A microgrid is an energy grid, decentralized with control, meaning that it can autonomously operate when disconnected from the traditional grid. Generally, a microgrid operates while connected to the primary grid. However, in times of crisis, like storms or power outages, microgrids can break off and still work on their own with the aid of local energy generation. A microgrid should connect to the grid at a point of standard coupling unless there is a reason to disconnect.
To maintain voltage at the same level as the primary grid, you need a switch to separate the microgrid from the primary grid to function as an island, whether manually or automatically. Microgrid controls are essential in maintaining accurate and reactive power balance on an instantaneous basis to determine how to dispatch the resources and identify when and how to connect or disconnect from the grid. Here are different types of microgrids.
Remote off-grid microgrids
Due to economic issues and geographical position, remote off-grid microgrids never connect to the macro grid but instead operate in an island mode at all times. Often built distant from any transmission and distribution infrastructure and, thus, have no connection to the utility grid. Operating an off-grid microgrid dominated by renewable sources reduces the cost of electricity production.
Community microgrid is used to serve thousands of customers within the community using some renewable sources that can supply their demand. Some community microgrids have centralized or several distributed energy storages and can be in the form of an Ac and Dc microgrid coupled together through a converter.
Commercial and industrial microgrids
Their uses are mainly for power supply security. Commercial and industrial microgrids can be designed to supply circular economy and zero-emission industrial processes and integrate combined heat and power generation. Both renewable sources and waste processing can feed it. The energy storage can optimize the operations of these sub-systems.
A microgrid has proven to provide backup for the grid in emergencies, making it the best option. Besides, technology seems to cut costs by connecting to a local resource that is unreliable for traditional grid use. This brings about more energy independence in the community and, most importantly, being more environmentally friendly. Moreover, microgrids come in different designs and sizes, ranging from those powering a single facility to those powering a larger area.