MICROGRIDS

ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION

 

A microgrid can be defined as a group of loads connected to distributed energy resources and storage systems within clearly defined electrical boundaries that can act as a single controllable entity with respect to the main grid. All over the world, microgrids are becoming an important paradigm for supplying electricity to many different categories of customers; developing countries and refugee camps are among the most interesting scenarios.

 

 

Advantages/Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Easier to predict and to match with available generation;
  • Variability of the aggregated load is lower than the variability of single loads;
  • Reduction in security reserves can be reached;
  • In case of failure of one generator, the other available generating units can take over;
  • Many small units can be programmed to work together in a coordinated way;
  • Maintenance of single generators without any loss of load;
  • Possible to exploit primary sources (e.g. sun or the wind).

Disadvantages

  • Need to be designed and operated carefully, by skilled professionals;
  • Microgrid controller is required for a necessary coordination between electricity sources and loads;
  • A protection system must be designed and implemented;
  • Major faults could be spread among all electricity users;
  • Rules for operating and managing the microgrid must be defined and followed by each user.

Examples of the technology

Examples of the technology applications

Microgrids are typically very reliable and very used in some rural areas in developing countries.

For further information download the Guidelines.

 

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