In fall 2019, one very visible new example of the University of Calgary’s energy innovation efforts will be easy to spot on campus: Watch for a big, movable container topped with solar panels and filled with batteries for energy storage. This will be one of Canada’s first experimental hybrid micro-grids for distributed power generation, and one of the first in the world.
The advanced hybrid micro-grid will allow for both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) power distribution — meaning it can easily be integrated into the current centralized AC power infrastructure.
“There is a massive paradigm shift underway from central power generation systems to distributed power generating systems,” says Dr. Majid Pahlevani, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering and the project’s lead.
“The key component of distributed power generating systems is these micro-grids. This hybrid micro-grid approach could be a huge game changer in making an efficient and practical solution to help the transition from fossil fuel and central-based energy to green- and renewable-energy-based systems.”