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Use Cases Microgrid

Microgrid

A microgrid is a localized group of electricity sources and loads that normally operates connected to and synchronous with the traditional wide area synchronous grid, but can also disconnect to "island mode"  and function autonomously as physical or economic conditions dictate.

In this way, a microgrid can effectively integrate various sources of distributed generation (DG), especially Renewable Energy Sources (RES) - renewable electricity, and can supply emergency power, changing between the island and connected modes.

Microgrids are typically supported by generators or renewable wind and solar energy resources and are often used to provide backup power or supplement the main power grid during periods of heavy demand. A microgrid strategy that integrates local wind or solar resources can provide redundancy for essential services and make the main grid less susceptible to localized disaster.

 

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ELM Energy wanted to make independent energy sources — including solar panels and turbines powered by wind and water — an affordable and reliable option for more customers.
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Smart energy and next generation buildings are one of FabCity’s key topics and the Zenodys team was invited there to provide a microgrid demand response power management solution. Next generation buildings are built with a purpose to be energy sustainable and include power-generation capabilities, windmills, solar panels, self-sufficient units, etc. These buildings can generate their own power. However, when connected to a microgrid, other opportunities open up: power exchange among buildings, common storage facility, smart power management, etc. This will become an important part of the future smart cities. Microgrids are a promising concept and are expected to become one of the main energy sources in the future. In order to function as intended, microgrids must be efficiently managed with smart demand response algorithms. The aim of a microgrid is to be as self-sufficient as possible. However, this is not always the case. When the sun shines and there is plenty of wind, the participants generate their own power. But on cloudy or windless days green energy is not always available. To compensate for this, a microgrid also features a battery that stores surplus energy and provides backup power when needed.

The microgrid market is expected to grow from USD 19.22 billion in 2017 to USD 39.10 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 11.97% during the forecast period.

Source: Markets and Markets

The global microgrid market is expected to reach USD 17.51 billion by 2025,growing at a CAGR of 17.0%

Source: Grand View Research

 

What is the business value of this IoT use case and how is it measured?
Your Answer

What is the business value of Microgrids?

- It improves electric reliability: microgrids keep the power flowing by disconnecting (or islanding) from the central grid when it begins to fail. The microgrid’s generators, and possibly batteries, then serve the microgrid’s customers until power is restored on the central grid.

- It enhances resilience/recovery: it immediately restores power to an entire building or operation, leaving occupants barely aware a disturbance occurred. It also is programmed to restore only critical services within a facility.

- A microgrid can lower energy costs for consumers and businesses: it reduces costs through the efficient management of energy supply. Microgrids can earn revenue by providing ancillary services to the central grid. Ancillary services provide support functions for the grid, such as frequency control and spinning reserve.

- It improves the environment and promotes clean energy: microgrids can employ a wide range of green power production technologies. These include solar, wind, fuel cells, combined heat, and power (CHP) plants, and energy storage technologies. Natural gas generators, used in many CHP plants, fall on the cleaner side of fossil fuels.

What are its benefits even those outside its footprint?

- A microgrid strengthens the central grid

-  It bolsters cybersecurity 

- It brings economic value to society

- It improves community well-being

 

    Who is involved in purchasing decisions, and who are the primary system users?
    Your Answer

    Who is the target audience?

    • Microgrid providers
    • IT service providers
    • Cloud service providers
    • Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)
    • System integrators and third-party vendors
    • Software solution providers
    • Government bodies
    • Technology investors
    • Enterprise data center professionals
    • Research institutes and organizations
    • Market research and consulting firms
    Which technologies are used in a system and what are the critical technology?
    Your Answer

    What types of technologies are used within a smart microgrid at home?

    Smart meters allow for the two-way exchange of pricing, usage data, and electricity.

    Programmable smart appliances and devices that come on when the price of power reaches the consumer’s desired price point.

    User-friendly home energy control systems that allow customers to interface with the smart microgrid to automatically control every aspect of a home’s power usage.

    Energy efficiency improvements that help consumers use less energy and ultimately save money on monthly electricity bills.

    What types of technologies are used within a smart microgrid at work?

    Advanced energy control systems to make commercial buildings “smart.”

    Advanced lighting technology with digitally programmable controls that are responsive to the cost of power, the number of occupants in a building and where occupants are located.

    New heating and air conditioning technology that automatically adjusts building ventilation rates in real time based on occupancy, air quality, the cost of power or any other factors a manager chooses.

    New electricity generation systems that can provide power to individual buildings and supply power to the entire grid.

    And within the electricity distribution system?

    “Smart” switches, relays and sensors that replace their outdated and inefficient predecessors to allow the smart microgrid to manage and distribute power more efficiently and reliably.

    Redundant designs that provide a second source of power when recurring storms, ice and squirrels interrupt power.

    Protected infrastructure installed underground or within structures.

    Computerized controls that constantly scan for, and even anticipate, potential instabilities to correct problems before users experience any disruption in service.

     

    What business, integration, or regulatory challenges could impact deployment?
    Your Answer

    What are the challenges of Microgrids in the electricity system?

    - Voltage and frequency control: active and reactive power generated has to be in balanced condition with the power consumed by the loads including the losses in the lines. 

    In operation of the microgrid, a challenging task is to operate more than one distributed generation on the island; it is no possible to use the active and reactive power control. It is necessary to regulate the voltage during microgrid operation by using a voltage versus reactive power droop controller for local reliability and stability.

    - Islanding: it is a small-scale representation of the future interconnected grid with a high density of distributed generations.  The microgrid provides a benchmark between island and the interconeected grid. It is can be used in the large interconnected grid with the high penetration of distributed generation. The islanding control strategies are very important for the operation of a microgrid in autonomous mode.

    - Protection: once a microgrid is formed, it is important to assure the loads, lines and the distributed generations on the island are protected. The two alternative current limiting algorithms to prevent the flow of large line currents and protection of microgrid during utility-voltage sags. There are as resistance-inductance feedforward and flux- charge-model feedback algorithms, for use with a voltage- source inverter (VSI) connected in series between the micro source and utility grids.

     

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