Schneider Electric supports Smart Village Microgrid project

Schneider Electric has donated two grid-forming inverters to support CSU’s Smart Village Microgrid research. Credit: Dan Zimmerle

The Smart Village Microgrid laboratory at CSU’s Energy Institute has received a critical equipment donation from Schneider Electric, a company expert in sustainable energy management and industrial automation.

The company has given CSU two grid-forming inverters for the lab, now being built at the Powerhouse Energy Campus. The Smart Village Microgrid is a small-scale electrical system that operates independent of national-grid power sources. The system can run renewable sources including solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, thermal, or hydropower.

The lab at Powerhouse aims to gain deeper understanding of village-level electrification by modeling remote villages with plug-and-play technologies. CSU researchers are currently working with the government of Rwanda to test and install such microgrids in rural communities without access to traditional electric power.

Grid-forming inverters transform direct current and photovoltaic current into alternating current. According to Daniel Zimmerle, lead engineer on the project, initial microgrid deployments will utilize photovoltaics to generate electricity, and batteries to store buffer power. The Schneider inverters provide key components required for that initial demonstration.