Our Microgrids Power Your Facility No Matter the State of the Grid
Microgrids use on-site generation to provide power during a utility outage. During an outage, a microgrid controller opens a breaker to isolate the site from the utility. The controller then matches electricity production from the on-site generator to the site demand to provide power for the duration of the outage.
Simple microgrids involve a single generator such as a natural gas engine to a single building such as a data center, distribution center, or supermarket. More complex microgrids coordinate multiple generations and storage sources such as cogeneration systems, solar arrays, and battery storage to provide power to campuses comprised of multiple buildings, like university campuses, hospital complexes, and industrial sites. These more complex microgrids can be optimized for facility resiliency, sustainability, time-of-day energy pricing, peak shaving as well as power quality.
What Happens During an Outage?
Managing the transition to and from island mode requires an intelligent controls system that matches the microgrid’s power production to facility requirements. When the utility experiences a disruption, the controls system first opens a breaker, isolating the microgrid from the utility. Assuming the microgrid has sufficient capacity for the facility’s entire load, the controller tells the generators how much to produce to cover the load. If more power is required than the generators can provide, the controller executes logic to shut off some of the non-critical loads in the load-shed schema, while supporting the facility’s critical energy needs.
When the utility power returns, the breaker closes and the microgrid returns to parallel operation with the utility.
Microgrids Are the Future
Microgrids address major gaps in today’s rapidly aging energy infrastructure, which is why the U.S. Department of Energy has identified them as a critical solution for “improving power reliability and quality.” For businesses, microgrids help modernize and optimize energy operations in more ways than one. Although microgrids are in the news because of their resiliency benefits, they can also offer substantial energy cost savings while reducing a facility’s carbon emissions.
Unison Energy has microgrids operating across the country among a wide range of clients, including hospitals, hotels, industrial facilities, data centers, grocery stores, and others. In the last 12 months have provided reliable power 19 times during outages lasting 2 hours to 8 days saving our clients millions of dollars in operating losses while providing peace of mind.