Dalkia Aegis talks Microgrids
Microgrids are getting a lot of attention these days
Recent headlines suggest both private investors and public entities are viewing microgrids as “disruptive” technology in the distributed energy world. A feature in National Geographic hails the technology as a panacea of sorts by proclaiming “Microgrids Key to Bringing a Billion Out of the Dark.”
So what are microgrids and how will they “disrupt” your facility’s power needs going forward?
Microgrids are localized power grids that have the ability to disconnect from the main, centralized grid and operate independently when the main power grid experiences disturbances.
When experts in the Northeast talk about microgrids they often refer to Superstorm Sandy that left more than 2.8 million residents that were reliant on the grid without power. Those customers were dependent on centralized power plants generating electricity over high voltage transmission lines or “the grid.”
At a recent conference on the subject, Michael Burr of the Microgrid Institute referenced the superstorm and pointed out that the event had a cascading effect on all critical systems.
“Centralized grids are reliable but not resilient,” Burr said. “That’s where distributed energy technologies can step in.”
Microgrids can operate separately from centralized power plants and utilize wind, hydro, solar, and Combined Heat and Power systems to facilitate independence from centralized and susceptible power plants.
Dalkia Aegis, EDF Group provides such an option with its Powersync.
The Aegen PowerSync system addresses the need for standby power by adding black start capability. The system operates 24/7 throughout the year delivering continuous energy savings.
In the case of a central power grid failure, PowerSync will continue to operate, delivering Combined Heat and Power from a natural gas fuel source. However, during that emergency it will automatically switch its electrical output to the load priorities pre-selected by the facilities or building management.
PowerSync’s features and benefits include 24/7 remote monitoring of the system by Dalkia Aegis service technicians so there is never any question as to whether or not that vital standby power will be available when it is most needed.
Microgrids also support a flexible and efficient electric grid by enabling this deployment of renewable sources of energy. Having the ability to pull away from the grid during times of peak need significantly boosts grid resilience.
Microgrids open the distribution system to some level of competition thereby engaging entrepreneurs and advancing innovation which is why this mode of keeping the lights on is seen as a disruptive technology.
To talk to a Dalkia Aegis representative about microgrids and how Combined Heat and Power can be part of your facility’s move toward grid independence, visit aegischp.com.