Small Grids Could Solve Big Problems

A new way of organizing distributed generated resources could help avoid some disruptions that devices like microturbines and fuel cells can cause to the larger grid. Also, the new strategy could provide extra control and power security for facility owners and managers. A report, released in April by the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) describes how connecting t...

06/01/2002


A new way of organizing distributed generated resources could help avoid some disruptions that devices like microturbines and fuel cells can cause to the larger grid. Also, the new strategy could provide extra control and power security for facility owners and managers. A report, released in April by the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) describes how connecting these resources through advanced controls technology could allow the larger grid operator to treat this new "microgrid" as an equal partner, and allow the facility to operate independently if the larger grid goes down.

Key to the concept are microsource controllers, advanced power electronics that control the interface between the power-generating appliances and their surrounding alternating-current environment. In this way, the distributed resources can be treated as an integrated entity, rather than as a series of isolated power sources. This approach could make for easy separation and reconnection to the grid in case of supply disturbances.

"Integration of Distributed Energy Resources: The CERTS MicroGrid Concept," can be downloaded at: certs.lbl.gov/pdf/certs_mgrid.pdf

From Pure Power, Summer 2002.





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