A daylight drive DC Microgrid is a multilinear renewable energy system design that can be applied on the scale of a private home or business, but is most economical when built for a community, village or neighborhood. There are several components to a DC Microgrid, which operate independently and can be installed incrementally, as resources allow.
1. Daylight drive, or direct use of DC electricity, to operate motors and other heavy loads, like cooking, when solar resources are available.
2. Non-electric storage, such as thermal mass and pressure tanks, to provide consistent services for applications such as rural water systems, refrigeration, etc.
3. Solar thermal systems for space heating and water heating in the context of cooperatively used, super-insulated buildings.
4 Durable nickel iron batteries to power lights and efficient electronics at night.
5. Biogas digesters to provide fuel for cooking, when the sun isn’t shining.
Renewable energy is inherently limited and intermittent. A DC Microgrid teaches its users to optimize their energy budget, by providing direct feedback about available energy resources. Systems weaken slowly, giving users time to adjust their behavior appropriately. While conservation and advance planning is required, there are no sudden or system-wide outages in a DC Microgrid.
What really sets a DC Microgrid apart is its accessibility. Depending on climate, DC Microgrids can be built for price tags starting in the hundreds of dollars per person, instead of the tens of thousands per person that is typical for most microgrid projects.
We don’t just talk about, we live with this technology every day. Click here for more details about the DC Microgrid we at Living Energy Farm. This system has been in operation since 2012. We’ve never paid a power bill, never had to use a generator, and our lights have never gone out.
Learn more about the advantages of DC Microgrids over grid-tie and conventional off-grid technologies.
Wondering who else is using DC Microgrid technologies? Click here to read about how we installed Iron Sun kits for 50 families in the Navajo and Hopi reservations.