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Campus Microgrid Project by LSIS at SNU

May 31, 2019

SNU map of greenhouse gas in 2017
SNU map of greenhouse gas in 2017

The Gwanak campus was selected as the test site for the commercialization of the “microgrid,” an energy technology developed by LS Industrial Systems (LSIS), a company that focuses on developing safe and clean energy. This is an extension of their focus on Building Energy Management System (BEMS) and Factory Energy Management System (FEMS).

Since June 2015, LSIS has been collaborating with 21 companies, including the Korea Electric Power Corporation, on the “Campus Microgrid” project. They tested the microgrid on seven of Gwanak campus’ 225 buildings. Among Korean universities, SNU consumes the most power and produces the most greenhouse gas, with its annual electricity bill amounting to 16.4 billion won. Former LSIS researcher Kim Sung-hung explains that SNU was chosen because “its diverse buildings such as laboratories, classrooms, and dorms, make for an optimal experimental environment.”

The SNU buildings powered by LSIS will use three types of energy: premium cells (for research laboratories and other facilities that must operate around the clock), the normal cells (buildings that need efficient energy like lecture halls and dormitories), and virtual cells (buildings compatible with energy-reducing services). Premium cells can operate for up to four hours in the event of a power outage. Normal cells will distributed into 14 different zones depending on location and usage type.

All of the cells are managed by the Integrated Operation System located in the basement level of the SNU administration building. The system monitors the real-time power consumption and the peak power levels of each cell. As a result, the seven buildings were able to save 21 percent (38 million won) in energy costs over the course of a year. There was an 11 percent decrease in energy consumption, reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 110TOE (oil-exchange based tons) over a year.

According to Kim, “this is equivalent to the amount of greenhouse gases absorbed by 30-year-old pine trees over the span of a year […] the amount of ultrafine dust (PM2.5) generated by coal-fired power generation has been reduced by 27,000 grams/kWh."

Seoul National University has temporarily suspended operation of ESS out of its Campus Microgrid Project due to a series of fires in the energy storage system. In addition, it is continuing to analyze electricity patterns using renewable energy, SCADA, and IoT.

Written by Yu Young Jin, SNU English Editor
Reviewed by Professor Travis Lamar Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,