How Microgrids Work with Renewable Energy

Microgrids are locally regulated energy grids that function autonomously from other grids. They can break off from the network and use alternative energy sources as the need arises. In the ongoing quest to use renewable energy, microgrids have become increasingly popular for commercial and domestic use. Microgrids are used for solar energy capture, channeling renewable energy into homes and store excess power in large-scale batteries.

The Normal Grid

Before delving into the intricacies of the microgrid, let us understand how the regular power grid works. Homes, businesses, and just about any premise that needs power are connected to the centralized power sources that transmit electricity. The world has relied on this kind of connection for centuries, and things have been considerably smooth. Nonetheless, any interruption of power, e.g., by a short circuit or need for repairs inconveniences everyone connected to that particular grid.

Power outages impede economic growth, and as reported by the Financial Times, South Africa experiences dreadful power outages due to a monopoly by Eskom that conducts cold shedding operations way too often. Such power outages could last for several hours at a time or even days thus affecting businesses and normal home operations. This scenario is where the microgrid comes in.

What Powers Microgrids?

When a microgrid is linked to the traditional grid, the point of common coupling must maintain the same voltage as the grid itself. The two connections are separated by a switch that can be regulated manually or automatically. Microgrids can also operate independently in times of crisis by turning to renewable energy sources like solar panels or generators, and it can run indefinitely. Modern microgrids have several storage batteries and diesel backup.

These self-sustaining power networks can power an entire factory or an expansive area that is densely populated. It is no wonder microgrids are trending as more people use them. Efforts are afoot to have a command center to handle the constant changes as new technologies emerge.

Benefits of Microgrids

Microgrids provide a backup option when the main grid is out of reach or malfunctioning, and what’s more, battery storage units promote cost savings. Microgrids are tremendously easy to control and manipulate electricity flow, and they make the overall grid more reliable and resilient.

Homeowners who already have solar or wind energy devices could benefit from microgrids. They are also ideal for businesses that take power from the grid at non-peak hours to charge batteries and then use battery storage units to offset high energy cost during peak hours.

By and large, microgrids are the next best thing as far as having a reliable grid is concerned. As well, this option is more environmentally friendly as it harnesses renewable energy like solar. #batter storage units#

Source Fabrication custom Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS) are built create personal microgrids or plugin into larger microgrids.