The how and why of microgrids

For any organisation starting to seriously consider power security, there are a number of possible solutions. However, there's just one that can offer the reliability and power generation capabilities required by many modern businesses.

Microgrids, essentially small local energy grids, can ensure that when utility power drops out – and it almost certainly will – there's power security available in the form of a unique system.

Placing the grid before the microgrid

As the Department of Energy explained, before delving into microgrids, it's first necessary to understand how the wider electricity grid works. Across the globe, cities and towns all connect to what's known as the grid, a system of power lines and transformers that connect buildings and other facilities to central power sources. As a result of the sheer scale of the electricity grid, outages mean large numbers of people and businesses feel the effects.

This is also where the term power security comes from, as it means having a backup system in place, in the event the grid is incapable of supplying energy.

The how and why of a microgrid

Microgrids are really quite simple when it comes down to it. They're discrete energy systems that are able to store and generate energy, as well as capable of operating alongside the traditional power grid. A generator running on natural gas or liquid fuels is just one example of a system capable of powering a microgrid.

As organisations maintain microgrids independently, they're an excellent way to achieve various objectives.

For example, microgrids can:

  • Help with power security by reducing total dependance on the grid
  • Reduce emissions by utilising smarter generation solutions
  • Reduce energy costs thanks to the use of efficient power sources

Taking advantage of renewables

A report from Ipsos and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency showed that solar power is increasingly becoming a favourable power source among the Australian public. In the Ipsos report, Establishing the social licence to operate large-scale solar facilities in Australia: insights from social research for industry, the organisations found that a significant number of people are now in favour of large-scale and even local solar generation.

This happens to tie in perfectly with the microgrid. As these systems are designed around the inclusion of off-grid energy sources, solar panels can be quite easily integrated and put to use as backups during an outage.

For now, reliable generators represent one of the better options available. If you're interested in learning about new power security solutions, including those facilitated by Capstone Microturbines, reach out to Optimal Group today.