Many households are turning to microgrids to get clean, reliable, low-cost, and efficient energy. With large-scale electricity outages and natural disasters, people are switching to environment-friendly and pollution-free solar energy to get energy independence.
Microgrid solar power systems are a source of clean and local energy and come in all sizes. They’re scalable to provide emergency power for community or municipal, residential, industrial, and commercial requirements. Read on to learn about how these systems are transforming the way we power homes.
What is Solar Microgrid?
These are the local power grids or joined networks of power that are obtained by harnessing the sun’s energy. These systems collect, store, and provide clean and renewable electricity to a whole community using the power produced by the sun.
The solar microgrids keep going in power outages even when the main traditional electricity grid fails. You can use these systems to power one building such as a hospital or a group of buildings like a neighborhood, industrial park, military base, and more.
The electricity is delivered with solar microgrid installation in a central location. After the installation, solar microgrid technology is completed by pairing electrical wiring from the hub (central power location) to the required nearby houses, farms, and other buildings. These days, microgrids have been adopted to power educational institutes, irrigation pumps for agriculture, homes, street lights, hospitals, and more.
Need for Solar Microgrids
Shut down or failure of the main electricity grid due to power outages or storms can greatly affect the power of so many homes, business operations and productivity, and many more important services. The reason is that conventional electricity grids can cover the entire state or nation.
Microgrid solar systems, on the other hand, provide constant power during emergencies as they can easily switch away from the main grid. They can deliver electricity in remote areas having no power access and regions where bigger traditional grids fail.
The significant need for using microgrid solar systems is to generate and use renewable solar energy which is available in abundance. Considering the importance of renewable energy, more households are now switching to microgrids that help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The ability to expand further and applications to any extent make solar microgrid systems a useful renewable energy solution.
Working of Solar Microgrid
A solar microgrid doesn’t rely on the main utility grid. These systems can collect, store, and provide electricity to homes or a whole community. They connect to the main grid at PCC (point of common coupling) and keep the same voltage level unless detects an outage.
Most solar microgrids are made of numerous PV (photovoltaic) cells that produce energy and transfer it to the central controller, known as the Power Conditioning Unit or PCU. Then, PCU transfers power straight to offices, homes, or more. Whenever the produced energy is not used or surplus energy is generated, the power controlling unit moves this to the battery bank for energy storage which can be used later.
How Microgrids Benefit Household Users?
Most homeowners realize the benefits of solar microgrids nowadays when the electricity grid goes down. These systems provide renewable power and energy resilience along with reducing the carbon footprint. Here is a short overview of key benefits homeowners can experience after switching to microgrid solar systems.
Stable source of power
For people residing in remote regions, microgrid systems such as solar rooftop installation provide the most stable source of power. These systems make sure that a building or a community has powerful backup energy storage. This power generation can be easily and conveniently adjusted to satisfy the state and federal energy storage needs.
Low electricity bills
You will experience a great reduction in utility costs after installing microgrid solar systems. It ensures this either by using energy from the grid at an event of lower cost or by disconnecting from the grid. Homeowners can lower energy costs through effective management of the power supply.
Households can get a revenue stream by selling the services or energy back to the grid. They can use and control solar energy through their microgrids. In regions where electricity costs are too high, microgrids can consistently supply power at a comparatively lower cost.
Enhance electric reliability
Microgrid solar systems improve electric reliability by keeping the energy flowing by islanding or disconnecting from the central grid during power outages. The generators and batteries of the microgrids meet the energy demands until electricity is restored efficiently on the central grid.
Another major advantage homeowners are getting after switching to microgrid solar systems is meeting the payback goals. Solar energy and the cost of energy from the grid are equal for users whose utility rates are dependent on kWh consumption. So, they will not have to pay the higher cost for solar energy production.
The net meter feature allows them to notice positive cash flows in the initial year under these sorts of rate structures. Based on the demand cost, these solar technologies can provide significant net savings yearly than a green energy system alone. Homeowners purchasing energy with a lower amount of kWh and high demand costs can reduce the demand costs using a microgrid solar system while lowering the kWh cost used from the grid.
Support the central grid
A microgrid solar system benefits a specific homeowner and serves the neighbors’ needs by strengthening the wider electric grid. These systems ease the strain on the central grid even during peak demand by acting as extra resource grid operators.
Highly efficient energy system
Generating energy locally using renewable sources is highly efficient than buying it from utility companies. Due to the distance, electrical power has to move from the specific utility company to a required facility or building. This leads to a significant amount of line loss.
Solar microgrids make households take complete control of their systems from utility companies and enjoy their energy savings. Microgrids provide more cost-effective, flexible, and clean power solutions for homeowners.
Improves the environment
Alongside home benefits, solar microgrids reduce the negative environmental impact of their energy production. Using reliable solar power technologies provides advantageous financing solutions while reducing dangerous fossil fuel emissions found in traditional energy generators.
Microgrids perfectly balance the variable production of renewable energy with conventional generation assets. Energy generation from on-site gas generators is much cleaner than that of coal power plants.
Off-grid solutions including microgrids provide the most affordable and natural way to supply electricity in developing nations. Solar microgrid systems of 1.5kw capacity can provide clean and reliable energy to about 5 businesses and 25 homes. These systems can be further expanded to connect more businesses and families. So, if you want to keep your home solar-powered even during outages, it’s time to get the installation of microgrid solar systems or rooftop solar.