Microgrid Knowledge Base

Residential and Commercial Microgrid Controls

Microgrids

Today, many companies are worried about their reliance on traditional energy that they get through the utility company. They have had plenty of trouble dealing with power outages, outrageous pricing during peak hours and a host of other problems. While they may still want to remain connected to the traditional grid in some capacity, they might also be looking for ways that they can reduce their reliance. One of the solutions that many business owners and homeowners are considering is to make use of microgrids. Microgrid software plus the addition of easy-to-use energy controls gives more authority over their energy usage.

This could be a good option for your business or home, but you will want to be sure that you have a firm understanding of what microgrids are and the benefits they can provide before deciding to build one of your own.

What is a Microgrid and Why Is It Beneficial?

Another term for a microgrid is nanogrid. It is a localized group of electricity sources that might include solar panels, generators, and energy storage assets like batteries. The microgrid allows the user to consume the energy that their energy sources are making. For example, they could immediately use the energy that is being generated by the array of solar panels. They also have the option of storing that energy for use later or they could even sell back excess energy to the utility company for energy credits.

A microgrid can operate while connected to the traditional grid or it could be disconnected from the traditional grid. When it is not connected to the traditional grid, it is called islanding. Islanding is beneficial for a variety of reasons.

Islanding will ensure that you still have power even when you aren’t connected to the grid. This could be used by those who are in rural, out-of-the-way locations and who are starting a business that’s off the traditional grid. Islanding might also be beneficial for those who have a large estate or reside in a home that is in a rural location. Of course, being able to have an island of power in the midst of a power outage is helpful regardless of the type of property you have.

Microgrids will ensure that your business has access to power when it is needed. You no longer have to solely rely on the power company’s electrical grid. This means that you will have power if there is a blackout or a disaster that cuts power. You simply use the microgrid and energy controls. This is essential for any business that doesn’t want to lose time and money. Medical clinics and facilities will find that microgrids can work better than their current generator system.

Users will also be happy to know that this can help remove their dependence on the electrical grid. So many companies are subject to the whims and problems of the utility company. They may be paying far more in energy costs than they should be due to the pricing setups. Freeing yourself and getting onto a microgrid can provide you with more flexibility and freedom.

There is also the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint. Since the microgrid can use solar and wind power, it can help with your company’s green initiative. This can also look good in the eyes of your customers.

What About Residential Microgrids?

While businesses will certainly be able to benefit from the use of a microgrid, residential properties could benefit too. Instead of always relying on gas generators, microgrids and microgrid software can be a welcome option. CleanSpark offers mVoult for this purpose. It can work for residential properties of all sizes and can be configured to meet your individual needs when it is installed.

mVoult provides some nice features and benefits. It is resilient and can provide backup power if there is a disruption to the utility grid. This works similarly to the larger microgrids that are used for businesses and large properties. The system can also allow users to become fully independent from the grid if they prefer.

The system is easy-to-use and intuitive. The mVoult microgrid software knows when it should conserve stored energy for a rainy day. It can also self-adjust to ensure that the costs are kept as low as possible.

The system can be installed by a team of trained professionals and it is highly configurable. This means you can get the exact setup that you want and need. It is intelligently controlled and there is even a mobile app for it.

Another benefit of opting for mVoult is that it is expandable. You can build onto the system in the future if you find it necessary. This will essentially future-proof your renewable energy setup. The microgrid software can blend solar, battery, and utility power for the best results.

Why might you want to choose a residential microgrid? You could opt for a microgrids for the same reasons that a business would choose one. They will help ensure that your home continues to have power even when there is a problem with the utility company because of a storm, a fire, a blackout, or another disaster. You won’t have to worry about not being able to power your phone, keep your food in the fridge cold, etc.

Why Consider mPulse Microgrid Distributed Energy Control Software?

Those who are opting for a microgrid for a larger facility or campus rather than a residential home will want to consider using a microgrid with mPulse microgrid software. This allows you to have control over the system, just as you would with the home-based system. It also provides you with a range of benefits.

Having a microgrid is just the first step. You also need to be sure that it is properly managed and controlled. This will require microgrid software like mPulse from CleanSpark. This software platform can provide energy management and supervisory control of your energy assets.

