Net Zero 380Vdc Microgrid coming to California

March 18, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

The California Energy Commission (CEC) announced an award to Robert Bosch LLC for $2,817,566 to demonstrate a high-penetration, renewable-based microgrid. With this award, Bosch will demonstrate the effectiveness of its Direct-Current Building-Scale Microgrid Platform (Bosch DC microgrid) in an American Honda Motor Co., Inc., parts distribution center. The project is designed to illustrate the viability and benefits of a commercial-scale dc building grid compared with conventional ac-based grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems or microgrids.

The Bosch DC microgrid project is designed to provide a low-cost, highly energy-efficient solution in which the dc microgrid connects rooftop solar PV arrays to energy-efficient dc lighting, dc ventilation and dc energy storage systems on a 380Vdc bus to form a dc building grid. The approach allows commercial buildings to become zero-net-energy users in a cost-effective manner.

For the project, Bosch has partnered with the California Lighting Technology Center at UC Davis. Additionally, Bosch will partner with a number of California-based companies, including Maxwell Technologies and Imergy Power Systems, for the complete technology supply chain.

“We are confident the Bosch DC microgrid system will contribute to California’s carbon reduction and energy efficiency goals by increasing the reliability and utilization of distributed renewable energy and improving the energy efficiency of state-of-the-art technologies – such as LED lighting paired with advanced lighting controls, motors with variable frequency drives and energy storage systems – by operating them on DC power,” said Oliver Steinig, vice president of business development for Robert Bosch LLC. “This will reduce installation costs and lower operating costs, while increasing reliability and quality of the power provided to building loads.”

Bosch will use this project to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of a commercial-scale dc building grid that integrates multiple advanced technologies to provide reliable power to the loads on the dc grid, resilience during grid outages, increased energy efficiencies and renewable energy utilization. Once the project is installed and commissioned, performance data will be collected to validate the cost savings, energy efficiency gains and the capabilities of the advanced microgrid energy management system.