Microgrids and Distributed Generation

Industry Background

Distributed generation in contemporary power electronics literature usually refers to the generators that are directly embedded in the distribution networks: even though there are a few different types of distributed generations these are normally small generators from renewable sources that cannot be, or in other words are not desirable to get, integrated into the national grids: making these systems geographically dispersed highly depending upon availability of the renewable energy source (Freris and Infield 2008). Three main objectives have been main drives for promotion of the distributed networks (Boillot 2014):

  1. Optimizing investment costs in public infrastructure
  2. Contributing to the reliability of the electric power grid
  3. Ensuring the level of quality of distributed electricity corresponds to the regulatory requirements

Of the most desirable and applicable solutions in establishment of the distributed generation systems are microgrids. ‘Microgrids originated from the need to reduce the complexity created by distributed generation. Rather than add distributed generators to the power grid in an ad hoc manner, a new system-level approach was suggested in which the global power grid is, in essence, apportioned into smaller power grids, known as microgrids’ (Bush 2014). There are a number of benefits for use of micro grids and those are all strong complements to our business strategies in every single market industry that we take part in. These advantages include (Koga 2014):

These all add up to the benefits these solutions carry for civilisation and make it a perfect match for our strategy.


Benefit

For a country wishing to diversify its energy supply primarily by increasing domestic renewable energy capacity to meet an increasing share of future energy demand, integrating a portfolio of local renewable energy sources can be beneficial, and also make a positive contribution to improved energy supply security and system reliability. (Awerbuch 2006 in IPCC 2012)

Challenge

Planning and operating Micro Grids with increased functionalities, flexibility, and resilience – there is a small number of Micro Grids currently operating around the world and that is expected to grow with the complex challenges arising from the operation of future smart power grids. (Jayaweera 2016)

Goal

Smart grids are evolving, yet a marked acceleration is happening. Many smart grid technologies are based on existing mature solutions, but much more effort is needed to deploy them on a system-wide scale. More importantly, smart grid deployments must deliver the integrated architecture of applications that is the core concept of the smart grid vision, while incorporating business models supported by regulatory and market frameworks. (Wakefield and Wojszczyk in Borlase 2013)

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