Similar to the realization and surprise that early adopters of PV arrays for grid-tied residential systems experienced when the grid failed, such that they could not access the PV generation on their own rooftops, some energy storage technologies and microgrids are currently being designed to only function with the grid, not independent of it in the event of failure. In the debate on the importance of and rush to implement smart cities, virtual power plants and the ‘Internet of Things’, energy storage assets are often owned by a utility or third party, effectively limiting access and taking control away from the end-user during grid failure, arguably, the time when the homeowner needs it most. Energy storage assets that can’t be relied on without utility grid access and centralized software platforms aren’t necessarily assets for the end-user. Rather than creating energy security and resiliency in times of catastrophic or local failure, these systems promise the same chokehold over end-users that a grid-tied home represents without PV or storage assets. Yet, in today’s marketplace, very often distributed PV + storage systems and technologies require centralized grid and/or internet connection to maintain access, warranties and functionality. Because distributed energy storage + PV assets can provide security and resiliency during times of grid failure, it’s important to consider how the central control and ownership of those assets can be deployed and utilized by the end-user during grid failure. In designing distributed storage + PV assets, even if they’re owned and operated by a virtual third party, it’s important to consider how these critical systems can continue to operate and ‘fail back’ to local, autonomous control when the grid or communications network is compromised.
Jordan Little SimpliPhi Power’s lead Applications Engineer, in which she provides technical support for SimpliPhi’s customers with all of their sizing, design or installation needs. Prior to SimpliPhi, Jordan led the commercial division for Hawaii's number one EPC, helped facilitate an energy storage startup acquisition, and oversaw all projects under Georgia Power’s Rooftop Solar program. Jordan graduated in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University and is a NABCEP Certified Installer and Certified Energy Manager.
Tuesday, September 12
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