Some of the challenges of integrating Microgrid solutions into an existing power system are;
- Bidirectional power ﬂows;
- Stability issues;
- Low inertia;
- Uncertainty; and
- Historical cognitive biases
These challenges have often caused frictions between those who operate and run centralised electricity networks and those who wish to build and operate decentralised energy systems.
Energy innovation involves leveraging off the energy assets we have, while also incentivising and harnessing the rapid transition into clean and decentralised energy. Thus, energy system control now requires greater understanding, investment and research and development. Currently, effort is being put into the design of control systems that ensure reliable, robust, and economical operation of microgrids in either grid-connected or stand-alone mode (Olivares, et al., 2014).
But enough about the theory; what does “control” mean in operation?
Control can be as simple as a market signal; teaching a power station to export energy when the price is right and store it when the price is too low for economic dispatch.
It could be reliability backup; operating energy storage or distributed generation as bumpless alternatives to supply from long radial networks.
Or it could be customer-centric control; giving the consumer the ability to determine how their preferences for cost, carbon and comfort translate into network and market interaction.
Three examples of control from our Balance Projects;
Mobilong 5MW Solar Farm: Market Driven Control (UPS)
Perenjor Battery Energy Storage in the Australian Outback: Reliability Driven Control
Euston Club Energy Park Hybrid Microgrid for Club House: Customer Centric Driven Control