Works with a Range of Technology

One of the biggest benefits is that it can manage an array of assets including solar, wind, generators, and more. It can also manage energy storage solutions like batteries to get the best results. You will find that mPulse is technology-agnostic. This means that it can work with a wide range of equipment. It leverages standard interfaces and communication protocols like Modbus RTU & TCP, CAN, DNP3, and REST. It will support plug-and-play protocols including Sunspec, and it can participate in demand response programs using ADR 2.0.

The agnostic nature of the software means that it can be integrated with many types of energy resources and energy management systems that you might already have in place. This means you won’t have to make major changes to your current setup to still make use of mPulse.

Users will also be pleased to know that cyber and physical security is built into all levels of technology from CleanSpark. This helps ensure that you are getting a secure resource in all ways possible.

Modular Design Allows for Upgrades

mPulse software is modular and can support energy systems whether they are complex or simple. You will find high-quality control hardware which can allow for plug-and-play implementation. Both the software and the hardware are expandable and upgradable. As your business needs change and grow, the system can grow right along with you.

Optimization and Monitoring

The algorithms of the mPulse software are capable of ensuring that your microgrid responds quickly in various situations. This helps to maintain the system integrity and improves energy savings. The algorithms can also help ensure future energy availability. The intelligent system can be optimized to work well with the microgrid and setup that will meet your company’s or residence’s needs.

You will find that the software can also provide you with regular reports and views of the system. This can let you know how it is operating and whether there are any potential issues. For example, you might find that you are not making as much energy as you thought and you might want to expand the number of solar panels that you offer.

Some of the types of energy controller reports and available summaries include the following:

●      Analysis View – The analysis view will provide access and allow you to view historical data collected from devices. You can check the overall system performance, as well as go through and look asset by asset. This can let you know what is performing well and what might be underperforming.

●      Operational Summary View – This can provide you with an overview of the electricity mix. You can see the PV generation, demand, net demand, and the battery state of charge.

●      Control Summary View – This can provide daily performance reports on the system. It could provide you with an energy view, as well as a revenue view. It will include a summary of the performance of assets, baseline demand, new demand, and more.

Having access to these reports can often make it easier for you to understand what’s happening wit your microgrid. You can make adjustments to the system as needed to ensure savings of money and energy.

Forecasting for the Microgrid

The microgrid software can also provide better and more responsive control thanks to forecasting. The forecasting can predict the power usage and needs over a certain period. It’s often a better solution than scheduled control because it allows for more nimbleness. With patented forecasting, it is possible to prioritize the discharge for the highest value targets. You will have a better understanding of when it’s time to conserve the battery. The control algorithms can adjust on the fly when the rates change.

The software can help with peak shaving, load following, load shifting, load leveling, and more. It can also provide real-time data visualization. As you can see, there are many benefits to using mPulse with your microgrid.

You will find that the mPulse software is powerful, but it remains easy to use. Much of the work goes on behind the scenes, so you do not have to worry about constantly being on top of the energy in your microgrid.

Choose from Three Tiers for the mPulse Energy Control System

When you are choosing mPulse for your energy control system for the microgrid, you can choose from three levels or tiers.

Lite is the lowest tier and will provide you with local monitoring and schedule control. There will be a fee charged to change the schedule with the Lite tier. At the Pro tier, you will no longer need to pay a fee to change the schedule. This tier also comes with a host of other benefits including alarms and alerts, automated monthly reporting, and full cloud portal functionality.

The final tier is called Max, and it includes everything in the preceding tiers. It also features more economic optimization including ad-hoc reporting and data export. There is no need to contact CleanSpark if the utility rate changes with this tier.

Which of these tiers is right for you? It will depend on your individual needs. You will want to find a solution that can work well for the setup you have and the type of control you need. Keep in mind that it’s always easy to upgrade if you need to have more features.

Contact Us for Help with Your Energy Needs

Get in touch with CleanSpark if you are interested in microgrid development or if you have a microgrid already and are looking for microgrid software. Whether you have a residential property that could benefit from mVoult or you have a business and want to start using mPulse, there are options that could work well for you.

Contact us at866-245-1722 today to learn more about microgrids, microgrid software, energy controls and energy management systems. You can learn more about available options in renewable energy to find solutions for your current and future energy needs.