What is a Microgrid?

by | Sep 20, 2022 | 0 comments |

What is a microgrid? Unless you know more than the average person about electricity, chances are you are asking what are microgrids and how they affect your daily operations.

Let’s take a brief look at a microgrid, so you can have a better understanding of the electrical system.

What are Microgrids?

A microgrid is a self-sufficient energy system serving a limited and specific area. Think of hospitals, university campuses, business centers, and even some neighborhoods.

The microgrid uses a variety of sources to produce and distribute energy which often includes,

  • Solar panels
  • Wind turbines
  • Combined power and heat generators

Newer microgrids often store energy, typically in batteries. Some also contain EV charging stations.

The microgrid is connected to buildings on the complex and uses advanced software and controls to ensure optimal operation.

The Three Characteristics of a Microgrid

Microgrids have three characteristics that set them apart.

1. Microgrids are Local

Unlike traditional power grids that supply energy across vast distances, microgrids generate power close to the buildings using the generated electricity.

Traditional grids can lose between 8 to 15 percent of the power they generate in transit, making the process inefficient. Since a microgrid generates power, often in an on-campus building the energy isn’t lost as its distributed around the small area.

2. A Microgrid is Independent of the Central Grid

Central power grids are prone to blackouts and other disruptions caused by storms and other events. When even a portion of the central grid fails, it can leave thousands across multiple states without power.

A microgrid operates separately from the main grid. It receives its power from other sources, typically renewable energy.

Microgrids are often connected to the central grid, as long as everything is operating smoothly. If an outage occurs, the microgrid can separate itself from the central grid.

3. Microgrids are Intelligent

Most microgrids come with onboard controllers that manage everything from the generators to the electrical systems in nearby buildings.

The controller is a software-based system that manages your energy supply in a few ways.

  • Track changes to the central and microgrid in real-time
  • Solicit power at a cheaper rate from the central grid when energy prices rise
  • Automatically switch to solar, battery, or another alternative source of power when electricity rates increase from the central grid.

The advanced software helps ensure system efficiency whether the electricity is from the central or microgrid.

Electrical Services_Call to Action

What is Not Considered a Microgrid

Sometimes a single renewable energy source is referred to as a microgrid. For example, solar panels on a home.

A microgrid is online 24/7 throughout the year. It uses various power sources to constantly remain operational. Solar panels cannot power a home without assistance from the central grid.

Interested in Learning More About Microgrids?

Microgrids are becoming more common as concerns about the central grid’s reliability continue to grow. Severe storms, aging equipment, and cyber-attacks are all real threats that can leave you without power.

To learn more about microgrids and if the system is the right choice for your building complex, contact us today! Call 610-558-9773, email info@actionservicesgroup.com or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Blogs You Might Be Interested In

LED Upgrades for Greenhouses – Five Tips to Major Savings!

LED Upgrades for Greenhouses – Five Tips to Major Savings!

Greenhouses are making the switch to LEDs and many types of crops are thriving under energy-efficient lighting. However, sometimes growers’ first choice is to go with a hybrid solution. When you are upgrading greenhouse lights to LED fixtures, it’s typically for...

Corporate Net-Zero: Where to Start, First Steps, and Microgrids

Corporate Net-Zero: Where to Start, First Steps, and Microgrids

The number of net-zero corporate pledges is continuing to rise, and companies are focusing on how they can meet these goals. Pressure from investors is one of the reasons corporations are paying more attention to their carbon footprint. Some investors are threatening...

News You Might Be Interested In

Backup Power Systems Can Improve Hurricane Relief

Backup Power Systems Can Improve Hurricane Relief

In September, Hurricane Ian made its way through the islands and the south knocking out power to millions of Americans and leaving their homes severely damaged. Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas all boarder the Gulf of Mexico and typically get the...

Dark Streets Can Lead to Dangerous Scenarios

Dark Streets Can Lead to Dangerous Scenarios

Since school is back in session and daylight savings time is closing in, keeping properly working streetlights is of the utmost importance for the safety of communities. In Springfield, Mass., the city leaders are working to come up with a plan to fix their...

Investing in LED Lighting Pays Off Long Term

Investing in LED Lighting Pays Off Long Term

LED lamps have been gaining more popularity between them and the alternatives. Some of the more popular alternative bulbs include incandescent, fluorescent, CFL and many more. There are many clear differences between each lightbulb from how they’re made to the cost....

Join Our Community

Thousands of business professionals rely on Action Services Group for the latest in Lighting,
Signage, and Electrical news. Add yourself to our community and receive timely updates on
safety, new products, energy savings, rebates, and so much more.
You can select what information you would like to receive.