Micro-grids are small scale versions of the traditional grid that allow specific local goals to be met. They can be connected to the macro-grid or function independently and typically manage real-time demand, supply and storage of electricity often in a large campus such as a University. A micro-grid can be a well-defined network of physical hardware, generation sources and storage or it can be considered as a local electricity management strategy using existing infrastructure but optimising it to achieve the best local outcome.
Where local generation is available, micro-grids have the potential to improve efficiency by connecting local consumers to decentralised electricity generation (photovoltaic (PV) or other micro- generation technology) and thereby reduce transmission and distribution losses associated with the grid supply. This is particularly applicable where new housing developments are constructed and the appropriate hardware and infrastructure can be installed from new. In the future, new business models may arise surrounding micro-grids where commercial organisations act as intermediaries and install the necessary hardware to allow a local electricity management strategy to be played out and at the same time negotiate with the electricity supplier on behalf of their consumers.
This article was created by --BRE. It was taken from The future of electricity in domestic buildings, a review, by Andrew Williams, published in November 2014.
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