briefoverview

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Historically, central plants have been an integral part of the electric grid, in which large generating facilities are specifically located either close to fuel resources or otherwise located far from populated load centers [1]. These, in turn, supply the traditional transmission and distribution (T&D) grid that distributes bulk power to load centers and from there to end consumers.

These economies of scale began to fail in the late 1960s and, by the start of the 21st century, central plants could arguably no longer deliver competitively cheap and reliable electricity to more remote customers through the grid. Thus, the grid had become the main driver of remote customers’ power costs and power quality problems, which became more acute as digital equipment required extremely reliable electricity. Efficiency gains no longer come from increasing engineering complexity of large generators, but now from large scale mass production of smaller units located near sites of demand.

 

 

whatare

WHAT ARE MICROGRIDS?

Microgrids can be constructed of a combination of resources [2], both loads and generations assets combined into a system which best meets the end consumers usage. Microgrids can also be of any size from kilowatts to megawatts, but usually have two defining characteristics, local control and full functionality both on and off grid.

Local control means the end consumer is empowered to operate the system to their best needs. You are no longer inseparable from the power quality and costs of a sole utility provider. You now have options to leverage differing costs of raw fuels and renewables to reduce your costs, green your business, and reduce your emissions as you see fit.

Full functionality both on and off grid also allows you to separate from the macrogrid during times of outage, if hazardous weather is expected, or if it makes good financial sense to operate standalone.This may also allow for the reduction or complete removal of standard backup power solutions like UPS’s as your entire facility is now backed up inherently. This means no lost costs or down time associated with a utility outage. Ultimate Reliability.

 

 

 

References

  1. “Distributed Generation—Overview”.  Wikipedia. Retrieved 26 October, 2015.
  2. About Microgrids“.  Microgrids at Berkeley Lab. Retrieved 25 October, 2015.

Microgrids in the News

Microgrid Knowledge

microgrid news, products, policy and players

gird of the future and microgridsA lot of states are talking about building the grid of the future and microgrids. But often it seems more like the grid of the far-off future. Not so, however, in Rhode Island.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: May 25, 2017, 12:00 pm
FuelCell Energy gets Trinity College microgrid-ready...U.S. utilities investing $100B in grid modernization...Siemens joins in Netherlands pilot to connect 20,000 homes, DERs...Demand rising for hybrid gensets in Europe
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: May 23, 2017, 1:48 pm
microgrid in AlbanyNew York state government is about to walk the talk. The state that has been encouraging its communities to install microgrids now will build its own microgrid in Albany, the seat of state government.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: May 22, 2017, 8:43 pm
momentary power outagesS&C Electric's US President Michael Edmonds talks about a problem not caught by old-school reliability measures -- momentary power outages that disrupt sensitive equipment. The problem is growing, he says. The cause may surprise you.
Author: Guest Post
Posted: May 22, 2017, 1:00 pm
non-wires alternativesThe Bonneville Power Administration plans to pursue non-wires alternatives instead of an 80-mile transmission line, signaling a business shift toward targeted solutions over large centralized infrastructure.
Author: Elisa Wood
Posted: May 22, 2017, 12:00 pm