What is a Microgrid?
A microgrid is a small-scale power grid that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area’s main electrical grid. Any small-scale localized station with its own power resources, generation and loads and definable boundaries qualifies as a microgrid.
Most microgrids can be further described by one of five categories:
- Off-grid microgrids including islands, remote sites, and other microgrid systems not connected to a local utility network.
- Campus microgrids that are fully interconnected with a local utility grid, but can also maintain some level of service in isolation from the grid, such as during a utility outage. Typical examples serve university and corporate campuses, prisons, and military bases.
- Community microgrids that are integrated into utility networks. Such microgrids serve multiple customers or services within a community, generally to provide resilient power for vital community assets.
- District Energy microgrids that provide electricity as well as thermal energy for heating (and cooling) of multiple facilities.
- Nanogrids comprised of the smallest discrete network units with the capability to operate independently. A nanogrid can be defined as a single building or a single energy domain.
Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMB) is a framework and reference architecture comprised of existing standards that enables grid edge interoperability and distributed intelligence, augments operational systems, and enhances integration with field devices.
The increasing number of natural disasters and aging infrastructure are endangering our communities. Facilities, institutions and residential users that cannot afford even a short interruption to their operation from a power outage can take control of their destiny by bring energy generation, distribution and management on-site.
For example, during the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan, many faculties from Tokyo to Fukushima started to suffer power outage with in the first 5 minuets. City power stations including Biomass, Coal, Wind and Solar were undamaged but could not deliver power. However, universities and faculties with support of microgrids recovered immediately.