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Eaton successfully demonstrates residential microgrid for low-carbon future

June 12, 2020

PRAGUE, Czech Republic … Power management company Eaton today announced it has succeeded in demonstrating residential microgrid for low-carbon future. In collaboration with the Czech Technical University, the Eaton European Innovation Center is now testing technologies and systems to help accelerate the transition to solar power.

In June 2019, the Eaton European Innovation Center (EEIC) started a groundbreaking research and development  program to develop a flexible AC/DC microgrid for collective housing, supported by the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) at the Czech Technical University. The project aims to address the challenges posed by the global energy transition to renewables, such as increased strain on existing power grids.

Spanning three years, the project seeks to develop and demonstrate a multi-level control system integrating electric vehicle charging, energy storage and photovoltaics for use in residential and commercial buildings. Additionally, a flexible AC/DC microgrid—combining the new control system as well as other Eaton products like xStorage and optimized digital circuit breakers—will be demonstrated at the EEIC facility in Prague.

One year into the project, the EEIC’s demonstration grid now includes 100 square meters of photovoltaic panels, with peak power production of 17kW. The panel system has a modular structure, enabling different configurations that can test varied use cases. For the single home residential grid, the proposed design includes Eaton’s xStorage Home product, integrating a 4kWp photovoltaic energy source (25 square meters of panels), 10kWh electrical energy storage, and a bidirectional AC grid connection to optimize the management of energy consumption.

The residential demonstration grid in the EEIC facility has now generated 850 kWh of renewable energy that was used to power the building. This result suggests a potential renewable energy generation of 4.3MWh per year for a single home in the Prague region, or 17.4MWh per year from the entire panel system.

“We’re thrilled with the results we’re already seeing from this ambitious project,” comments Stefan Costea, regional technology manager at the EEIC. “Our demonstration grid proves that we can support owners of residential and commercial buildings in a low-carbon future increasingly dominated by a more diverse mix of power sources, including photovoltaics. Through innovative projects like this one, we’re making sure that tomorrow’s energy system isn’t just more sustainable, but can also continue to operate efficiently, reliably and safely”.

Planned to run until 2022, this ongoing project will enable electric vehicle charging infrastructure to be rolled out at a much lower capital cost, thanks to a behind-the-meter AC/DC microgrid that can be installed in residential and commercial buildings. Additionally, the microgrid will make vehicle charging more reliable and efficient due to fewer power conversion stages.

Eaton’s products and solutions enable customers to use less energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and do business more sustainably. Our contribution to this new R&D project will help make a healthier planet work.

Eaton’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. We provide sustainable solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power – more safely, more efficiently and more reliably. Eaton’s 2019 revenues were $21.4 billion, and we sell products to customers in more than 175 countries. We have approximately 97,000 employees. For more information, visit Eaton.com

 

Contact (for journalist enquiries)

Nathalie Lapoirie, NathalieLapoirie@eaton.com, +41 21 811 46 47