WHAT IS A MICRO GRID?
A micro grid is a local energy grid with input sources and loads to support. It contains advanced control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously if needed. There is no set requirement for the size of the micro grid, it can support an entire city, or just a single factory.
HOW DOES A MICRO GRID WORK?
A micro grid is very similar to the usual utility grid. The grid connects our homes, businesses, and other buildings to central power stations, which generate the electricity we use in our daily lives. These grids were initially developed in the late 1800's and expanded on ever since. Due to the very nature of grid design there are inherent balancing issues regarding costs, stability, reliability and supply.
It's the reason why electricity prices go up, blackouts occur, power quality issues exist and why upgrades to local supply can be prohibitively expensive.
This is where a micro grid comes in. A micro grid is mostly connected to the main grid, but can disconnect - partly or fully - for extended periods of time. It can support just a single factory, or an entire town.
A micro grid generally consists of a mix of grid power, solar, wind, or diesel generators, combined with stabilising equipment such as large scale batteries. This is controlled by advanced energy management systems.
HOW DOES A MICRO GRID CONNECT TO THE MAIN GRID?
A micro grid connects at a point where it can isolate itself from the main grid. It maintains the same voltage as the grid and depending on the requirements interacts with it to ensure stability within the facility/suburb/city. If there is any issue on the main grid, the micro grid automatically disconnects and continues to support the micro grid loads independently.
DOES A MICRO GRID WORK OFF GRID?
Micro grids work perfectly fine on their own, without any external input.
The design of a typical micro grid allows it to work in conjunction with the main grid, but can also function fully independently.
The period of time the micro grid can operate this way is determined in the design stage by analysis of the load requirements and generation and supply capacities.
Remote locations often require fully self sufficient systems, micro grids are ideally suited to work in such circumstances.
WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO CONNECT TO A MICRO GRID?
The main function of a micro grid is to provide cheaper more reliable electricity. Black-out protection, stability in power supply and increased use of renewable energy are additional benefits.
Read more about the benefits
WHAT CAN A MICRO GRID POWER?
Micro grids are modular in design and as such can be as large or small as required. A single facility to entire cities can be powered. At Walnut Energy we specialise in commercial and industrial micro grids in a range of 100kW- 5MW.
Typical projects can be accessed
WHAT EQUIPMENT IS USED IN A MICRO GRID?
A typical micro grid consists of four main categories of equipment:
Demand; your equipment uses electricity.
Generation; such as the grid, solar pv, wind turbines, diesel generators and others.
Storage; such as batteries, flywheels and gravity based.
Management; advanced energy management is a key component to ensure smooth operation within the micro grid.
Download our brochure detailing micro grid solutions