Synchronizing All Energy and Communications Inputs and Outputs

May 25, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

ZBB Energy Corporation today announced the introduction of the Matrix Energy Management System, a revolutionary energy synchronization system that enables a dramatic reduction in the cost of electricity and increases the financial returns of building distributed generation systems. The Matrix system maximizes the economic potential of the commercial and industrial building, by enabling the owner to monetize as many energy management functions and applications as possible. There are about a dozen energy management functions and applications that currently exist, and this will increase in the future.

Performing these energy management applications involves combinations of ac, dc and communication inputs and outputs, and could include energy storage systems, PV, the grid, dc lighting, diesel gen-sets, fuel cells, building level wind turbines, data logging and analysis, PV optimizer data, weather forecast data and more. Matrix manages and synchronizes all of these inputs and outputs in an "active mode", for the most efficient, economical, simple and flexible solution on the market.

The conventional approach to design of a commercial building distributed generation energy management system is to reactively control all dc and ac inputs off of an ac-Bus. Systems that use a central controller, are highly complex, low in efficiency and can cause instability in the grid. And, they cannot be changed without re-optimization. A newer approach is to reactively control with a central system controller off of the system dc-Bus, somewhat improving efficiency, but being just as complex and rigid. The Matrix is claimed to be a leapfrog in technology and approach, with distributed intelligence and active controlling from the dc-Bus without the requirement for a central system controller. It is highly efficient, simple and scalable, with new capabilities and functions being easy to add as the building or PPA owner desires.

"The Matrix leverages ZBB's proprietary 'Auto-Sync' DC-Bus architecture to enable distributed intelligence and active control of inputs and outputs inside the building, as well as provide the communication capability required to seamlessly link the building to other buildings, or to the utility," said Brad Hansen, President and COO of ZBB Energy. "The drawer-based modules allow functions to be configured or added in the future without re-optimizing the overall system and it's a much higher efficiency system than anything else on the market. There's simply no other product like Matrix available today."

Commercial and Industrial buildings are now being recognized as a major opportunity for distributed generation assets to create "net zero" buildings, introduce power purchase agreements (PPA's) and provide the utilities with sources of energy at critical peak or critical load situations. There are more than 5.5 million existing commercial and industrial buildings in the USA alone, with hundreds of new buildings being constructed every day.

"We recently announced the introduction of the Agile Hybrid Series energy storage system, which can support any short discharge, high power or long discharge high-energy applications in the building. ZBB has the most innovative, flexible and cost effective systems approach enabling the applications required today, in addition to those of tomorrow, to maximize the return on investment to the building or PPA owner," Hansen continued. "The Matrix is a breakthrough product and immediately makes obsolete the static, reactive and uneconomical energy management systems currently available in the market." The Matrix Energy Management System begins shipment in the fourth calendar quarter this year.