A DC microgrid is simply an independent system that supplies power to a defined area, such as a house, store, office building or factory. It can accept power from all kinds of energy sources, allowing the consumer to later be connected to the local utility grid. The microgrid generates and stores DC power efficiently, which can be used as the demand requires.
According to the Electric Power Research Group, electronic data centres powered by DC microgrids are 20% more efficient than the best AC systems, and up to 30% more effective than most AC systems. This not only translates into cost savings for the consumer, but also helps reduce the local utility’s (ESKOM’s) load, since the power saved need not be delivered over the grid. This helps the power utility meet generation capacity challenges, which are prevalent in South Africa. Furthermore, by eliminating some of the efficiency losses inherent in AC systems, the grid’s overall efficiency can be improved.
The DC microgrid, in keeping with Specialized Solar System’s mission, is designed to supply electricity to consumers for the purpose of electrification, in order to achieve economic reform, without national grid support.Our main focus on developing our Microgrids is to energise those who dont have power and where the National Energy Supply has no reach and has failed the masses.
The design criteria of the DC Microgrid System’s electrification kit is based on the following principles:
- With quality of product service life in mind, the system is capable of continuously supplying enough energy (according to the demand and within certain parameters) with a ramarkably low maintanence scheduling.
- Over sizing has been avoided because the target consumer group is extremely sensitive to overpricing.
- Modularity is a must because diversity and changing demand need to be addressed for economic viability.
- Our objective is to offer solutions that can be adapted as the demand grows in the different rural areas of South Africa.
Technical and economical efficiency
- Microgrid design guidelines have included modern technical considerations of efficient energy usage.
- The cost analysis for the lifetime of the product has also been carefully considered.
- Simplicity has been a key focus in order to ensure that the microgrids are reliable, easy to install and upgrade, easy to maintain and that costs are kept to a minimum.
- Simplicity of the design has also been used to encourage local support, involvement and appropriation of these technologies.
- Special attention has been paid to safety because the end users are not necessarily familiar with electricity.
- Microgrid technology works on DC current and therefore does not have the hazardous potential of traditional AC current, and thus is a safer form of power generation.
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