Loadbank manufacturer Crestchic has supplied a 300 kVA restive/reactive loadbank to the UK’s University of Chester.

The loadbank will be used as part of the campus microgrid and to replicate variable loads for the associated Energy Centre, which offers an environment for SMEs to develop, test and demonstrate new technologies. Located at the university’s Thornton Science Park, the centre is a major research and innovation hub.

The microgrid and energy centre aim to demonstrate how distributed energy resources can work together to minimize fuel costs and emissions within an islanded grid. As its contribution, Crestchic said its loadbank pioneers new algorithms for microgrid load balancing as part of a control system from ABB.

“The system, which can be operated remotely, allows users to manage the microgrid, enabling the integration and optimum utilization of multiple energy sources and storage units connected to the same local power network,” the company said in a statement.  

The microgrid features a combined heat and power (CHP) unit, diesel generators, a solar PV plant and a new energy storage facility as well as the loadbank.

Paul Brickman, Crestchic’s sales and marketing director, said the loadbank “allows for vital work to be completed that will help cut emissions and drive innovation. This will also be a useful tool to fulfil the needs of the government’s Industrial Strategy.”

And Paul Vernon, senior executive director of commercial operations and CEO of Thornton Research Properties Limited at the University of Chester, said: “The Energy Centre has been created to demonstrate and promote the development of the latest technologies and forms part of a wider energy focus for Thornton Science Park. The Crestchic loadbank is a very exciting development that provides a platform for learning and is a great example of industry and academia working together to address real-world issues.”