Each microgrid project is different — and varies according to requirements, economic factors and more — but there is microgrid technology and a set of common goals that are universal to the design and operation phases.
A new whitepaper from Schneider Electric takes a broad look at microgrid development and outlines common approaches to implementation. The report, “Microgrid Implementation Challenges and Key Technology,” also identifies the main challenges faced during microgrid implementation and provides practical information for addressing them using microgrid technology and more.
Microgrid implementation and project challenges vary according to requirements and economic and business drivers, but on a broader level can be developed using a common approach.
Microgrid technologies and solutions are already available, reliable and efficient, according to the report. The report outlines that most of the time, microgrids are formed from the following elements and technology:
- An energy network infrastructure that includes equipment for energy generation (usually multiple distributed energy resources (DERs)), energy distribution network(s), and energy users/consumers of different criticality levels and profiles
- Sensors and meters
- Controls at the DER level
- Controls at the microgrid level, aimed at best managing the entire system
- SCADA system to interface with microgrid operators
- Cloud-based services such as tariff management, demand charge optimization and more.
After reviewing the general makeup of microgrids, the report also covers steps for preliminary sizing for your microgrid, which is necessary to understand and define a project’s economic viability and then propose appropriate technical solutions.
Considering the growing industry and the increase in the quality and number of technologies available, today there are many examples of successful microgrid implementations.
“However, microgrids’ rapid and large dissemination still faces challenges, which could be related to the struggle in managing projects that involve new actors, with new business models, new functional demands, and technical constraints,” the report states.
Design engineering challenges can often be avoided if certain studies are done in the preliminary design stages, such as load flow calculations, short-circuit current calculations, neutral earthing system management, dynamic stability studies and more.
When you are ready to transition from design to operation, Schneider points out that it can also be useful to understand that certain computer tools used during the design phase can be reused during operation, including computer simulation models.
As microgrids become more prevalent, Schneider Electric contends the answer for improvement includes the use of new tools and a precise methodology for sizing the microgrid, conducting specific design calculations, and studies toward an efficient implementation.
Download the report, “Microgrid Implementation Challenges and Key Technology,” courtesy of Schneider Electric, that identifies the main challenges faced during a microgrid implementation and provides practical information for addressing them.