Microgrids_ the future of smarter grid design and energy stability – law street ™

The infrastructure that moves energy throughout the United States is called the macrogrid, a colossal system that provides power from 7,200 power plants to 120 million homes and businesses over 300,000 miles of transmission lines. Electricity history pdf While these numbers may be impressive, the macrogrid is actually one of the most outdated and inefficient pieces of critical infrastructure in the United States. Gas national average Energy is lost through moving energy over long distances using aging power lines as well as when it is converted from AC to DC for electronic devices. Electricity and circuits test The macrogrid is also particularly vulnerable to severe weather events, which caused 679 blackouts between 2003 and 2010 and cost between $18 to $33 billion annually in grid maintenance. Duke electric orlando The macrogrid has a huge job but its massive size and America’s complete dependence on it have created vulnerabilities in the nation’s energy system. Gas station Its interconnectedness means that if one part of the grid is damaged, everyone will suffer.

Enter the newly popular phenomenon of Microgrids. Gas z factor Microgrids are small energy distribution centers that are localized to a specific area, like a certain number of homes or businesses. Gas zauberberg 1 Microgrids are normally attached to the macrogrid, but in the case of damage to the larger grid, a microgrid can separate and function independently, continuing to provide power to the buildings connected to it. Electricity usage calculator kwh Because of this ability, microgrids can offer a much higher level of energy security to Americans.

As a novel infrastructure design, microgrids also have the potential to benefit the environment in several ways. Ag gaston birmingham 120 The first of these ways is by improved efficiency; power plants waste huge amounts of energy during production and additional power is lost during electrical conversion and movement through power lines. Gas vs electric water heater Because microgrids are localized to the areas they power, they simply need to transport their power over much shorter distances, which also allows them to skip over electrical conversions. Electricity quiz and answers Furthermore, microgrids provide opportunities for small-scale renewable implementation. K electric share price Building large renewable projects–like wind farms or solar fields–can be incredibly expensive and often face opposition from a range of groups while requiring complex permitting processes. Hp gas However, the compact and localized nature of microgrids drastically reduces these challenges, providing a new opportunity for increased clean energy distribution.

The real impetus for microgrid policy started with Hurricane Sandy, an event so devastating that it required lawmakers to rethink the idea of energy security. Gas refrigerator not cooling Superstorm Sandy left 8.5 million people huddled without power for days, effectively immobilizing one of the world’s largest cities. Gas 87 Not only was energy shut off for homes and business, but critical structures such as hospitals and police stations were also cut off, meaning some of the most necessary community services were stripped of their functionality.

The metaphoric light in the dark came in the form of two microgrids in New York and New Jersey. Gas x ultra strength directions The NYU microgrid kept power flowing to 22 buildings and heat to 37 buildings and the Princeton University Microgrid managed to provide power to a shocking 4,000 apartments, 35 high rise buildings, three shopping centers, and two schools for three days. M gasbuddy app The terrible damage caused by Sandy highlighted the serious vulnerability of our energy infrastructure and provided a powerful example of how microgrids can be useful.

The majority of attention and investment in microgrids is happening in six states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, California, and Massachusetts. Wb state electricity board recruitment 2015 It’s no coincidence that, with the exception of California, most of the states that have taken an interest in microgrids are in the Northeast–a particularly storm-vulnerable region of the United States. R gasquet tennis California actually stands out from these other states because it chose to commit primarily to renewable energy in its microgrid projects. Gasco abu dhabi email address In 2014, California state legislature dedicated $26.5 million to the construction of microgrids that heavily integrate renewables, with $6 million going directly to microgrids that could power electric cars. Origin electricity account A large part of this policy decision was made in order to meet California’s aggressive statewide renewable energy target of 50 percent by 2020, and it stands out as one of the first states to see the technology’s potential for clean energy.

