So you’ve decided that your operation needs a microgrid. But what type of microgrid? Answering that question isn’t always easy because microgrids come in many different permutations, often customized to the business, factory, hospital, university, community or other operation they serve. But they do fall into certain broad categories, sliced and diced in various ways, including by type of grid connection, owner, developer and fuel, as well as purpose, function and sophistication. As part of our About Microgrids series, this article explains some of the various categories. Understanding what’s available will help you identify the type of microgrid right for your operation.

Remote versus grid-connected microgrids

Microgrids are categorized most broadly by their grid interface, of which there are two choices. A microgrid is either grid connected or remote (not linked to the grid). Remote microgrids often are found on islands or in isolated areas of the world that lack a central utility grid — or at least one that is reliable. You’re likely to find remote microgrids in rural Africa, the Himalayas, islands, military combat zones and other isolated locations. Remote microgrids operate independently; they rely solely on their own generators to keep the power flowing to customers. Grid-connected microgrids, on the other hand, can work with a central grid. They choose to take service from […]

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