Cummins said it opened a microgrid lab at its power integration center in Fridley, Minnesota.

The facility allows for the configuration, integration and testing of diesel and natural gas gen-sets, PV solar, battery storage, fuel cells, transfer switches and system-level controls. Cummins said the optimization of projects done through testing can save time and reduce costs.

Cummins said because of changing government regulations, inclement weather conditions and power grid instability, more customers are turning to microgrids.

The facility spans 20,000 square feet of lab space, including an outdoor test area, main switchgear room, electrical mezzanine and engineering control room.

The outdoor test area includes 500 KW test pads and two 2000 KW test pads, both of which can be connected as sources or loads. The company said two 500 KW programmable load banks allow scenarios to be run using real customer load profile data.

Three indoor switchgear lineups connect different assets in the lab, as well as tie into the site utility connection. A 500 KW roof-mounted PV solar system is permanently connected to the lab, as well as PV and energy storage simulators for different types of inverters.

In 2020, we reported that Cummins helped develop Australia’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid system.

The company’s nine QSV91G gas generators operate as a part of EDL’s microgrid at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in the western part of the nation. Two QSK60 gensets provide additional power during peak demand times, plus offer black-start capabilities for the power station in the event of an outage.

The project incorporates 23 MW of gas, PV solar, and diesel; 18 MW of wind generation, a 13 MW battery and an advanced microgrid control system. The 56 MW installed capacity powers the equivalent of 11,500 homes.

Indiana-based Cummins employs more than 60,000 people worldwide and has been producing on-site power gensets since 1919.

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