Everything You Need To Know About Microgrids

Microgrids are one of the most exciting technological advancements of the last few decades, and they are on the verge of breaking into the mainstream consciousness. However, microgrids are still – surprisingly – somewhat unknown, and many people are unaware of how impactful they are now and how they will be more relevant in the future.

What is a microgrid?

Especially with technological advancements, it is good to start with the basics – in this case, what microgrids are. It is difficult to provide a succinct definition of a microgrid, but it is essentially a self-sufficient energy system. When we say that microgrids are self-sufficient, we mean that they are autonomous – they can connect and disconnect from the traditional grid or operate independently.

What makes microgrids different from other power grids

Microgrids service a specific geographic footprint, and they are local. Therefore, microgrids provide a localized form of energy for consumers and users who are nearby. This localized form of energy generation is different from other types of grids, which are large, centralized grids that provide a mammoth amount of electricity for an entire area. These centralized, or central, grids generate electricity in one place and then push the electricity through transmission and distribution lines to local communities.

Often the lines cover extensive distances – you will have seen them running for miles along the road if you have ever taken a cross-country road trip. The issue with these long distances is that it is inefficient to send energy such a long way. Depending on the circumstances, there can be an 8 – 15% loss of electricity during transit.

It should now be clear why microgrids are so innovative and important. By creating a more localized form of energy generation, engineers can significantly cut down on energy transport losses and inefficiencies.

The innate intelligence of microgrids

One of the most exciting aspects of microgrids is the fact that at the high level of advanced microgrid systems, they are intelligent. The intelligence of microgrids comes from the microgrid controller, the central processing unit of the system that manages the generators and the batteries. The central processing unit, or “brain,” can control the energy systems of nearby buildings to maximize all levels of operating with maximum efficiency.

Consumers who use microgrid energy systems may want to achieve the lowest prices, the cleanest levels of energy, or the best level of electric reliability. The intelligence of the central processing system is such that it can organize these various demands and manage the energy output in such a way as to meet consumer demands.

The brain of the microgrid is even able to prioritize its own solar panels, charging batteries, or providing energy to consumers at a lower rate. This level of intelligent processing and efficiency was something that previous engineers and designers could only dream of. The grid’s intelligence also has the potential to be expanded into other similar – and equally significant – resources.

The innovators of the microgrid industry

Microgrids are really in vogue right now, and they seem to come up in every climate change, energy, electrical engineering event, and professional discussion. The world is currently scrambling for new ways to generate and transport energy that cut down on inefficiencies. That is why nuclear and micro-nuclear plants have suddenly gotten the attention of several high-profile philanthropists and environmentalists.

As you might expect, several different tech and engineering visionaries are working in the microgrids space today. One such visionary is Susan Kennedy, the former CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions LLC and current consultant for all things microgrid. Advanced Microgrid Solutions LLC made a name for itself in the industry by forging ahead with a series of interesting innovations. The company is essentially an energy platform and services company that works to offer cost savings, grid support, and carbon reduction technology to its clients.

As microgrids increasingly become the norm, companies like Advanced Microgrid Solutions will continue to grow, mature, and develop and be instrumental in the effective rollout of microgrid technology.

What the future holds for microgrids

Energy generation is becoming increasingly expensive, challenging, and fraught with environmental challenges. As winter approaches, many of us are also faced with fuel crises and concerns over the rising costs associated with keeping our homes warm.

Microgrids offer a new, innovative, and highly efficient way for energy to be generated and transported. As a result, it appears likely that the popularity of microgrids will only increase as more and more people become aware of the benefits and savings associated with microgrids.