Mission and Focus Areas of Microgrids

Mission

The mission of the MicroGrids Research Programme is to conduct leading research at an international level focused in three levels:

  • Research goals
    Nowadays the residential energy relies on external electricity supply and there is a clear need of integration of on-site self-generation, consumption and storage energy systems as well as the control and energy management. The Microgrids research programme will also focus on sustainable solutions and optimal use of energy.
     
  • Socio-economic goals
    To create a significant socio-economic impact for Denmark by creating synergies between companies and the university in order to impulse the creation of AC/DC MicroGrids, helping to support the Danish electrical grid.
     
  • External cooperation
    Establish an international research center in MicroGrids area with international leading researchers involving different technologies.

 

Focus Areas

The MG research programme is focused on control, management, and planning of AC and DC Microgrids. Cooperation with the Photovoltaic Systems Research Programme is envisaged.

The core research areas are follows:

  • AC MicroGrids: Conventional islanded systems to support AC loads are demanded in several areas such as islands, rural and remote areas.
  • DC MicroGrids: Next low-voltage distribution systems and microgrids will be based on DC, since many generators, storages and loads operate in DC, such photovoltaics, batteries, supercapacitors, LEDs, laptops, and electronic equipment.
  • Modelling: Generators, energy storage systems, loads, power electronics interfaces, and electrical distribution networks needs for comprehensive models with different levels, frequency ranges, and time scales.
  • Control and operation: New local, distributed, and hierarchical controllers are needed in MicroGrid applications, regarding the different operation modes of both system and units.
  • Energy Storage: Small dispersed energy storage units need to be combined and coordinated inertia-less MicroGrid.
  • Standard-Based information and Communications Technology: ICT is necessary for smart-metering and networked control systems applied to MicroGrids, including wireless communications, power line communications, bus signaling, and so on.
  • Energy Management Systems and Optimization: Online and offline optimization systems are required to enhance MicroGrid operation regarding energy price, power losses, and economical aspects.
  • Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) technologies: Distributed control is a powerful tool for distributed energy systems like MicroGrids. Previous experiences in Danish electrical system like the Cell Controller project used MAS technologies to balance dispersed energy generation and consumption.
  • Protections: Since in a MicroGrid the power flow is multidirectional, protections cannot be perform as in the conventional power system in which power flow is unidirectional. Consequently, a fast communication layer is needed to coordinate all circuit breakers.
  • Power quality: Voltage and current harmonics and unbalances has to be taken into account in a MicroGrid due to the existence of nonlinear and/or single-phase loads. Coordination between power electronics converters is needed in order to enhance system power quality in a cooperative way.
     
  • Maritime Microgrids: one important application in microgrids is maritime power systems, which include seaports, all and hybrid electrical ships, ferries and vessels.

  • Internet of Things: Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), the visibility of energy consumption will be increased by providing intelligent and automated systems to improve comfort and energy efficiency through comprehensive solutions for connectivity, manageability, and security in the future smart grids.