1. Microgrid solutions from Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric offers efficient microgrid solutions based on a combination of Edge Control Systems, Connected Products, Applications, Analytics, and Services. Connected Products include Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), Grid-Tie String Inverters, and Hybrid Inverters. Applications, Analytics, and Services include EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor and EcoStruxure Microgrid Operation, and Edge Control includes Harmony ST6 and EcoStruxure EV Charging Expert. We offer repeatable, scalable, and IoT-enabled microgrid solutions and end-to-end services, including electrical distribution services.
2. Different types of microgrids
Broadly speaking, there are three types of microgrids:
- Remote microgrids: These are also called off-grid microgrids. Remote microgrids can operate in island mode and be physically isolated from the utility grid in case of a lack of affordable and available transmissions or distribution infrastructure in the nearby area.
- Grid-connected microgrids: They have a physical connection to the utility grid through a switching mechanism at the point of common coupling (PCC); however, they can be disconnected into island mode and reconnected back to the main grid when required.
- Networked microgrids: These systems are also called nested microgrids and consist of several microgrids and separate DERs connected to the same utility grid circuit segment. They serve a wide geographic area.
3. Differences between a microgrid and a smart grid
Microgrids are different from smart grids. A microgrid is a self-sufficient and localised energy system serving a discrete geographic footprint, which may be a business centre, hospital complex, etc. It includes distributed energy sources and multiple loads, which can be operated parallelly with the broader utility grid. Smart grids, on the other hand, are electrical grids that operate on a larger scale and can regulate energy flows from generation points to consumption points. They include communication, automation, and IT systems.
4. Designing of a microgrid
Schneider Electric offers a ready-to-use solution to help you design a microgrid, regardless of the application. Our pre-engineered microgrid control centres have all the components you need for power management, control, energy metering, and power monitoring. In addition, our microgrid management software – EcoStruxure – offers pre-engineered algorithms to make the functions standardised and reliable.