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Distributed Energy Resources Integration

CERTS Microgrid Test Bed Demonstration with American Electric Power

CERTS Microgrid Test Bed Site

CERTS Microgrid Test Bed at American Electric Power
Photo Credit: American Electric Power

The objective of the CERTS Microgrid Test Bed Demonstration with American Electric Power was to enhance the ease of integrating small energy sources into a microgrid. The project accomplished this objective by developing and demonstrating three advanced techniques, collectively referred to as the CERTS Microgrid concept, that significantly reduce the level of custom field engineering needed to operate microgrids consisting of small generating sources.

The techniques comprising the CERTS Microgrid concept are: 1) a method for effecting automatic and seamless transitions between grid-connected and islanded modes of operation; 2) an approach to electrical protection within the microgrid that does not depend on high fault currents; and 3) a method for microgrid control that achieves voltage and frequency stability under islanded conditions without requiring high-speed communications.

The techniques were demonstrated at a full-scale test bed built near Columbus, Ohio and operated by American Electric Power. Other participants in the CERTS Microgrid Test Bed Demonstration included University of Wisconsin-Madison (PSERC), Sandia National Laboratories, Northern Power Systems, Tecogen, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This demonstration was sponsored by the California Energy Commission PIER Electric Transmission Research Program.

The testing fully confirmed earlier research that had been conducted initially through analytical simulations, then through laboratory emulations, and finally through factory acceptance testing of individual microgrid components. The islanding and resychronization method met all Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 1547 and power quality requirements. The electrical protection system was able to distinguish between normal and faulted operation. The controls were found to be robust under all conditions, including difficult motor starts.

Phase I - 2008 Phase II - 2010
Final Report Final Report
CERTS Migrogrid Laboratory Test Bed 1 MB PDF, 68 pp Value and Technology Assessment to Enhance the Business Case for the CERTS Microgrid 836 KB PDF, 97 pp
Appendices Supporting Technical Reports
Appendix A. Test Bed Design Schematics 7.8 MB PDF, 33 pp Integration of Battery-Based Energy Storage Element in the CERTS Microgrid 1.84 MB PDF, 129 pp
Appendix B. CERTS Microgrid Test Plan 727 KB PDF, 169 pp Effect of Heat and Electricity Storage and Reliability on Microgrid Viability: A Study of Commercial Buildings in California and New York States 1.79 MB PDF, 106 pp
Appendix C. Youtility Factory Test Plan Final Test Results 1.0 MB PDF, 28 pp Control of Wound Field Synchronous Machine Gensets for Operation in a CERTS Microgrid Abstract
4.4 MB PDF, 185 pp
Appendix D. Tecogen 60kW Inverter-Based CHP Modules: Factory Testing 735 KB PDF, 56 pp CERTS Microgrid Phase Two Test Results 465 KB PDF, 31 pp
Appendix E. Tecogen CHP Modules Commissioning Report 1.6 MB PDF, 95 pp DC Energy Storage in the CERTS Microgrid 374 KB PDF, 19 pp
Appendix F. CERTS Test Bed CERTEQUIP-V06-002, CERTS Switch, Low Power Factory Acceptance Test Report 865 KB PDF, 61 pp Phase III - 2011+  
    Planned Activites  
Appendix G. Summary of CERTS Microgrid Static Switch Power Quality Tests at AEP Dolan, CERTS Microgrid Static Switch Testing 365 KB PDF, 30 pp CERTS Microgrid Phase III 783 KB PDF, 10 pp
Appendix H. CERTS Test Bed Design and Commissioning: Lessons Learned Summary 114 KB PDF, 10 pp Available Technical Report  
Appendix I. Test Plan Section 6.0 Microgrid Test Bed System Checkout 2.5 MB PDF, 41 pp CERTS Microgrid Mechanical Switch Test Report Abstract
6.8 MB PDF, 61 pp
Appendix J. Test Plan Section 7.0 Validate Protection Settings and Initial Fault Testing 2.6 MB PDF, 113 pp    
Appendix K. Test Plan Section 8.0 Reduced System Tests 688 KB PDF, 44 pp    
Appendix L. Test Plan Section 9.0 Power Flow Control Tests 747 KB PDF, 34 pp    
Appendix M. Test Plan Section 10.0 Difficult Loads 2.6 MB PDF, 238 pp    
Appendix N. Test Log 481 KB PDF, 65 pp    
Appendix O. Technical Advisory Committee Meeting Summary and Review Comments 194 KB PDF, 12 pp    
Appendix P. Microgrid Fault Protection Based on Symmetrical and Differential Current 2.0 MB PDF, 76 pp    


Robert Lasseter
University of Wisconsin/PSERC
(608) 262-0186

Dave Klapp
American Electric Power
(614) 836-4271