Microgrid power stations can ensure uninterrupted supply

July 23rd, 2008 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  


Washington, July 23 (IANS) Microgrid based power stations with their own energy source and independent control could ensure uninterrupted power supply even after hurricanes or natural disasters. Texas University professor Alexis Kwasinski has formulated a new plan to de-centralise power architecture that would have kept the lights and phones on in town and cities in such an eventuality.

Kwasinski argued that microgrid-based power would be more dependable, efficient and cost effective than traditional telecom power systems. Besides they would be a quick and inexpensive way to include renewable energy sources.

“There has been surprisingly little research on disaster damage and restoration of telecom systems,” said Kwasinski. “My survey of the Gulf coast after Katrina showed how devastating a single downed line or incapacitated substation can be.

“The answer is diverse power input. You integrate different types of local power sources with diverse energy delivery infrastructures through multiple-input converter modules,” he said.

Since the communications industry power standard is direct current (DC) local networks, Kwasinski is exploring DC generation systems using a microgrid-based telecom power plant with a modular distributed architecture.

Microgrids could “sell” excess power to the utility grid. Costs decrease because of reduced energy storage, less downtime, equipment operating at maximum efficiency, lower hardware expense and optimal power input control based on energy costs.

“I think the most exciting aspect of the research is how flexible this approach is,” said Kwasinski. “It works for developing countries who can add components to the system as they can afford it.

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Posted in Sci-Tech |

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