Team:Kristina Apiñaniz, Guascor IngenieriaJavier García Tejedor, RobotikerAger Larrabeiti, IntekiaPatricio Zabala, AbamotorJosé María Oyarzabal, LabeinPedro Martinez Cid, Iberdrola
The aim of the project is to develop, install and validate a low voltage microgrid system specifically designed for a rural environment. The system will be integrated in an easily transportable microgrid kit that will satisfy the power demand in isolated areas or with a weak power grid.The microgrid kit will include all the elements for power generation, protection, control and conexion. The system may adopt two configurations: work as an isolated system or connected to the grid.There will be several micro-generation systems interconnected and placed in different locations that will be connected to the low voltage rural microgrid. Thereby, the microgrid kit will act as a decentralised power generating system based on renewable energy sources in a modular configuration including different alternating current systems.The modular low voltage micro grid kit will include a combination of microgenerating systems:a fuel cells, photovoltaic pannels, energy storing systems and electric support groups. This new electrical grid architecture will be assessed in terms of availability, behaviour, controllability and maintainability. The project involves a consortium of several companies that are listed below:1-GuascorIn this project Guascor participates as photovoltaic panel supplier, although the experience and knowledge achieved in this project will be also useful in its Division of alternative engines.2-Robotiker.They are a technology centre focussed on distributed resources and hydrogen. They will be responsible for the inter connexion of the different elements and they will also provide a mini wind turbine for power generation3-IntekiaThis company is responsible for the engineering to integrate the different subsystems of the micro generation in the micro grid. They will also control and optimise the power demand of the final users developing specific software for this purpose4-AbamotorAs small engine generating sets manufacturer, they will adapt an electronic regulator to a small engine to produce a high quality electric wave. The set will be provided with all the regulations to be remotely controlled.5-Air LiquidThey will provide a hydrogen fuel cell equipped with a storing system.
Altough the idea of low voltage microgrids is not new, this project represents a showcase for the innovatibe combination of micro generation technologies and it also introduces new concepts of power generation and control management. this point of view, the project represents a pioneer initiative at a national level. It is also remarkable that there will be specific research on the influence that the microgrid has on the grid to which it is connected. This initiative and the experience gained with it will ease the interconnections between microgrids and the general grid and will bring the knowledge and know-how for future implementation of other microgrids based on renewable energies.
Individuals benefit this project because it brings the possibility to companies in the technology field the development of new products (new CT's, protections, local and remote control systems, power management systems?). This may make possible the creation of new companies technology oriented and new business lines that will lead to more employment. In addition, society also benefits the project because micro grids may help to reactivate rural depressed areas and because they also represent a solution for isolated areas in underdeveloped and developing countries. It is also remarkable that the last stage of the project consists of disseminating the knowledge and best practices learnt among all the agents interested in this field.The project is also in line with national and European programmes in the energy field and contributes to reducing dependency on external energy supplies.Lastly, the positive impact of micro grids in the environment lies in the opportunity to develop renewable technologies and the efficient use of energy resources.
There are many aspects that a technical point of view can help the mainstreaming of clean energy. Due to the nature of the project itself it involves the development of a simulating system that can recreate future scenarios with real data in which renewable micro grids may be not only a solution but a real alternative, such as University campuses, technology parks, etc The project also integrates future alternatives like hydrogen technology ( fuel cell and hydrogen storage) with other technologies of proven reliability (photovoltaics, wind turbine and diesel generator), enhancing this way the synergy among different technologies. In addition to this, the micro grid will act as an experimental and ideal platform to share experiences and information with other similar experiences at European level (project "Micro grids") and worldwide (NREL initiative supported by DoE)
The successful development of the project will lead to a showcase for further applications in other areas and regions. For this purpose, the companies participating in the project are developing specific technology that conveys their expertise in conventional applications to the new challenge of integrating different renewable sources. Individuals and society will benefit the alternatives and possible applications that microgrids may bring in the immediate future, especially in developing countries and isolated areas. The economy and the environment also directly benefit new clean technology development, carbon dioxide emissions mitigation and energy independency.
The very nature of the project itself is based on the concept of sustainable developmentSince the micro grid is specifically designed to meet the needs of rural environment ecological, social and economical advantages come together. The micro grid is in line with sustainable development because is based on renewable energy sources. The social and economical advantages of the project rely on its contribution to revitalise rural depressed areas, bringing them a reliable supply of energy that makes possible the economic development.
One of the main objectives of the project is to research on the influence that the microgrid exerts on the grid into which is connected. The restrictions in the connectons will be identified. this experience valuable know-how will be gained that will determine future actions in the specific field of renewable energy technology integration