Microgrids

Microgrids are isolated power grids often created out of necessity for operations in hostile environments or remote areas from mining and oil fields to ships and distant islands. The majority of microgrids use duty internal combustion engines, which burn diesel fuel to produce power.

To be able to meet maximum power demand, operators often run partial loads and use multiple engines rather than operate one engine at full load. This partial load approach is very inefficient resulting in higher fuel costs and increased emissions. VYCON® REGEN® Kinetic Energy Recycling Systems can be configured to accommodate sudden peak demands and allow operators to run fewer engines unless multiple engines are needed to address longer peak periods. Not only does this dramatically reduce the cost for genset fuel and maintenance, it can reduce or eliminate the need for redundant gensets.

Microgrid installations used on islands have daunting fuel costs if diesel generators serve as the main power source. Island resorts may face energy costs as much as 45 cents per kW when fuel must be delivered. Photovoltaic “solar” panels are used to minimize the need for engine generators, save costs and provide cleaner and quieter power in areas that require high amounts of electricity. Although solar panels have many advantages, solar-powered microgrids are more susceptible to problems during demand surges and sags due to cloud coverage. VYCON REGEN systems serve as a power conditioner, absorbing fluctuations in power and protecting sensitive equipment, sensitive electronics and various appliances, which as a result will be far less likely to fail prematurely.

In many areas, using natural gas instead of diesel as a fuel source for engine generators can have economic and environmental advantages. As a result, operators are converting their installations to natural gas, and gas delivery routes are expanding. However, natural gas-powered engines react more slowly to load changes than diesel-powered engines- a thermal process called load shedding. Complications occur when the load drops due to the momentary excess electricity generated, which must be expended.  Typical installations include resistive load banks to burn the excess power. Rather than waste this energy, VYCON REGEN systems can store it for use during periods of peak demand.