As we progress further and further into the future, we are becoming more and more dependent on electrical energy. With a renewed focus on clean, exhaust-free power, fewer and fewer things are relying on alternative energy sources like natural gas or gasoline. In fact, electric cars are one of the fastest-growing automotive markets in the nation today, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down. All of that means we will need more and more energy as we move through our lives, and that means energy management is going to become more and more important.
This growing reliance on electrical energy is why some industry experts estimate that one of the most important electrical concepts of the future is the “microgrid.” If you have never heard of a microgrid, you likely aren’t alone. That’s what this blog aims to change: we’ll explain what a microgrid is and give you a few tips on how you can better prepare for managing your home or business to ensure better energy efficiency, stability, and reliability in the future.
What Is a Microgrid?
When someone refers to the electrical “grid,” they are referring to the immensely large and complex array of connections and electrical infrastructure pieces that supply our society with the electrical energy we need. Every single house, business, and other structure that uses electricity is connected to this grid. In many ways, your house is exactly the same, but on a much smaller scale: the energy that flows through your home is connected through a grid of its own, and this is referred to as a microgrid.
Why Are Microgrids Important?
Microgrids are important because they are a way of thinking about how you use your electrical energy. To put it another way, a microgrid consists of everything on your home’s side of your electric meter. Once the energy passes through your meter and is accounted for, you pay for the energy and you are free to do what you please with it. At this point, the energy becomes a part of this smaller grid of interconnected devices and circuits.
Do you have a particular portion of your home that utilizes more energy than the rest? It may be worth creating a circuit or two that you can put these high-usage devices on in order to keep them safely separated from the rest of your home’s devices in order to prevent a surge.
Additionally, energy stability is dropping, particularly as many of our public electrical grids across the country have started to fall apart due to age. Much of the major electrical transmission infrastructure in the country is approaching 50 years of age or more, and that means problems will only continue to become more and more prevalent.
In fact, the state of California is currently an excellent example of what can happen when a public electrical grid is not expanded, maintained, and updated in accordance with population growth. The state currently deals with regular rolling blackouts that can last anywhere from several hours to several days, and utility companies are constantly scrambling to make emergency repairs on different pieces of infrastructure that have failed. Just because it is happening there doesn’t mean it can’t happen here or in any other state across the country.
How to Stabilize Your Electrical Supply
Microgrids offer us the ability to stabilize and manage our energy supply in the future—something that will only become more and more important. This is just one of the reasons why both the solar energy and standby generator markets are exploding: they provide alternative sources of power on the home side of your electric meter. That means you have total control over when and how this energy is produced, how much is made, and what kind of environmental impact is made by generating power.
Additionally, many people have begun to invest in whole-home battery systems that can save energy for when it is needed. These batteries can be charged either using grid power or surplus energy from a solar photovoltaic system. When the power goes out, or even during peak demand hours, you can swap over to this battery power to keep your home running smoothly and reduce strain on the public grid (as well as keep costs down).Are you looking for an electrician who can help you set up and maintain your home or business’s microgrid? Call Lightning Bug Electric at (404) 471-3847 today.