As sustainable energy increases in admiration due to its cleaner emissions and accessibility, there is an opportunity to efficiently integrate it into homes and small communities. Microgrids are a great new up and coming segment in the energy industry. It represents a shift from larger more in-depth power systems to a more localized and easier to shape power distribution. These microgrids are especially great inside larger cities and areas that are remote and far away from the power grid. Microgrids can also serve as a backup plan in major disasters to support critical services. The control to move away from the larger grid makes microgrids resilient and flexible. Microgrids provide efficient, low-cost, clean energy, to improve the operation and stability of the electric grid.
Typical microgrids are ran using alternating current which provides power to AC and DC loads. Through that process, AC to DC converters must be used, which causes energy wastage in the system. A DC system will be able to offer higher efficiency and reliability with a low system cost. This research really fascinated me and motivated me to create a project that would successfully integrate sustainable energy into a working microgrid. Although a large-scale operation will not be feasible, my design will still be geared towards a functional microgrid at a small-scale level.
My project aims to successfully integrate a power generation of wind and solar into a microgrid which could produce around 10 volts DC to power a small load. The power generation will feed into power converters connected to a voltage bus controlled by a microcontroller through PWM signal. The bus line will be connected to different loads allowing them to be powered. In addition to the renewable energy sources, an emergency grid tie will be connected allowing the microgrid to always be able to power the load and help the microgrid reach optimal stability. Along with providing power to a load, it will also store unused energy in a battery storage unit. Every process and stage will be monitored making for the most optimal power flow.