UK University selects ABB for system controlling multi-resource, on-campus Microgrid

Aug. 2, 2022
The Chester campus microgrid will include elements from a combined heat and power (CHP) unit to diesel generation, solar photovoltaic and energy storage. ABB’s control system will provide the “brain” of the microgrid combining integration and deployment

One of England’s oldest institutions of higher learning is embracing the newest energy technologies as it binds education to sustainability and resiliency goals.

The University of Chester is planning a multi-faceted microgrid system for its new Energy Centre at the Thornton Science Park in Cheshire. Earlier this summer, the university selected ABB to deliver the microgrid control system to combine and integrate all of the various resources in the on-campus energy mix.

“The Thornton Science Park microgrid is a pioneering initiative, and we are pleased to contribute with our domain expertise, experience and know-how,” Massimo Danieli, ABB’s managing director for its Grid Automation unit, said in a statement.

The Chester campus microgrid will include various elements, from a combined heat and power (CHP) unit to diesel generation, solar photovoltaic and energy storage. ABB’s control system will provide the “brain” of the microgrid combining integration and deployment of the various resources.

“The Energy Centre has been created to demonstrate and promote the development of the latest technologies and forms part of a wider energy focus for Thornton Science Park,” said Joe Howe, executive director and professor of the Thornton Energy Research Institute at the University of Chester.

“The ABB microgrid control and storage solution is particularly exciting development that provides a platform for learning and is a great example of industry and academia working together to address real-world issues,” Howe added.

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According to the university website, the Energy Centre’s mission is to demonstrate new energy technologies. The site covers 90,000 square meters of industrial laboratories, workshops and office spaces for existing companies and startups.

The ABB microgrid solution is geared toward demonstrating how various distributed energy resources work together to minimize fuel costs and emissions within a closed grid. The controller also will manage the Energy Centre’s connection to the campus microgrid and the local main grid.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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