Industrial microgrid for food processing plant

Win-win for regional business & local utility

 
 

The Challenge

To improve electricity supply reliability and resilience to power quality issues for industrial food processing client connected to the regional Western Australia’s regional Horizon Power network, while working within significant energy import and solar export constraints.

The client also had plans to expand production, necessitating an expansion of an existing solar PV system with additional PV as well as batteries.

Background

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An energy supply limitation was one of the inhibiting factors for the growth of Indian Ocean Rock Lobster Shack’s business, while frequent grid outages were a major inconvenience. Expanding the existing solar array and adding batteries would help allow the client to increase production and improve reliability, but the system would would need smart management to orchestrate disparate components to work within the restrictions of the local network.

The Solution

SwitchDin’s platform made it possible for the client to integrate a range of new components (including an existing PV system with over a dozen inverters) while complying with the network’s zero solar export and 140kW import restrictions.

The retrofit included three PCSs to form the local grid, 755kWh of battery storage, power metering for loads & generators, another 150kW of solar inverter capacity and a 160kW diesel generator.

SwitchDin’s Droplet™ controllers provided the basis for single-portal  monitoring, control and data management in this complex situation; smart control algorithms facilitated self-consumption control during normal operation, microgrid management during islanding events, and smart generator auto-start for low battery state of charge and black start scenarios

SwitchDin’s technology allowed the client to increase industrial production, renewable energy generation and supply reliability while working within significant network constraints.

Outcomes: Increased & improved energy supply

Solar PV curtailment as battery fills: With a zero-export limitation on the local grid, solar production must be not exceed energy loads at the site (including a charging battery).

Above: PV output reduced as battery state of charge (SoC) approaches maximum threshold (90%)

 

Energy supply security during grid outages: Client’s loads can continue to run using solar and battery power when grid supply is unavailable.

Above: Client maintains supply during outage (seen where frequency drops to zero).

 

Battery enables compliance with import limits: The battery automatically comes online to help supply power when loads rise above the 140kW grid import limit.

Above: Example of grid import limit compliance using the battery.

 

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