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Engineering Services

Microgrids

With a microgrid controlled by an SEL powerMAX control system, you can operate an independent power system that prevents blackouts, optimizes operational costs, and protects people and equipment during short-circuit events.

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Learn about our U.S. mobile microgrid tour, and find a live demonstration near you.

Microgrids provide benefits to industry, municipalities, college campuses, and facilities such as hospitals, data centers, and research labs—wherever constant delivery of electricity must be assured even if the utility grid goes down.

SEL Engineering Services engineers are experts at microgrid design, specializing in power system dynamics, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) modeling, controls, and protection. Whatever the situation or the scale, we can create a microgrid solution that meets your needs.

Commercial, Campus, and Community Microgrids
Garrison Microgrids
Mobile and Tactical Microgrids

Key Benefits:

  • Keep the lights on—SEL microgrid controls allow you to seamlessly separate (or island) from the central grid and operate autonomously when needed, ensuring reliable and resilient energy delivery no matter the conditions.
  • Maximize economic benefits—The SEL Microgrid Economic Dispatch Engine manages energy costs and determines optimal generation dispatch based on operational constraints such as fuel cost, weather, the state of charge mode, energy import/export costs, and more.
  • Integrate renewable energy sources—Select and prioritize the best mix of renewable and nonrenewable energy resources to support local demand.

The Microgrid Control System Leaders

Independent third-party evaluations—and performance in installations around the world—verify that SEL powerMAX microgrid systems are the lead the industry in ensuring stability and optimizing performance under a wide variety of operating requirements.

Integration With ADMS/DERMS

See how SEL powerMAX microgrid control systems integrate with a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) and advanced distribution management system (ADMS) to help optimize the operational state of the wider distribution grid.

At the Top of the Leaderboard

SEL is the top vendor of microgrid control systems in the Guidehouse Insights 2021 microgrid controls leaderboard report, which evaluates the strengths of the world’s 16 leading microgrid control system providers.

The Guidehouse Insights leaderboard report evaluates microgrid control vendors on 12 metrics—including islanding ability, controls functionality, pricing, geographic reach, and market staying power—to arrive at composite scores for strategy and execution.

Navigant Research (now Guidehouse Insights) also recognized SEL as the industry leader in its 2018 leaderboard report.

Guidehouse-2021 Leaderboard

Winning Performance

In 2017, SEL powerMAX was recognized as the top-performing control system at a microgrid symposium hosted by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Later that year, a powerMAX microgrid control system won a rigorous, 21-week procurement competition held by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

SEL outperformed the competition by achieving economical operation and superior stability under a wide array of difficult operating conditions. A powerMAX microgrid control system is now installed at the NREL Energy Systems Integration Facility, where it is used to test emerging microgrid technologies.

Engineering for Reliability

SEL leverages the time-proven strengths of relay-based protection and control architecture, powerful automation controllers, and our products’ unmatched reliability to create resilient microgrid control systems. By designing for reliability first, we reduce operating costs, improve system performance, and deliver an unbeatable lifetime return on investment for our customers.

Configuring a reliable microgrid control system goes beyond merely selecting the right components. Microgrid control systems pose a difficult and unique set of engineering challenges, and each control system must be custom-engineered for its specific implementation.

Our power system engineers work closely with microgrid owners and integrators to design, engineer, and implement the best possible microgrid control solution for your operational requirements.

Every microgrid project includes four steps that ensure the success of your SEL-engineered solution.

  1. Define System Requirements
    A front-end engineering design (FEED) study establishes and defines technical requirements, applicable standards, and project guidelines. We draw on our field-proven success with microgrid projects and decades of experience as a trusted utilities solution provider to develop a plan that prevents unexpected changes, reduces risk, and ensures efficient execution of the project.
  2. Evaluate System Performance
    We use our expertise in system modeling and studies to perform detailed simulations, which help microgrid owners make key decisions about the project. These studies and simulations can be used to plan a new microgrid, evaluate and improve an existing microgrid, or investigate a specific system vulnerability.
  3. Perform Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Testing
    SEL microgrid control systems that connect to the utility grid are tested in our state-of-the-art Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) lab. We put the actual SEL hardware that will run the system through an intense battery of tests to verify that the whole system performs as expected. This also helps us commission your microgrid quickly and smoothly.
  4. Transfer Knowledge
    Comprehensive training is part of the implementation process. We provide a complete set of materials and documentation along with onsite personnel training and advanced engineering training for ongoing system and configuration management.  Advanced engineering training is also available. In addition, you have access to free technical support for the life of your SEL solution.

Quality and Security

All of our products are designed, tested, and manufactured in SEL-owned and -operated facilities in North America.

The SEL Engineering Services team follows rigorous engineering procedures for design, development, testing, and commissioning of electric power systems. We continually identify, monitor, and improve best practices to ensure your satisfaction.

We practice secure supply chain management, including verified chains of custody, responsible sourcing, and keeping quantities of critical parts in reserve. Our quality management system is certified to ISO 9001 Quality Management System requirements.

Products You Can Rely On

Our products are designed to withstand the world’s most challenging environments, exceeding all industry standards for temperature, shock, and electric stress. An optional conformal coating adds an extra level of protection against contaminants in extreme environments.

Every SEL product comes with a ten-year unconditional warranty—the best in the industry. If any product fails under warranty, we’ll repair or replace it for free.

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Questions? Contact Us!

An SEL representative will follow up with you directly. We’re happy to answer all your questions and help you find the best solution for your needs.

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Unbeatable Support

When you choose SEL, you get more than products and services—you get a partnership. Our customer support teams are experts in power system products and applications, and they’re available for the entire life of your SEL solution.

Engineering Services project engineers are ready to assist you in various project stages from planning through final commissioning of the system. Afterward, you have access to technical support from SEL application engineers, at no charge, as long as SEL products remain in service.