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MicroGrids

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The IDS Microgrid cluster Generation and Load Control Center (GLCC) - Summary

 

There are several requirements that must be met to run a stable microgrid, or as is being discussed here, clusters of small microgrids that are self-reliant. There are an estimated 2 billion people in the world living with little or no housing. Lack of infrastructure to support housing development is a significant impediment to improving quality of life for these people. In Africa, for example, the estimated average daily residential load is less than 10 kWh, that is approximately 1/3 of a typical US home. Air Conditioning alone could make up as much as half of that estimate. Solar and battery technology have improved to a point where these housing, and energy, needs can be met. The IDS Microgrid Cluster Management Solution further improves the economics and viability of this endeavor.

The IDS microgrid cluster Generation and Load Control (GLC) is designed for several residences near one another with either no utility service or a grid with highly unreliable service. In some cases, the generation resources may be fewer than the residences being served.

To make an IDS Microgrid Cluster Management Solution work smoothly while in off-grid mode and with minimal disruption to the residences, IDS has designed for:

1. Expansion to manage inevitable growth

2. Consideration of disparate energy consumption patterns among microgrid cluster residences

3. Anticipation of long periods without optimal solar needed for complete battery recharge

4. The ability to monitor and manage all connected loads, generation sources and energy storage.

While over-sizing the solar/battery system or severe load restrictions are common on individual off-grid homes, when multiple homes are clustered into a microgrid, we can take advantage of load diversification to reduce the aggregated overdesign and minimize excess system costs.

The IDS GLC is the essence of the IDS Microgrid Cluster Management Solution. Using local information from all microgrid cluster energy sources and uses, IDS has created the intelligence needed to have commercially available off-grid and grid-interactive solar systems cooperate in a way that balances supply and demand continually within the microgrid cluster.

In the case of developing countries, the microgrids may be completely off-grid which creates a need for the added capabilities of a “self-contained” solution. Other instances may have a grid-tie but, with highly unreliable service. In some designs, local back-up generation is available and can be incorporated into the IDS logic. Decisions affecting supply and demand balance are different under each circumstance. The IDS GLC considers all possible generation sources and manages the microgrid cluster accordingly.

Intelligent Design Solar has designed our solution such that it can be retrofit into an existing group of solar powered homes or integrated into new developments at the time of electrical wiring. Each approach is configurable and provides a degree of home owner flexibility in defining load priorities for dispatch by the IDS GLC during an emergency outage or for an improved off-grid living experience.

For more information, please contact us at +1 (206) 399-3815