Micro versus Pico Grids
Following the state-wide blackout in South Australia of 2016, and as solar and battery numbers continue to grow, we have seen significant interest and growth in the “Micro-grid”.
With the cost of batteries plummeting over the last 5 years, more and more strata buildings are looking at batteries to improve their energy security and store excess power created from their solar systems.
The idea is that solar system can power common areas and charge batteries during the day (dependant on the size of the solar system), and at night the batteries can be used to power the common areas.
The battery can also be used to provide power in the event of a blackout. A back up generator is another way to provide this type energy security. Depending on the energy use and suitability for solar as combination of batteries and back up generator may be installed.
‘Peer to Peer’ Energy Trading is another opportunity that a micro-grid presents. A body corporate can sell excess energy to its residents, or to neighbouring buildings.
Powerledger recent made headlines around the world when they launched Australia’s first Initial Coin Offering (I.C.O.), which raised $34M by launching their own crypto currency, to develop a blockchain based‘Peer to Peer’ trading platform.
At a national level, the Federal and State Governments are working hard to sure up the national grid. South Australia’s world’s largest battery and the Snowy Hydro 2.0 Project are evidence of this. Micro-grids will also play an important part in this.
A grid “that contains dozens or hundreds of networked microgrids… is more secure and efficient than a centralized system with a few, large points of failure.” (Vox, 2017)
Mico-grids “can also have lower energy transmission losses because the electricity is consumed in closer proximity to where it’s generated.” (Origin, 2018)
“Microgrids may never eliminate the need for large utilities, power plants, and transmission lines, but moving more power generation, management, and consumption under local control makes everyone less dependent on them. And it makes the grid greener, more reliable, and resilient” (Vox, 2017)
For further reading try Vox, The Guardian, Snowy Hydro and Origin Energy. Strata Energy News previously covered Blockchain in Strata, Solar Strata and Energy Security.
Contributor, Strata Energy News
Strata managers can now register buildings in the City of Sydney and in Melbourne for a fully funded electric vehicle recharge assessment. Registrations for Brisbane have closed. However, if you're interested in learning more contact Scott Witheridge on (02) 9977 1801. Read more about the program here.
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