FogGrid: Transforming Microgrid Operations via Blockchain and Fog Computing in Singapore

Microgrids (MG) in Singapore, populated from rising distributed generation (DG), demand novel solutions to regulate operations of on and off-grid as well as both energy and monetary transfers between the microgrid and the central grid and among the different microgrid participants. In this research, we propose to develop, demonstrate and validate an intelligent microgrid management system to secure the competitiveness of Singapore’s energy market, by leveraging the inherent synergy between two emerging technologies, i.e., blockchain for grid services and fog computing for grid infrastructure. Specifically, we plan to develop FogGrid, an integrative, cost-effective and scalable microgrid operations system (i.e., an MGOS), with the following technical aims:

  • To architect a novel microgrid information infrastructure (i.e., smart meters and gateways) based on the fog-computing paradigm (i.e., “intelligence on the edge”);
  • To customize the Ethereum blockchain into a microgrid service layer, providing “smart contract” and “decentralized control” capabilities for grid application development;
  • To develop three pilot microgrid applications, i.e., distributed grid optimization, AI-based microgrid management and P2P power trading, over the blockchain grid service; and
  • To validate and showcase our FogGrid system over the NTU 1 microgrid testbed (~5MW), and prepare for eventual full deployment at SIT Ponggol Campus (~10MW) in 2022.

Our expected deliverables include an integrated microgrid operation system (hardware and software stack), together with three pilot applications, that would have been well tested in Singapore and will be incorporated into internal standards for mass adoption through our partners globally.

In this research, we spearhead in developing organically-grown algorithms and software, and tapping into off-the-shelf hardware, to provide economically viable solutions to transform microgrid operations in Singapore. Moreover, we team up with local stakeholders (e.g., Singapore Power and other market participants) and overseas players (e.g., China Southern Power Grid) to showcase our solution in a pilot testbed (e.g. NTU solar microgrid testbed) for eventual deployment at SIT Ponggol Campus, reducing the risk of rolling out our solution globally. FogGrid, when adopted, will be the world’s first blockchain-based microgrid operating system for non-residential users, fulfilling EMA’s vision to “improve the market resilience of Singapore’s’ power system and secure market competitiveness”.