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What is a Microgrid
A Microgrid is an integrated energy system with local Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as local loads, generating assets and possibly energy storage devices such as batteries or fuel-cells. A microgrid system is typically capable of operating in "islanded" (off-the grid) or grid-connected mode.
Permanently Islanded Microgrid
Permanently Islanded microgrid networks are stand alone networks that must produce all of the generation locally that will be consumed by the loads in the network. Islanded microgrid networks are quite often found in remote, northern or island communities where the high cost of importing fuel and the availability of renewable resources (wind, hydro) can make optimization of generation very desirable.
Grid-tied microgrid networks are able to produce power within its distribution circuits as well as import power from a utility source. University campuses and military facilities that have on-site generation to provide backup power in case of a loss of a utility source can benefit from generation optimization by utilizing their on-site generation to offset the costs of electricity when they can produce cheaper than they can buy it for.
Microgrid Control System Architecture and Optimization Sequence
The U90Plus is the central supervisory controller of a microgrid control system that maximizes the use of the DER's and gives commands to dispatchable resources to provide power to the load in the most economical method possible.
One of the biggest challenges for permanently islanded remote and mining communities is to reduce total cost of energy. Although many of these remote communities may have some form of a renewable resource, they lack a smart control system infrastructure and are primarily dependent upon fossil fuel based generation for their energy needs.
The Grid IQ MCS system can help many of these remote islanded communities by optimizing existing assets and also integrating renewable energy resources into the existing network. Such capability helps these communities reduce the total cost of energy and helps reduce the GHG emissions and resulting adverse environmental impacts. Studies have shown that such optimization schemes can reduce overall energy cost up to 15% over a period of time, while providing better visibility and controls to the operators and maintenance staff for the remote community distribution networks.
Grid Connected Military Bases
The defense departments globally are up against critical challenges to sustain their mission critical infrastructure during an unplanned event. Their objective is to provide secure and reliable power to their critical infrastructure regardless of situation of the main grid and want to provide a safe, secure and reliable power network for their mission critical buildings and assets.
The MCS system can help many of these defense installations by providing a capability to operate in secure islanded mode in case the main grid has an interruption. The MCS can manage available backup power sources and storage devices, possibly in combination with demand side management for low priority loads to sustain mission critical infrastructure.