Micro-Grid Diesel Deployment – Monash Uni

Monash University engaged the Bridgeford Group to perform a feasibility study to analyse options and considerations for redeployment of the now redundant 2 MVA Diesel generator that used to provide backup power for the critical data-centre located at the Clayton campus.

Monash University is supplied by two high-voltage feeds (and two backups) across three high voltage rings, electrically connecting all buildings at the Clayton campus. As part of Monash University’s Net Zero Initiative, specifically the Smart Energy City pillar, Monash are investing into micro-grid-based control and coupling this with significant electrification of thermal assets in large precincts, battery storage and over 3MW of Solar PV (the team at Bridgeford Group were previously involved in these initiatives).

The micro-grid and controllable generation, storage and demand assets provide significant benefits to Monash, including research outcomes and financial benefits through grid-support initiatives.

Bridgeford Group conducted an analysis of the optimum location to house and connect the redundant 2MVA diesel generator, with the following selection criteria:

  • Chosen location was out of sight, meaning limited requirement for additional external works and planning approval
  • Had extensive airflow from underground carpark exhaust fans
  • Close proximity to street level for external diesel fuel supply
  • Spare capacity for electrical infrastructure (both low and high voltage)
  • Ease of maintenance access
  • Nature of critical services at building meaning generator can be used as a back-up unit when not grid-tied

Further to the proposed relocation, the Bridgeford Group team identified the following benefits:

  • Use of generator not only in a “peak shaving” scenario, but also by responding to market-based pricing signals, as part of the Microgrid initiative
  • Conversion of this engine to biodiesel, further reducing emissions to below that of conventional diesel
  • Enable generator for research purposes supporting Microgrid initiative