Today, a new Power Paradigm is emerging that integrates traditional engineering design requirements with other considerations in developing the optimum energy systems for different situations. This new paradigm is depicted in the Power Block diagram shown below.
As shown, clients may have a range of priorities and objectives that affect the preferred mix of distributed energy resources (DER’s) for a particular facility or microgrid. These objectives could include reducing energy costs, improving reliability, limiting emissions, or reducing pricing risk, or some combination of these. For example, a large manufacturer may want to reduce costs, a hospital desires more reliability, and a retail company wants to reduce its “carbon footprint.” Or, as another example, a microgrid may need to assure reliability and resiliency, but may also need to be economically viable to attract financing. Since it is not possible to maximize all of these variables simultaneously, clients must balance these competing objectives in deciding how to design their energy systems and programs.
Global Common analyzes the client’s load profile to determine the best mix of DER’s for meeting client objectives for each situation. Potential DER’s to meet these objectives are shown on the diagram below.
For example, cogeneration can be used to provide electric energy, as well as thermal energy for heating and cooling, to reduce energy costs. Batteries can be used to shave peak loads, or support demand response programs, and solar PV can be net metered to supply energy needs not supplied by cogeneration or other DER’s, further reducing costs and the client’s “carbon footprint.” Energy efficiency and demand response measures can reduce both energy and demand charges. And new control systems allow these various technologies to coordinate and work in harmony with the “grid.”