An increased number of companies and homeowners are opting to make use of microgrids on their property each day. This resource can provide energy for users is in addition to or in place of energy used from the traditional grid. Microgrid companies like CleanSpark offer a range of services for microgrid controls. Some provide the actual solar panels and installation of the panels while another microgrid company might provide software used to control the microgrid. In some cases, the company will offer both.
Best Reasons to Consider a Microgrid
A microgrid makes use of installed equipment that can produce energy. These will often include solar panels but other types of energy-producing equipment like turbines, generators, windmills, etc. could also be used. In addition to generating electricity, there is a method of storing the energy in today’s modern microgrid while also saving energy for later.
How You Could Use the Energy
The distributed energy resources (DERs) work together to serve the facility load. It can provide energy for use when drawing from the standard utilities would be too expensive. If a facility requires a lot of energy use during peak hours when the cost of traditional energy is too expensive, they could use energy from their microgrid instead. This helps lower their overall costs of operation. It is also possible to export excess energy to the traditional grid, which can then provide energy credits on their power bill.
Appealing to Customers with Green Energy With implementing a microgrid, a company will move towards a sustainable energy source. Solar and wind power are better for the environment than traditional power from utilities that rely on burning fossil fuels. Lowering the carbon footprint and using green energy can also work well as a marketing strategy. More and more people today are choosing to do business with companies that have a green initiative. Using a microgrid could be a feather in your cap when it comes to how customers view your business.
Islanding is Possible
Another benefit of having a microgrid for your company or residence is islanding. This means that your microgrid can essentially act as a small utility of your own. If there is not any access to the centralized grid for one reason or another, you can still make and use your own energy for your building.
This could prove useful in a host of situations. If there are blackouts, it could be difficult to keep operations running smoothly. If you are using energy that your own microgrid is generating, it would not be an issue. This is beneficial in the case of disasters that could cause traditional power to be down for several days.
Buildings that are located in an area that doesn’t have access to the traditional power grid can use microgrids to generate the energy they need. When there is no backup from the traditional grid, it is important to ensure a large enough microgrid to keep up with the energy demand.
Consider some of the other benefits of islanding. For most companies, being without enough power for a day or two will seriously cut into the profits. In addition, not having power could put peoples’ lives in danger at home or places like a hospital or a senior citizen’s center. Having a microgrid can help ensure that the facility or home always has the power they need.
Sometimes, certain types of properties will have no choice but to use islands that rely on their own microgrid. This could be for a business that is located in an area where the traditional grid does not currently reach. A microgrid can make more sense for some than running on gas-powered generators as well. Microgrids are quieter and better for the environment. Some homes that require a lot of energy and are off-the-grid, could benefit from a microgrid setup as well. The size of the microgrid needed will vary based on a range of factors.
Choose the Right Size Microgrid
There is no single microgrid size that will work for all companies or homes, even if they have similarities in terms of the size and the features. There are always external and internal factors that will play a role. The location of the microgrid and the facility, the type of building, the number of employees, average power consumption, etc., can all have a hand in dictating the size requirement. Therefore, you will want to get some help when determining the size of the microgrid the company or home needs.
An energy management software gives businesses a better sense of how much energy they are using regularly. The use of the software can provide cost savings, energy security and sustainability while helping to reduce greenhouse gases. Once you have a better understanding of your energy expenditure and needs, it will be easier to determine how large the microgrid should be.
Microgrids Aren’t Just for Businesses
Although it is often businesses and large campuses that make use of microgrids, they aren’t the only types of facilities to benefit. In addition to a microgrid for a company or retail location, they can work for certain types of residences.
In some cases, microgrids might be used for a community or neighborhood. Additionally, they could be used for multi-family properties, apartment buildings, large estates or single-family homes. Properties that have a large amount of energy expenditure could benefit from the use of a microgrid.
