Low-Level Communication Between Energy Prosumers in a DC Microgrid


Reference #: 01387

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for Low-Level Communication Between Energy Prosumers in a DC Microgrid


In the case of a microgrid, any connected device, defined as the prosumers, has taken on the role to both consume and produce energy. In fact, the increasing use of renewable energy and local storage has increased the opportunity for prosumers to export energy back to the grid. Furthermore, the optimized utilization of energy within the microgrid may rely on the cooperation of all renewable and storage sources of the entire microgrid. Therefore, it is imperative that some basic form of communication exist in order for this management to occur.

Invention Description:

This technology allows devices connected to a DC microgrid to communicate with each other including, but not limited to, houses and energy sources. This allows basic parameters of the connected devices to be altered based on the controlling device. This method allows use of already existing hardware with some software modification therefore being a relatively simple method to implement and of low-cost to use.

Potential Applications:

This communication method allows easier control between connected devices using the existing power connection. This could enable higher bandwidth functions such as current sharing between devices and utilization of local storage and renewables. This style of communication allows an easy way to optimize parameters of a DC microgrid via connected devices (prosumers).

Advantages and Benefits:

This communication method is intended for high voltage (hundreds of volts) and long distances (several kilometers) using the already existing DC distribution lines (power lines) and existing power electronics (or devices) connected to it. The only modification would be the software of the connected devices/power-electronics, which would be a low-overhead addition. The simplicity of communication and integration is what makes this unique. The physical connection of this communication style is also extremely robust as it re uses the power connection.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Low-Level Communication Between Energy Prosumers in a DC Microgrid PCT United States PCT/US2020/39491   6/25/2020     Filed
Low-Level Communication Between Energy Prosumers in a DC Microgrid Nationalized PCT United States 17/619,717   12/16/2021     Filed
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Andrea Benigni
Michelle Hunt
Matthew Davidson
DC Microgrid
distribution lines
low-frequency communication
power line communication
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