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What is a Microgrid?

What is a microgrid?

A microgrid is a small network or community of electricity users with a local power generation source which may or may not be connected to the mains grid system or other microgrid systems. 

Microgrids offer a decentralised electricity generation, storage, distribution for local power consumers.

A microgrid can work in island mode (by itself) in times of mains outages or issues due to isolated or hard to reach locations such as the outback or on one of the thousands of islands surrounding Australia. Alternatively, microgrid systems can be utilised to reduce the rising cost of mains power..

When used in conjunction with the mains electricity grid the systems allow the microgrid to maintain power even when energy demand increases to a point which exceeds the existing power generation limits.

Two or more microgrids can be connected together to provide assistance during periods of power shortages.

The microgrid system can also be used the other way around with mains power as the primary electricity source and the microgrid as the backup power structure. 

The surplus power produced by the microgrid can be fed back into the mains grid system providing an revenue source for the microgrid owners.

Microgrid uses

Microgrid systems offer a huge range of power generation solutions for so many applications. Microgrids can be utilised in:

  • small communities such as retirement villages, shopping centres, or multi-storey residential buildings.
  • extreme weather areas which risk disconnection from the mains grid due to events such as cyclones, storms, and flooding.
  • remote areas – with 30% of Australians living in rural areas microgrids can provide power for those in the most to hard to reach areas of the country.

Advantages of microgrids

  • Grid-connected or stand-alone.
  • Reduce mains grid power costs.
  • Grid-connected systems can use the mains grid as a supplementary power source during maintenance or breakdowns, and fuel shortages.
  • Microgrids can be connected to various power generation systems such as solar, bioenergy, wind, generators.
  • Your microgrid can be designed to cater for a couple of houses or a whole small town. Each system is customised the the specific requirements of the area.
  • Renewable, green power generation can be used reducing your community’s greenhouse gas production.
  • Microgrids suffer with lower energy transmission losses than mains power due to the electricity being used close to where it’s generated.

Using Inoplex cogenerators in a microgrid

Inoplex cogenerators, with their intelligent operation and power electronics, are the perfect balance to a microgrid. Either one connected to the broader grid or a stand-alone island system.

Our systems can be powered up and down with seconds notice to provide for shortcomings in the microgrid or provide baseload power using various fuel sources including natural gas, LPG, or renewable bioenergy such as biogas or biodiesel.