Paladin SmartGrid for master control of microgrids

Software platform for electrical power systems focuses on on-premise and distributed energy sources.

By David Greenfield January 13, 2010

EDSA, a developer of power analytics solutions for thedesign, testing, and management of complex electrical power systems, has announcedthe pending release of its Paladin SmartGrid software platform that serves as amaster controller to enable the use of on-premise and distributed energysources — such as solar, wind, or local co-generation. Paladin SmartGrid is scheduledto be commercially released by the second quarter of 2010.

More than $33 billion has been included in the 2009 American

Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Smart Grid, energy management, renewable

energy, and related energy projects.  A significant focus in these new

programs involves distributed energy resource (DER) systems, or microgrids,

because — rather than relying solely on public power grids — they are

intended to make stand-alone facilities both autonomous and integrated in order

to enhance system efficiency, reduce overall energy costs, without degrading

system reliability.

A major hurdle in the deployment of this renewable and

distributed generation technologies lies in how to monitor and control

consumption and demand, and effect seamless real-time switchovers from one

source to another. Paladin SmartGrid is said to  be the first commercially-available software

platform to enable the on-line management and control of next-generation hybrid

power infrastructure incorporating both traditional utility power and

on-premise power generation, e.g., co-generation, solar power, wind turbines, and

battery storage. 

EDSA claims its Paladin SmartGrid optimizes energy

consumption on-site employing multiple energy sources, whether they are focused

on a single objective — such as minimizing annual energy cost, carbon

footprint, peak load, or public utility consumption — or a combination of

objectives that varyby time, costs, energy source reliability, etc.  As

organizations increasingly seek to supplement their utility power with

on-premise power generation, EDSA claims the Paladin SmartGrid can:

  • serveas a master controller for intelligent microgrid designs, monitoring andelectricity trading (i.e., selling power back into the public grid);
  • monitorthe microgrid’s power quality, utilization and capacity in real-time, in orderto offer excess capacity to the smart grid;
  • monitorall transactions between public electric service and microgridinfrastructure; and
  • maintainrate and pricing information for management of private-public exchange.

For example, if a facility were to install on-premise solar panels, windturbines, or co-generation capabilities, and use those sources to charge largeon-site battery storage — while attempting to use public utility power assparingly as possible — it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure powersystem reliability. Since inherently episodic energy sources may be unavailablewhen needed, a real-time balancing act is essential to ensure energy savingsand environmental goals are met, while at the same time guaranteeing thatlocal-loop-wide power systems reliability is never jeopardized.

Paladin SmartGrid is designed to monitor and enable

management of the dynamic nature, and inherently lower power quality feature of

alternative energy sources, to meet both energy management goals, and the high

levels of availability and reliability required.  Paladin SmartGrid is said

to "remember" the business and operational goals of a facility  — for example,

only use utility power during off-peak hours, except when system reliability

falls below 99.99% — and is continually diagnosing system performance in

real-time while making predictions about how to seamlessly

transition from one energy source to another.

Access other Control Engineering content related to the smartgrid:

  • Smart grid meter datamanagement
  • Executivesagree to accelerate smart grid standards implementation in U.S.
  • Honeywellreceives Department of Energy smart grid grant


– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering News Desk