A microgrid is an electrical system in which the facilities and equipment are connected to the grid, but that can also be isolated from the grid and still maintain power. Although microgrids can be designed to operate indefinitely, they are more often engineered to maintain power for a matter of hours, not days.
Let’s talk about the
three basic components of a microgrid:
A microgrid needs a local source of power. This may be solar, wind, fuel cells or generators and is likely combined with batteries. Microgrids frequently include a dispatchable energy source, one that can be turned on or off as needed such as a diesel generator.
Some infrastructure is needed to disconnect from and reconnect to the grid – known as ‘islanding’ – and to reconnect when needed.
A proper control system knows when islanding is necessary and it sends the signals to the island, initiate generation, use batteries and flip switches.