Intelligent Power Distribution (IPD)

Organization: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Co-Developer(s): U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development And Engineering Center (CERDEC), Wyle Laboratories, Inc.
Year: 2018

A microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources (DERs) within clearly defined electrical boundaries that act as a single controllable entity with respect to a larger electrical grid. The Intelligent Power Distribution (IPD) Box forms the power distribution spine of tactical microgrids operating in more extreme conditions, coordinating energy resources and loads to achieve efficiency and resiliency, particularly in military environments. The technology provide soldiers the ability to interactively monitor and manage power systems in order to optimize power availability, allowing the unit to maintain mission-critical systems needed to achieve mission success. IPDs not only distribute power from resources to loads, but also form a communications network for all intelligent devices (resources and/or loads). Using an algorithm developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the IPDs determine which resources to use and to what extent. They then dispatch these resources’ power to meet demand from the attached electrical loads. In the case of a disruption or emergency, the IPDs can command other resources to come on-line and provide power, restoring the grid to normal operation. In extreme scenarios, IPDs can disconnect noncritical loads to ensure critical systems remain operational.

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