The control system is the most essential component of a microgrid. It manages a microgrid’s distributed energy assets to cost-effectively produce energy while maintaining grid stability. To deliver the right energy mix for a customer’s needs, the system must be predictive, intelligent and automated. After specifying a few key parameters, a control system can calculate exactly which energy sources will be needed to ensure efficient and reliable operation of a microgrid.
The need for dispatchable generation Whether it’s powering a residential high-rise in a major city or a mining operation in a remote area, every microgrid is designed to support an electric or thermal load. A wide range of distributed energy sources can be installed to optimize load management. The options could be renewable, such as solar panels and wind turbines, or conventional, such as diesel- or natural gas-powered generator sets combined with battery energy storage systems and intelligent controls to optimize these various assets.
A microgrid is a technical solution that satisfies local energy demand in an economical manner, customized to a customer’s specific needs and local boundary conditions. A microgrid enhanced by an active management of the loads or a flexible change of addressed value streams is called a smart grid. A hybrid system is the combination of a generator set with an energy storage system and therefore a subset out of a microgrid configuration. Energy demand includes both pure electrical and combined electrical and thermal. Microgrids comprise distributed energy resources, energy storage systems and loads under one control system. The system can be operated two ways—interconnected to the grid or in island mode. It can take advantage of different value streams, depending on the concrete technical design and subject to applicable regulations. By integrating multiple energy assets through an intelligent control system, a microgrid can cost-effectively produce energy while maintaining grid stability.