Colorado State University

The SVM Laboratory

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Through the creation of a Smart Village Microgrid (SVM) Laboratory at the Powerhouse Energy Campus, the SVM Team and any participating partners, will be able to gain a deeper understanding of village level electrification. This laboratory will model a remote village with plug & play technology to allow for the testing of various microgrid products.

The desire to create robust modular microgrid systems is reflected in the flexibility of the design and layout of the SVM Lab.  The lab is configured to accommodate a variety of research activities on microgrid subsystems like metering and grid management, and other electromechanical topics like battery performance characterization and power generation integration.  The SVM Lab will contain six cells, each with a dedicated 60 kW power feed, in which experiments can be conducted. SVM Home unit diagram

An independent internal power grid will enable electrical interconnection of multiple cells for multiple power generation or distributed load scenarios.  Safety of students and research partners will be assured with thoughtful design of lab systems, access restrictions on high-power elements, an extensive training program, and rigid Lock-Out-Tag-Out protocols.

Design and development of the SVM Laboratory is proceeding rapidly under the oversight of Postdoctoral Research Engineer, Torben Grumstrup.  Design of the electrical infrastructure is largely complete, with specification of major components like transformers ongoing, and procurement expected to begin shortly.  Design of Village Modules that simulate the electrical load of approximately 150 homes is also ongoing.  A conceptual rendering of a Home Module containing a meter, cell phone and charger, and LED light bulb, is pictured above.  Design activities have and will continue to incorporate input from SVM Team Members, research partners, and industrial collaborators. 

 Rending of laboratory model

This computer generated image is what the Smart Village Microgrid lab may look like in the future. The image currently shows power distribution boxes and cable trays. As our project continues and construction begins, our goal is to create a lab that is physically accurate in terms of electricity load and technology as well as visually representative of electrification in a village setting.