Made in Michigan Microgrid Under Development
In 2006, NextEnergy in Detroit was contracted by TARDEC and the Defense Logistics Agency to develop equipment to provide US-grid quality power in remote locations using renewable and conventional power sources. Equipment was designed, assembled and successfully tested. However, the first prototype was too large and too heavy to be deployed in the field, as it required a 20-foot long container for shipping. However, the concept of an intelligent management for remote power systems had been recognized, and the Tactical Modular Mobile Microgrid had been tested. TM3 Systems of Royal Oak is now working to reduce the size and commercialize the concept. The building blocks for its system are four-foot cubes capable of managing up to 360kW of generation. By metering and controlling both inputs (generators, solar panels, and battery banks), and outputs (downstream loads), this system creates a “microgrid,” which is more reliable, efficient, configurable, and controllable than a typical remote power system. The use of various power sources such as dissimilar fossil fuel generators, solar arrays, and batteries can reduce fuel consumption by 25% or more while supplying uninterrupted power to critical assets in remote locations.
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