How to Control the Microgrid for Your Facility
When you have a microgrid, you need to be able to control it properly, so you can make the most use out of the system. You want to reduce your overall energy expenditures and this means you need to have a means of controlling the system as need dictates. Some of the features that you will want to look for when you are choosing an energy controller include peak shaving, load-shifting and load leveling. You will also want to be sure that energy storage is properly integrated.
What Makes mPulse a Good Option for Your Microgrid?
Solar and wind power tend to be the most commonly used and discussed type of green renewable energy. For this reason, many companies offering microgrid controllers will focus only on these types of energy resources.
Fortunately, that’s not the case with mPulse from CleanSpark. This software can integrate and work with all energy resources that you might be using for your microgrid. Let’s look at some of the best reasons to use mPulse distributed energy controls for your microgrid.
Modular Design – Why is modular design important? This means that the technology will be able to scale with your business as you grow. You can upgrade and expand as needed, but you can also start relatively small if you would like. It can evolve along with your needs.
This modular system will support all manner of energy systems no matter how simple or complex they are. The energy controls hardware for the microgrid company are high-quality and include top-quality products from Tier 1, ISO 9000 vendors. Getting started with much of the equipment is as easy as plugging it in and going.
Technology-Agnostic – When you are choosing a controller for your microgrid, opting for a technology-agnostic version is a good idea. It means that you will not have any trouble using the software with the other tools that you already have in place if any. With mPulse, you will find that it leverages standard communication protocols and interfaces. Additionally, it can support plug-and-play options and can participate in demand response programs.
You will also be happy to know that the energy management software and all technology used by mPulse and CleanSpark take cybersecurity seriously. Cyber and physical security are built into all levels of technology from the company. With the very real threat that so many companies are facing today, it’s nice to have some peace of mind with this technology.
Forecasting – The demand for power can change relatively quickly. You might suddenly find that you need to have more power or that you are not making as much renewable energy as you anticipated. Regardless, you need to have a responsive controller in place that helps for making fast changes to your energy costs and usage.
mPulse provides patented forecasting within the software. The system can understand when it’s best to conserve battery capacity and can adjust the control algorithms quickly if the rates change. It can prioritize battery discharge for the highest value targets, including capacity-based peak pricing.
Monitoring and Optimization – One of the other benefits of choosing mPulse is the ability of the system to provide dynamic monitoring. The algorithm will monitor the condition of the microgrid for your company or home. It can respond quickly to ensure that the integrity of the system is maintained. The system can help ensure energy availability in the future and help increase your energy savings.
Users will also be happy to know that the system is easy to use with the microgrid. With the reports, you will find a range of options including analysis view, operational summary view and control summary view. This information can provide you with the details and data you need regarding the microgrid. You can determine whether you may need to make any adjustments to get the biggest benefit from the system.
Your mPulse Solution
You have the choice of three tiers when it comes to the mPulse control software - Lite, Pro and Max. To better determine which of these might be right for you, it’s important to see what each one of them can offer.
● Lite – This is the first tier and includes scheduled control and local monitoring for the microgrid. To make any changes to the schedule with Lite, you will need to pay an added fee.
● Pro – Pro offers several other features. In addition to the local monitoring and schedule control, it also includes support for select pre-configured alarms through SMS or email. This tier provides automated monthly reporting and full cloud portal functionality. The Pro tier will not require a fee to change the schedule.
● Max – At the highest-level tier, you will receive everything in the aforementioned tiers. Additionally, you will receive local economic optimization, ad-hoc reporting, data exporting and heavier hardware for the local controller. Also, there will not be a need to call CleanSpark if the utility rates change.
There is no “best” tier since everyone will have their own unique needs with the microgrid for their company or home. Determine the level of control you need and the types of tools that you are currently using. This will let you know which of the mPulse tiers would likely work best for your needs. Keep in mind that you can always upgrade or downgrade the service if needed.
If you want a microgrid for your company, make sure that you are choosing the correct features as well as the best energy controller software and hardware. You can connect with CleanSpark to learn more about the available options. For sales and product information, call 866-245-1772.