ABB’s new microgrid technology to be transformational for urban and rural Indian installations

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Bhubaneswar: Aligned with the government’s program of 24×7 reliable power for all and focus on renewable energy, scalable, compact and grid-ready ABB solutions made in India are enabling solar power and storage

ABB is bringing affordable, safe and reliable electricity to remote communities with its new integrated microgrid solution, MGS100 that combines solar power and enables battery energy storage. Encased in a single container, the MGS100 has three power ratings – 20 kW, 40 kW, 60 kW nominal load power. Installation is quick and easy, as it is factory tested and embedded DC and AC protections make it ready to connect. With the added benefit of remote monitoring, vital diagnostics are always available and maintenance is simple.

This is crucial for countries like India where about 230 million people are yet to have access to electricity according to an International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2015 report. The current government has taken significant initiatives to address this issue and is looking at distributed generation solutions like microgrids to provide 24×7 reliable power for all, in remote areas where integration with the national grid is a time and capital intensive endeavor. This would also help replace polluting kerosene oil as a major source of fuel in many remote areas. According to a draft government policy on nano and microgrids, the government is looking at 10,000 such installations cumulatively of about 500 MW based on renewable energy with solar, wind to biomass in the next four years.
The ABB MGS100, built to perform in extreme environments, has the ability to transform lives and businesses for the better where access to affordable and reliable power is a challenge. The scalable system can be connected to multiple power sources to provide electricity for remote villages that are not connected to the main grid, or reliable back-up power for small commercial and industrial facilities using an inconsistent grid supply, enabling social and economic development.

ABB’s President of Electrification Products, Tarak Mehta, said: “ABB uses technology to enable progress and in this case our innovation can help improve the lives of those who need it most. The MGS100 is a plug and play solution that makes access to affordable and reliable power a reality, creating life-changing opportunities, improving basic living standards including education and health as well as unlocking economic development. The modular and standardized solution makes rapid deployment possible even in remote locations.”

Power is a key component to maintain the momentum of the make in India initiative. The government has started dedicated programs with a keen focus on entrepreneurship and skill development to create employment opportunities for one of the youngest populations of the world. Solutions like MGS100 can provide the required solution for cost effective, uninterrupted, and resilient power to small industrial communities or clusters as well provide power to run various skill training programs in remote areas. In addition the solution is also apt for powering remote railway stations and small mines with seamless transition between the grid and the microgrid for uninterrupted operations and battery storage minimizing the need to buy additional power. The modular scalable design means that capacity can be increased easily and the “grid ready” feature allows connection to the grid if this becomes available.

MGS100 brings together all the components required for a sustainable microgrid in a single device, making it extremely versatile and flexible. It can tap into cost-efficient, renewable energies such as solar photovoltaic [PV] and batteries, removing the reliance for costly and potentially harmful biofuel/diesel generators, therefore reducing overall operating costs and environmental impact.

By prioritizing abundant local solar power during the day, the MGS100 switches to battery mode after dark and only uses an AC generator for the rest of the night if the battery runs out. India on an average has about 300 sunny days in a year. Any excess energy produced throughout the day is used to charge the batteries, and once they are fully charged, remaining energy can be sold to the grid to generate additional income.

The MGS100 will be widely available at the end of 2017.