Microgrids are an emerging technology with few real-world examples to study. This new short course covers two real-world examples of microgrid solutions for major application segments: rural electrification and off-grid telecom tower power.
These two segments can often only be addressed by a microgrid and are ideally suited for a PV/battery mode of microgrids. The two segments will be discussed in detail, based on direct experience of the instructor who has been part of a development team that has installed over 1MW of remote microgrids in developing regions including India and parts of Africa. There are points of learning from both as well as contrasts between the two.
The course will highlight not just the mechanics of the microgrids (components, implementation, requirements) but also the financial considerations. In particular, for village electrification, there is a substantial cost savings by using PV/batteries over diesel. This same holds true for telecom, however, for this latter case, the considerations include up-front costs versus running costs. As a result, the former case is growing rapidly, whereas the latter is still under consideration. The course will provide specific case studies for the two applications and discuss the costs, the benefits, and the overall considerations which go into developing a microgrid solution.
The intended audience for this course is individuals looking to demystify the current status of microgrids, based on realistic applications not just hypothetical scenarios. This includes:
- Renewable energy advocates
- PV and battery suppliers looking to better understand developing trends
- Engineers evaluating viable microgrid applications
- Professionals interested in alternative energy and global sustainability
Instructor Dr. Andrew Skumanich was directly involved with the international team that installed the microgrids discussed in this course. This is firsthand information from his experience, with the lessons learned that come from his outside-the-classroom education.
- Learn the elements that comprise a microgrid
- Learn the basic market forces that drive or impede microgrid implementation
- Review specifics on the use of microgrids for two key applications
- Learn why these two applications are representative of the current state of microgrid development
- Gain perspective on the cost-benefit analysis for the two applications
- Directly compare PV/battery and diesel microgrids
- Consider the future opportunities for building microgrids from the ground up