Unfortunately, California is unique in its environmental approach to microgrids, while the majority of states are dedicating the bulk of their research toward natural gas and diesel generators rather than solar, hydro, or wind. Electricity allergy The primary concern of most states is reliability before clean energy production, which makes sense considering the fact that California doesn’t face the same threats to its energy security as the other areas. D cypha electricity However, this does not mean that these microgrids won’t make an impact; by design, microgrids are more energy efficient than the traditional macrogrid and use energy in a more environmentally friendly manner.

Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York provide interesting examples of different policies for microgrid development. Gas explosion Connecticut was the first state to put serious money into the movement, holding a competition for the best microgrid designs and awarding $18 million in 2013 to nine different communities for the construction of microgrids. Electricity electricity song Connecticut followed this initial investment with a $15 million competition and currently leads the United States in terms of overall installed capacity. Connecticut’s competition funding method is a novel approach because the technology is so young and there’s very little research on the best possible ways to use it. Gas water heater reviews 2013 By allowing different communities to design independent projects, the state acknowledged that the varying needs and geographic characteristics of different regions will require different microgrids. E gasoline This also gives it an opportunity to see different approaches to the technology in action and get a sense of what the best possible approaches may be.

New Jersey, alternatively, decided to take a top-down approach to microgrid development and have the state Department of Energy decide where the funding should go, what models should be developed, and where they should go. Electricity balloon experiment The New Jersey transit system is the third largest in the world and provides the only public link between New York and New Jersey. Electricity calculator Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey transit system and, accordingly, it became the primary focus for microgrid development in the state. Gas 91 Governor Chris Christie dedicated $1 million for a project conducted by the New Jersey Public Utilities Board working together with the U.S. Electricity magnetism and electromagnetic theory pdf Department of Energy to construct a microgrid that could sustain the transit system. Since then, New Jersey has dedicated a staggering $200 million to their Energy Resilience Bank for the development of microgrids throughout the state.

In some ways, the Connecticut and Jersey models run parallel to one another. Grade 9 electricity test and answers Connecticut (with a comparatively small amount of funds) allowed communities to do the research, design, and construction for their projects, requiring only that they build community service microgrids rather than single service projects. E 87 gasoline New Jersey, on the other hand, decided to let state departments perform all the work themselves and focused on one particular model: the Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model.

In New York, following the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) began a massive effort to create the Reforming the Energy Vision, which was finally released in 2016. Power outage houston report REV detailed plans to change the future of New York’s energy infrastructure and launched the New York Prize Microgrid Competition to promote the development of microgrids throughout the state.

New York based its plan on the Connecticut model of competition; however, New York stands out from other states because it made the unique decision to separate the competition into three stages. 3 gas laws The very first stage awarded $100,000 to communities throughout the state to begin the design for their project. 76 gas station hours Feasibility studies are generally high-cost and high-risk projects because negative returns mean the initial investment was a waste. K gas oroville By removing the economic barrier of conducting the initial feasibility studies, New York allowed 83 communities (in contrast to Connecticut’s nine communities) to participate in this first stage competition, thereby creating an opportunity for many more microgrids to be built. Gas efficient suv 2010 The second stage awards $1 million for the design of the project and the final stage awards $10 million for the construction. Gas city indiana post office While many of the communities that enter the first stage won’t progress to the second and third, NYSERDA predicts that once feasibility studies have already been designed, many communities that don’t pass on to the final stages will still be able to attract outside investors and complete their projects independently.

Do microgrids have promise as a pro-environment technology? Definitely, but it’s a little more complicated than that. E gaskell north and south Renewables have several major problems: they don’t produce a lot of energy, they don’t produce regular, reliable energy and they’re expensive. Electricity video ks1 Wind only provides energy while the wind is blowing and solar only produces energy during the daytime. Hydropower provides more regular energy but has a nightmarish permitting process and is generally avoided for microgrid projects (only one of the 83 communities in the New York Prize Microgrid Competition tried to utilize hydro). Wireless electricity how it works While more and more battery systems are constantly being developed, current energy storage technology is just not advanced enough to make solar and wind storage effective to provide large amounts of power.

