In case you missed it, click here to read the fourth installment of our Energy Storage series discussing how to size a storage project.
The difference between a grid-connected system and a microgrid lies in how it operates, and particularly its level of independence from the main electrical grid. The primary distinctions:
1. Dependence on the main grid: Grid-connected systems still rely on the main grid as their primary source of power. They need to draw electricity from the grid to operate, so they can’t operate autonomously during grid outages.
2. One-way power flow: Grid-connected systems typically have a one-way power flow, where electricity flows from the grid to the system for consumption. These systems do not typically have the capability to export excess energy back to the grid.
3. No energy storage: Grid-connected systems typically do not include energy storage systems. They directly consume the electricity supplied by the grid, without the ability to store excess energy for later use.
4. Grid stability and voltage regulation: Grid-connected systems benefit from the overall grid stability and voltage regulation provided by the main electrical grid. They do not need to actively manage or control voltage and frequency, since these parameters are maintained by the grid infrastructure.
1. Localized power generation: Microgrid systems incorporate localized power generation sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines, or small-scale generators. These distributed generation sources allow microgrids to generate electricity locally and reduce reliance on the main grid for power supply.
2. Potential for autonomy: Microgrids have the capability to operate autonomously and “island” themselves from the main grid. This means they can disconnect from the grid during grid outages or emergencies and continue to supply power to local loads, using their own generation sources and energy storage systems.
3. Two-way power flow: Microgrids often have a two-way power flow capability. They can both consume electricity from the main grid and export excess energy back to the grid when their local generation exceeds local demand. This allows microgrids to participate in energy markets and potentially earn revenue from energy sales.
4. Integration of energy storage: Microgrids frequently incorporate energy storage systems, such as batteries, to store excess electricity generated during periods of high production. Energy storage enables microgrids to balance supply and demand, support load shifting, and provide backup power during grid outages.
5. Enhanced grid stability and resilience: Microgrids can enhance grid stability and resilience by using localized generation and energy storage. They can respond to grid disturbances, supply power during outages, and support critical loads independently, reducing the impact of grid disruptions.
6. Advanced energy management and control: Microgrids employ advanced energy management and control systems to optimize the generation, storage, and consumption of electricity within the local network. These systems monitor and manage power flow, load profiles, and grid stability to ensure efficient and reliable operation.
These qualities make microgrids especially suitable for remote areas, critical facilities, or communities seeking energy independence.
In our next post in the series, we’ll be talking about the advantages of microgrids. In the meantime, feel free to REACH OUT to Edison Energy as your storage experts and learn more about how we can help you tackle your energy storage needs.
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