One of the primary drivers of innovation in the energy storage industry is the demand for independence and resiliency. Overreliance on the existing power grid poses a substantial risk to the industrial, commercial, residential and governmental sectors.
In the event of a widespread power grid outage, those without energy storage systems can face costly and long-term system outages.
Microgrids capitalize on our growing knowledge of renewable energy to present a solution to this problem, allowing these sectors to sustain an autonomous power supply when they would otherwise lack access to electricity.
What is a Microgrid?
The energy grid draws on many distributed energy resources (DERs) controlled by one centralized authority. Thousands of homes and businesses are interconnected to draw power from these same sources.
While this type of system depends on its size to maintain stability, it can still go down in the event of storms, natural disasters, and other crises. When this happens, everything that is connected goes down, too.
A microgrid operates on the same principles as a larger centralized power grid but on a smaller scale. There are still DERs connected to a centralized control point, but the geographic region covered is much smaller, only encompassing a local community or a few buildings.
The energy sources in a microgrid could be generators, batteries, or various renewable energy resources, such as solar panels or wind turbines. Depending on the setup, some microgrids can run indefinitely without access to the larger grid.
In general, microgrids are not entirely isolated from the greater energy grid. When the grid is functioning normally, most microgrids operate as a part of it, but, when the grid goes down, they can run autonomously using the local DERs and control mechanism.
This capability allows for continued energy generation and distribution within the localized area when there is a broader system failure.
Microgrid Energy Storage Benefits
While the rise of renewable energy has been beneficial to the energy storage industry, it also presents a number of challenges. For instance, as DERs like solar grids and wind farms proliferate, it becomes increasingly difficult to control the sprawling system from a single centralized authority.
Breaking the larger system down into discrete microgrids enables a simpler organization system. Each microgrid can operate independently using its own control mechanism while maintaining the benefits of an interconnected grid system.
In addition to facilitating control of grid resources, the segmentation offered by microgrids enhances the resiliency of the entire power grid system. When there are multiple autonomous systems, a fault in one section of the grid does not necessarily impact the entire network. Instead, a failure remains localized while the surrounding regions continue to operate normally.
On-grid/off-grid microgrids are particularly valuable for these benefits, especially where critical power systems are concerned. This type of hybrid technology allows operators to alternate between injecting energy into the system and absorbing energy from the system.
Grid operators have a fine-grained level of control over the speed and method of integration with the larger grid, allowing them to strike a balance between power generation and usage.
Microgrids designed in this manner maintain all the benefits of isolation and discrete control units while also actively enhancing the function of the grid to which they are connected.
Dynapower’s Microgrid Energy Storage
Microgrids provide several advantages over the traditional, centralized power grid system. For over a decade, Dynapower has provided energy storage inverters to resorts, governments, and island communities to facilitate the construction and increase the resiliency of their microgrid systems.
Whether you need an entirely new energy infrastructure system, or you want to integrate new renewable storage sources into an existing one, you can trust our experienced engineers to develop an effective solution.
For further information on Dynapower’s microgrid capabilities and products, please contact Robyn Latta at 802.860.7200.