The world continues to move forward in its search for quality energy alternatives. As these energy sources advance, companies are looking to gain a foothold in the production, storage and management of renewable energy microgrids. They are looking for technological advances that will not only meet their specific needs, but also maintain a balance between profitability and competitiveness in the industry.
As a leader in the global distribution of energy products, CE + T America designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of back-up power systems for commercial and industrial customers with specific design requirements. They manufacture smart power converters used in data centers, emergency power applications, the integration of renewable energy (photovoltaics and energy storage), micro-grids and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. CE + T America also offers monitoring and control solutions for all of its power converters. Based in Belgium and established in 1936, they started operating in the United States some time ago, but only recently opened the CE + T Power facility in Austin, Texas, in 2019.
Three phase power management system
In early 2020, CE + T America was developing its Maestro power management system (PMS). This PMS would manage their Stabiliti power converters associated with photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage, thus making it possible to achieve considerable energy savings. The three-phase system would target high-energy users where solar power alone cannot provide the energy needed due to peak demand, time of day or seasonal energy costs. CE + T America wanted to ensure that all energy flows were controlled in real time, prioritizing PV over battery use when possible, combining PV and battery when necessary to offset costs. energy, as well as battery charging from PV or grid to further optimize savings. CE + T’s Maestro PMS microgrids (off-grid systems) would also use this PV-first algorithm, minimizing battery usage while the sun is shining and making charging support the priority while extending service life. batteries.
To do this, CE + T America needed PLCs, main and backup power supplies, and Ethernet switches. “First, we were looking for an affordable, feature-rich Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to use in control applications like that required for this power management system,” said Govind Mittal, Grid Software Director. Edge for CE + T America. . Overseeing development and being the product owner for the power management system, Mittal also wanted to ensure that the products he used would be accompanied by high-end technical support in case he needed to. help in solving problems within the PMS.
After a long search online, Mittal came across a few companies that caught his eye. One of them was Wago, a Germany-based industrial automation company headquartered in North America in Wisconsin. Mittal called Jeff Wittorf, regional sales manager for Wago, to find out what offerings Wago could offer.
“Govind told me about his immediate needs. That same day I provided some feature options and sent product samples to CE + T the following week, ”Wittorf said.
Competing to provide CE + T America with the best that Wago could offer, Wittorf brought in colleagues such as Chris Dunlap, Wago’s North American Energy Industry Director.
Dunlap has been able to provide expert advice on the energy industry while weighing Wago’s value against the competition. Kurt Braun, Application Engineer and IIoT Market Specialist for Wago, provided technical resources, providing visualization capabilities to CE + T America as well as great examples with Modbus libraries to meet their needs. He was also a great resource for any questions regarding the design of the Maestro app to fit the Wago system. Finally, David Bae, Wago Applications Engineer, provided ongoing support, especially when it came to using Modbus communication through Wago’s e! Cockpit software, firmware updates and web visualization. . Wago also provided CT + E with a PLC with a Linux operating system, allowing the company to program the PLC using IEC 61131-3 languages while allowing open source coding in Docker containers.
“The price and the feature set were the main driver, but what really made the difference was the exceptional sales and technical support,” said Mittal. “Without that, I would have taken another direction. ”
Wittorf agrees with Mittal’s assessment of Wago’s support. “Our difference factor is our people,” he said. “Our sales and industry management teams really care about helping our customers.”
The turnaround time was very fast and the Maestro power management system was completed and ready for use in June 2020. Today, Wago continues to respond to requests from CE + T America customers regarding the system and plans to deploy the program remotely, connecting it to Wago controllers. Wittorf says he remains in constant contact with CE + T America to ensure his needs are met both today and tomorrow.
Mittal is excited about the future efforts, saying, “The Maestro is in action today and we expect many customer deployments later this year. We use and will continue to use Wago products in our power management systems.
For more information on CE + T America, please visit www.cet-power.com/en. To learn more about Wago, visit www.wago.us.