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A microgrid is a localized grouping of electricity sources and loads that normally operates connected to and synchronous with the traditional centralized grid (macrogrid), but can disconnect and function autonomously as physical and/or economic conditions dictate.
The Microgrids group at Berkeley Lab studies customer adoption patterns of microgrid technology.
This site serves as a resource to those interested in our work, and for those conducting their own microgrid research.
Several research groups around the world are pioneering various µGrid concepts, also written as microgrids, as an alternative approach for integrating small scale distributed energy resources (DER of < approx. 1 MW) into low-voltage (< approx. 20 kV) electricity distribution systems, and the current wider power sector (the macrogrid). Many other terms are in common use to describe similar concepts, e.g. virtual power plants, minigrids, smart grids, smart distribution networks, embedded generation, distributed or dispersed generation.
DER-CAM is an economic model of customer DER adoption. This model has been in development at Berkeley Lab since 2000. The objective of the model is to minimize the cost of operating on-site generation and combined heat and power (CHP) systems, either for individual customer sites or a µGrid. In other words, the focus of this work is primarily economic. To achieve this objective, the following issues must be addressed: