Power Generation

Rolls-Royce expands Microgrid portfolio

Posted on 17 August 2020 by Larissa Middendorf

Microgrids are making a significant contribution to the decarbonization of the world. They integrate renewable energies and offer a clean and efficient energy supply. With the integration of Qinous, Rolls-Royce expands its competence in this field.
Decentralized supply solutions are becoming more and more important - wherever a public grid is not available or cannot be upgraded quickly enough to meet the growing and changing needs of customers for electrical power. With MTU Microgrids, Rolls-Royce offers decentralized energy supply solutions that make maximum use of renewable energy sources - efficiently and sustainably. In order to provide customer-oriented energy systems from a single source, Rolls-Royce is expanding its product portfolio to include the battery storage systems MTU EnergyPack QL, QM, and QS.

Demand for new energy solutions
 

Global energy demand will increase by almost 50 percent by 2050* due to global megatrends such as digitalization, urbanization and electrification. In contrast, the EU's climate targets include a CO2 reduction of at least 40 percent by the year 2030. This poses new challenges for energy suppliers, industries and local authorities and demands new solutions to meet changing customer needs. Microgrids are one of these solutions. These decentralized energy supply systems consist of several components, such as battery storage, photovoltaic or wind power plants, as well as gas or diesel generators, which together can regulate frequency, compensate for peak loads or even increase internal consumption. Together with the intelligent MTU microgrid controller, the system can be optimally controlled and adapted to the customer's needs.

 

In Germany, for example, electricity bills have become a relevant cost factor for energy-intensive companies due to high and rising electricity prices. The example of a manufacturing company shows that by installing a microgrid consisting of a PV system, battery storage and a gas generator, it can save up to 21 percent in annual operating costs. [Link to the Use Case]. The German automotive supplier Winkelmann took this step as early as 2018 and decoupled itself from the grid with the help of a microgrid solution with MTU gas gensets.

Definition Microgrids
 

Microgrids are decentralized energy systems consisting of a combination of renewable energies (e.g. photovoltaic or wind), battery storage and/or conventional energy generation (e.g. diesel or gas) to serve a specific electrical load. A microgrid can be off-grid or grid-connected, and has a central control system to optimize the system.

Scalable battery storage: MTU EnergyPacks


Whether secure energy supply, cost savings or avoidance of CO2 emissions: MTU Microgrids from Rolls-Royce consist of tailor-made solutions with scalable and seamlessly integrated products and systems. This applies in particular to the new battery storage portfolio. The MTU EnergyPacks, the central battery storage units, of a microgrid, are designed to improve the reliability, quality and economy of individual energy systems.

 

The MTU EnergyPack is available in three sizes with variable storage capacities ranging from 40kWh to 2.6 MWh. [Link to EnergyStorage page]. As an integral part of flexible energy systems, electricity from various sources can be stored in the MTU EnergyPacks. Thus, the MTU EnergyPack fits seamlessly into the changing energy landscape and enables existing energy systems to be adapted to current trends.

 

One current trend is the establishment of a charging infrastructure for electric cars. The mobility sector is increasingly relying on electric solutions, both for private transport and public transport. Accordingly, the charging infrastructure in many countries is currently undergoing major expansion. However, charging many vehicles at the same time, e.g. in a multi-storey car park or in modern residential areas, can lead to short-term power peaks for which the network infrastructure is not designed. If a network expansion is not feasible or cannot be implemented in a timely manner, a battery storage unit can provide the required power at short notice, while being recharged during periods of lower load.

Use of renewable energies
 

Regardless of whether on- or off-grid - with the help of battery storage systems, a large part of the energy demand can be covered by renewable sources, thus saving relevant amounts of fuel. Furthermore, due to the increasing use of renewable energies, flexible system modules are required at all grid levels which can respond to the variance in energy production. Battery storage systems are ideally suited for this purpose. They can provide grid services such as voltage and frequency regulation that were previously provided by conventional power plants. In combination with PV or wind farms, they can compensate for short- and medium-term fluctuations on site and thus turn fluctuating sources into reliable feeders. Particularly in weak grids, where a cloudburst or a gust of wind can already endanger stability, storage systems can cushion the dynamics of these natural fluctuations and thus make the integration of PV and wind on a larger scale possible in the first place.

Competence Center for Microgrid Solutions

The future topic of microgrids is a complex area that requires a great deal of expertise on the development of the energy market and components such as battery storage. To this end, Rolls-Royce had acquired a majority stake in the power storage specialist Qinous at the beginning of January. Founded in Berlin in 2013, the company has already implemented over 50 battery storage projects and microgrids worldwide. Since the beginning of June 2020, Qinous has been operating under the name Rolls-Royce Solutions Berlin GmbH and forms the competence center for MTU brand microgrid solutions from Rolls-Royce.

* compared to 2018, as predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in its International Energy Outlook 2019.

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