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Spara Demand Management: Microgrid Control

"We are not only satisfied, but also overwhelmingly thrilled with the product."

Lee Haskins,
Director of Operations,
Del Mar Food Products Corp.

Spara DM® and Spara Hub® technology optimize complex microgrid systems—small-scale power grids that connect with the main grid but can operate independently (at least briefly) and support all local loads—by integrating control of both supply and demand.

The appeal of microgrids is clear: these on-site renewable power and storage system networks give industrial facilities and corporate campuses more control over their energy supply and costs, provide a backup in case of grid outages, and relieve pressure on the utility grid. Because of their size, however, microgrids are more susceptible to disruption from load variability, and intermittent generation of renewable energy adds variability to the equation. Spara technology addresses these challenges by continually balancing demand with generation, maintaining stability, and ensuring that peak demand doesn’t outstrip available supply.

Spara interfaces with solar, wind, storage battery, and utility supplies and coordinates constraint, availability, and pricing signals with load demands. This results in a sophisticated control process that respects production and operational priorities while making the best possible use of the energy resources available. For example, a facility could participate in short-notice demand response events at the maximum level without reducing output by automatically switching to stored power. It could run on solar power during afternoon peak hours and switch to low-rate grid power when the system detects that generation resources won’t meet load demands. And it could sell power to the grid based on utility signals.

Spara microgrid control:

  • Uses excess renewable energy to build process buffers
  • Leverages inherent process buffers as a source of energy storage, potentially eliminating the need for batteries
  • Manages local storage, generation, and energy consumption to minimize demand from the utility, reducing peak charges and impact on the grid
  • Protects productivity using sophisticated load prediction and control algorithms, combined with customer-defined control rules and built-in intelligence on how to shed loads

Blog Images-microgrid

Spara DM monitors and controls local generation and storage assets in addition to electrical loads. The software optimizes facility energy usage by leveraging demand management scheduling, load (or asset) and process constraints, and prioritization capabilities to coordinate load flexibility with local energy assets. It also allows the facility to base load and storage rules on the price of energy or the status of grid events.

See more on how Spara enables demand control