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Thermo Systems Completes Microgrid Control System for FDA Campus

Power generation at the FDA research campus in White Oak, MD consists of 12 different prime movers generating a total of 56MW to serve 15 critical buildings. In 2012 Thermo Systems was commissioned to design, build, and program and commission the Process Control System (PCS) for this microgrid. The microgrid PCS design developed by Thermo includes both a Power Monitoring Systems (PMS) and integrated Load Monitoring System (LMS).

The PMS controls interplant loads as well as Export KW and synchronization. The Parallel/Split sequence controls the breakers and generators to switch between running islanded and running in parallel with each other and the Utility. Upon a complete plant outage, the Black Start sequence automatically starts appropriate diesel generators on loss of buss voltage, and starts the generators and associated systems once bus voltage is restored.

The LMS controls the 13.8 kV breakers all the way down to the building level 480V breakers. The functionalities include 13.8kV Loss-of-Source load shed sequence which on detection of loss of generation reconfigures the 480V loads and restores the 13.8kV breakers. The Spinning Reserve Maintenance functionality automatically starts generators should spinning reserve fall below a point where the loss of the largest generator on the system would cause spinning reserve to fall below zero.

The Thermo team completed full commissioning in September 2014. The FDA campus microgrid PCS significantly enhances the resiliency of the power generation and distribution at this critical research facility.