Microgrids are decentralized power systems containing loads and distributed energy resources (such as distributed generators, storage devices, or controllable loads) that can be operated in a controlled, coordinated way either while connected to the main power network or while islanded.
Microgrids are located within a clearly defined electrical boundary and can also include thermal loads and resources.
What is a microgrid?
Microgrids are small-scale power generation and distribution systems containing loads, including thermal loads, and DERs such as distributed engines, renewable energy sources, and storage systems.
- They can operate as an isolated system or with clearly defined physical and electrical boundaries when connected to the main grid.
- Their size typically ranges between 0.1 and 10 MW, although they can be larger in industrial and commercial applications.
- In the past, microgrids predominantly were used for grid access and backup power. Now and in the future, they are more focused on resilience and sustainable/economical alternatives to the public grid.
Check out our short video about microgrid example for Pennsylvania airport.
Typical microgrid scope
A typical microgrid scope has a dispatchable distributed energy resource (dDER), another energy resource such as a solar PV, and a storage system such as a battery energy storage system (BESS).
Development of local microgrids with CHP solution, in addition to improving the reliability of power supply, also allows to reduce carbon footprint, and often lower the cost of consumed energy.
Common major drivers for creating local microgrids are:
- need to improve the reliability of power supply or;
- desire to get away from expensive centralized energy sources, especially during peak consumption hours or;
- need to reduce the carbon footprint produced by the company / community through use of cogeneration as a more efficient way of generating energy compared to centralized sources or;
- possibility of combining traditional local cogeneration using gaseous fuels with renewable energy sources (e.g. hydrogen, biogas, fuel cells, sun, wind, etc.).
When reliable power supply is key
Gas engine solutions are especially relevant if your microgrid supplies energy where uninterrupted power is critical (for example – hospitals, data centers, process industries, etc.).
Jenbacher gas engines ramp up to full power output in just a few minutes, providing your microgrid with necessary power, when it is needed.
At the same time, Jenbacher gas engines can be more environmentally friendly than diesel engines, due to generally lower emissions. That´s why gas engines are often used in microgrids with CHP solutions due to increasing environmental requirements. Jenbacher solutions offer fuel flexibility with engine versions that can handle different gas qualities. Also, they are suitable for high ambient temperatures and elevations.
Optimize your energy expenses wisely
Many grid clusters on the North American continent have dynamic electricity price levels, and of course there are certain seasons of the year and hours of the day when the cost of centralized energy peaks. In many cases, these spikes seriously increase the operating costs for microgrid consumers. The use of power generation with natural gas, and especially usage of gas engines in microgrids, allows stabilizing and better prediction for energy-related costs.
Since Jenbacher engines run on gaseous fuels, they can dynamically start up when needed to produce energy during peak hours. In many cases, compared to the industrial gas turbines, reciprocating gas engines are less sensitive to frequent starts and stops. As a result, the client gets the necessary maneuverability to operate in “peak-shaving” mode.
Greener is cleaner
In the new decade, the environmental agenda is becoming more and more important. Companies and communities have to become more environmentally - responsible, meet public ecological requirements and make additional “green” commitments. Jenbacher takes the environmental agenda very seriously and we have a lot to offer to like-minded companies:
- Cogeneration. Our gas engines work efficiently in Cogeneration schemes. Cogeneration, or CHP, is simultaneous production of heat and power (in addition to efficient electricity production, Jenbacher CHP systems convert the waste heat created during an engine’s operation into useful hot-water or steam). It is usually more efficient compared to separate production at electrical power plants and boiler houses. Cogeneration solutions based on Jenbacher engines work with a total efficiency of up to 90% and more, maximizing conversion of gas energy into useful power. As a result, it helps your microgrid with CHP solution to be more efficient and decrease your carbon footprint.
*Based on IEA ’16 electricity production figures for EU-28 and EIA ‘17 average power plant heat rate references
- Trigeneration. Depending on your needs, you might want to consider using combined cooling, heat, and power (CCHP) systems, also called trigeneration systems. Such system is a combination of cogeneration plant and absorption chillers. Jenbacher engines offer an efficient solution for generating air conditioning and/or refrigeration. Cogeneration equipment offers high efficiency and low emissions. Absorption chillers provide an economic and environmental alternative to conventional refrigeration with compression chillers. Combining those two elements enables excellent total fuel efficiency, elimination of HCFC/CFC refrigerants, and reduces overall air emissions.
- «Green» gases. Our engines do not only run efficiently on natural gas. They also work with biogas, landfill gas, wastewater gas, industrial syngas and other gases, converting greenhouse gases into useful energy and helping customers to achieve their environmental targets.
- Hydrogen. Jenbacher is Ready for H2 - having launched the first hydrogen-powered engine years ago. Our gas engines can run on a mixture of gas and hydrogen as well as on pure hydrogen. Most of the already installed engines, which run on natural and other gases, can be converted to run on a hydrogen.
Flexibility at hand
Jenbacher can work on new microgrid projects or projects dedicated to modernizing existing microgrids. In existing microgrids, electricity or heat generating equipment might be already installed. It could be an existing gas power plant, or renewable energy power plant (solar, wind, fuel-cell) or it could be a boiler house.
Flexibility is the key for integration purposes, and therefore Jenbacher solutions can be supplied as modules for installation inside a building or as ready-to-use cogeneration module in a container. In this way, Jenbacher engine solutions can be effectively integrated into the existing electricity and heat generation infrastructure. Moreover, containerized solutions allow shortened time to a Commercial Operation Date if it is necessary. Jenbacher gas engines can be synchronized with both local power generation equipment and an external grid. An engine’s heat exchangers can be integrated into the existing thermal infrastructure of the microgrid to increase the overall efficiency or to achieve production targets if necessary.
Jenbacher modules are presented in a voltage ranging from 480V to 13.8kV allowing you to select the required voltage depending on your microgrid requirements, internal consumers, and external grid characteristics.
Power plants based on Jenbacher engines can be equipped with a master-synchronization system that allows the engines to synchronize with each other and with an external grid. In addition to that, power plants can be equipped with a master-control system that allows you to adjust the operating parameters of the engines and set a certain load profile if needed.
We further improve your economics and optimize energy management by connecting the microgrid to the optional myPlant Optimization offering. This artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution takes a holistic approach, improving the operational efficiency of your entire plant portfolio—from engine and heat pump to heat storage and the photovoltaic system—while taking operational requirements and annual targets into account.
Supported in selected countries only
INNIO Cogeneration solutions are used by our customers across the globe, powering applications in variety of economic segments, for example - industrial manufacturing, commercial, municipal applications, greenhouses and many more.
- Renewable integration
- Peak shaving
- Energy arbitrage
- Power reliability/islanding
- Spinning reserve
- Ancillary services
- Optimized self-consumption
OUR EXPERTS ARE READY TO HELP YOU
Whether your business is looking for onsite power solutions, access to electricity, decreased energy costs, or even to sell electricity back to your local grid/consumers, Jenbacher´s regional experts can advise you on which solution makes the most sense for you.
Get in touch for free consultation on the following:
- The benefits of onsite power generation solutions for your company
- Potential financial benefits using economic modeling
- Consultation on the technical side of your project - fuel types, feasibility studies, equipment and balance of plant selection, and more
- Regional incentive programs relevant to your business
- Options to deliver your project: purchasing, financing and leasing, engaging a service provider (ESCO, BOO etc.)
- How to meet emissions targets
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Whether your business is looking for onsite power solutions, access to electricity, decreased energy costs, or even to sell electricity back to your local grid/consumers, Jenbacher regional experts can advise you on which solution makes the most sense for you.
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