The TechBridge Challenge is a sponsored Fraunhofer initiative sponsored by Shell GameChanger, is seeking innovative hardware and software proposals for microgrid operation (100kW - 2MW). Research centers funded by the government and startups with than $ 2 million in investment, or less than $ 4 million of income are invited to submit their innovations for February 20.
Desirable benefits from new microgrid technologies may include, but are not limited to:
- Increasing the ability for electric utilities to leverage microgrid capabilities including: intelligent demand side management, dynamic voltage/frequency response and other value-added ancillary grid services.
- Reducing energy costs for consumers and improving reliability including: reducing demand charges, increasing energy efficiency with combined heat and power (CHP); eliminating outages and other value-added features.
- Opportunities to construct DC-microgrids, which would result in reduced losses and higher energy efficiencies.
- Simplifying the design and deployment of microgrids for system integrators including: standardized microgrid components and utility interconnection hardware.
- Increasing visibility and control of grid activity to inform decisions affecting the maintenance and repair of power infrastructure, resulting in improved worker safety.
Example features for hardware and software controls may include, but are not limited to:
- Simplified integration of both AC bus and DC bus to support a diverse mix of generating resources.
- Capability for microgrid to automatically balance (voltage and frequency) and manage generation from microgrid non-dispatchable and dispatchable resources.
- Automated islanding technology to disconnect from utility grid during a service interruption and subsequent automated reconnection to utility grid when normal grid service is resumed.
- New operational controls to monitor and manage all critical components of the microgrid.