As a side note of interest, there are many engineers out there who believe that the next major energy revolution will come in the form of effective batteries, which would change the way we produce and utilize energy while making renewable energy endlessly more powerful. Zyklon b gas effects Unfortunately, we really aren’t at this point yet, which means that it’s very difficult for renewable technologies to be the sole energy provider for a microgrid, especially in the case of a serious outage. Electricity history united states The reliability-first model of microgrid design means that the most important function of that model is its ability to support homes and businesses without fail in case of damage to the grid.

The cost of renewables is also a serious obstacle, but in a very different way than when constructing a large-scale solar or wind operation. Electricity 1 7 pdf The price per kilowatt of most renewables has actually dropped significantly, making them legitimately competitive technologies. Electricity generation definition However, microgrids are an inherently expensive project and most large utilities can already provide relatively low fossil fuel prices, at least for natural gas. Gas in back relief In order to make a microgrid a cost effective project, a community must use technologies that will have power production and efficiency rates that are high enough that it makes economic sense not to buy energy from the macrogrid.

The technology that has taken the central role in microgrid development is cogeneration, also known as Combined Heat and Power. Z gas ensenada Normally up to 65 percent of energy is burned off as heat and wasted during production, which is a large part of the reason power plants are so inefficient. Grade 6 electricity test Cogeneration, however, traps this heat waste and uses it to provide thermal power to the areas it services. Gas dryer vs electric dryer operating cost Energy from the grid–after production waste, conversion waste, and transmission waste–is typically between 20 to 25 percent preserved. Electricity electricity lyrics Any given cogeneration unit can’t produce enough energy at the scale that a power plant can, making them inefficient for providing power to huge numbers of customers. Electricity generation in india However, cogeneration’s waste-heat recovery can produce energy with at rates up to 60 to 80 percent efficiency, making it the ideal technology to support a small, localized system. 5 gases found in the environment Cogeneration utilizes natural gas, but in a substantially more effective manner than the traditional macrogrid does. Sgas belfast Natural gas fuel cells have also gotten attention for their high efficiency, although currently, it’s difficult to make them cost effective.

All of this doesn’t mean that renewables have no place in the microgrid movement. Static electricity images While California is the only state to dedicate their projects completely to renewable power, every state has a Renewable Energy Target and microgrids provide a great way to reach that target without large scale projects. Electricity and magnetism worksheets middle school New York, for instance, required each of its 83 communities designing microgrids to incorporate renewables in some way into their plans.

Renewables also combine well with other technologies. K electric jobs 2015 Solar generation can provide a significant source of energy during the day, but may not be able to meet peak electricity demand in the early evening. Electricity units calculator in pakistan Because of this, solar and cogeneration can be combined to work well together. R gasquet Cogeneration provides the “base load”–or the minimal amount of energy that will always be used consistently throughout the day–and solar can offset or even become a substitute during the day. Gas utility cost In this way, natural gas provides stability while solar energy reduces emissions whenever possible.

While research and investment in microgrids are expanding, the movement is still developing and the technologies continue to evolve. Q gastrobar leblon It’s difficult to say exactly how the microgrid movement will progress and if it will spread to regions outside of the Northeast and California. Gas stoichiometry practice sheet It’s also difficult to predict whether policymakers will choose to stick with the popular bottom-up style of microgrid development or if they will go to the New Jersey route and choose to mandate certain models and patterns of development. U save gas station grants pass There’s also the potential for large energy businesses like the fossil fuel industry to start to lobby against decentralized power and seriously impede progress.

However, the benefits of microgrids are very real. Gas x ultra strength during pregnancy Americans depend on the outdated macrogrid for our daily lives and as the infrastructure grows older and storms become more frequent and more severe, we only become increasingly vulnerable. Gas x directions Microgrids provide a real opportunity to improve energy security throughout the United States and to produce energy in a more environmentally friendly way, both by increasing the efficiency of our energy sources and increasing the implementation of renewables.

Editor’s Note: This post has been corrected to clarify the way in which solar electricity can be with electricity from natural gas as well as the way energy is lost through transmission and conversion.