bank that provides microgrid’s stability is fully charged, while renewable energy sources (solar or wind) are still producing power, so during that time, certain operations like: water pumping to tank or waste water treatment, can be scheduled by communicating that between centralized microgrid controller and PicoCells that are distributed around microgrid’s periphery.

Because PicoCell is physically positioned next to the inductive loads, which can be anywhere in the microgrid, it is possible to use those distributed PicoCells as “hot spots”, so to have entire microgrid area covered with WiFi/Cellular signal.

Ultimately, from the power side PicoCell can be connected to wide range of DC voltages (60-380Vdc), but also to variety of standard AC voltages (single phase: 120V or 230V, as well as 208, 400, 460Vac three phase). Therefore, PicoCell is flexible to connect to any DC or AC microgrid system.