The Future of Power
The power grid that supplies energy to your business is an outdated, centralized system that wastes power in transmission and occasionally fails to meet your needs due to outages, blackouts, excessive demand, or other interruptions of service. For decades, electricity has remained the exclusive domain of Wholesale Power Companies, but this is changing with the creation of Smart Grid development, resulting in distributed energy systems that operate independently of Wholesale Utilities.
What is a Microgrid
A Microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources (DER’s) within an identified electrical boundary acting as a single, controllable power entity. In layman’s terms, it’s a self-performing, electrical power system independent of the utility. In other words, a microgrid is your very own power plant!
The Microgrid can either connect or disconnect from your local utility so it can operate in both grid-connected or island mode. Usually, Microgrids are comprised of low voltage distributions systems (i.e., less than 480 volts), with Photo Voltaic Solar Arrays (PV), Diesel or Gas Generators, storage devices (Batteries), and flexible loads (your electrical using equipment).
The Microgrid is managed by an automated system that works in conjunction with the system components to effectively transfer power with proper voltage and quality while optimizing usage.
Connection to the Utility
The Microgrid can be tied to the main utility via a PCC (Point of Common Coupling). Microgrids that do not have a PCC are called Isolated Microgrids, common in remote area sites where interconnection is not feasible due to technical or economic constraints.
NEC Microgrids are normally “grid tied” so they work in conjunction with your utility if there is a need for additional power outside of your system capabilities.
Advantages Of a Microgrid
Creating your own Microgrid allows you to generate, control, and manage your own power. Quite simply, the more energy produced on a local level, the less required from the Power Company.
Building your own optimized network gives you a high level of control, sustainability, lower costs, and a highly functional independent system in the case of an emergency that takes down the Power Grid.
This is the future of power.
To learn more about designing your own Microgrid, contact NEC.
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