This article discusses the advantages of microgrids, as follows;
1). Remote Power Supply (as one of the Advantages of Microgrid Systems)
Microgrid systems are an effective solution for electricity supply in remote areas that are beyond reach of the main utility grid.
‘Off-grid’ or ‘isolated’ microgrids are most commonly used for this purpose, although all types of microgrids can supply power to remote areas.
Due to their small-scale, well-defined mode of operation, microgrids can perform optimally for narrow-range distribution in rural areas.
This helps save cost, making electricity more easily accessible by replacing other costly means of electricity generation like portable electric generators, which can be a source of greenhouse and toxin emissions, as well as noise pollution .
Their flexibility makes it possible to integrate the microgrid with a utility grid when one is made available in the area.
2). Operational Flexibility
Microgrids are highly flexible systems, especially with regards to their ability to adapt to varying operational conditions.
The operational flexibility of microgrid systems can be attributed to their components, which are configured in such a manner that allows for repetitive adjustments in the form of upgrades, repairs, and replacements, to be made.
Microgrids can be adjusted to meet changing demands, and can easily be integrated with other energy systems, to increase capacity and reliability.
Flexibility makes it possible for a microgrid to harness multiple energy resources, including renewable and non-renewable, and to achieve sustainability through integration with other sustainable systems.
3). Renewable Energy Facilitation (as one of the Advantages of Microgrid Systems)
Due to their flexibility, microgrid systems are able to use small-scale renewable energy technologies like wind farms, solar energy systems, biofuel-fired power plants, hydroelectric and geothermal facilities.
This helps in the advancement of circular economy and the conservation of resources.
In remote areas where such renewable resources are plentiful, the microgrid becomes an effective tool by which they can be maximized.
The development of microgrid technology has also been simultaneous with that of other sustainable technologies like electric cars, hybrid cars, and energy management systems, and advanced cogeneration systems.
4). Resilience Enhancement
The presence of microgrid systems usually enhances the resilience of an electricity distribution network.
This is because of the tendency of microgrids to fill operational gaps left by larger utility grids and other collaborative energy systems, when serving as a backup unit for such systems.
Microgrids manage energy, minimizing energy waste and system failure through the use of well-defined distribution boundaries. This ensures that there is no total collapse of the grid network, even when any component of the system undergoes failure .
Lastly, their relatively-small and simple structure makes it possible to configure and operate microgrids with the aim to overcome a specific, identified problem in the distribution network.
Such functionalities make the network more reliable, and less prone to failure.
5). Resource Conservation (as one of the Advantages of Microgrid Systems)
The ability of microgrids to conserve resources can be attributed to the flexibility of their operations.
Batteries for power storage, integration with renewable energy facilities, bidirectional energy sharing and sale of excess power to the main grid, are all conservative attributes of microgrid systems.
Advantages of microgrid include;
1. Remote Power Supply
2. Operational Flexibility
3. Renewable Energy Facilitation
4. Resilience Enhancement
5. Resource Conservation
1). Mishra, S.; Kwasnik, T.; Anderson, K. (2021). “Microgrid Resilience: A Holistic and Context-Aware Resilience Metric.” Available at: https://www.springerprofessional.de. (Accessed 21 October 2022).
2). Solomon, G.; Nwaokocha, C.; Adeyemi, H. O. (2019). “Noise and emission characterization of off-grid diesel-powered generators in Nigeria.” Management of Environmental Quality An International Journal 30(1). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-07-2018-0120. (Accessed 21 October 2022).