Why nanogrids may be bigger than microgrids (in some places it's true already)

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Quick Take:  It was in February 2014 that I first warned you about nanogrids and their potential to disrupt the power industry. Now I'm hearing from several sources that the trend is gaining steam. – Jesse Berst

 

Nanogrids are "big business" compared to microgrids, says Navigant Research as reported by FierceSmartGrid. What's more, they have the potential to strongly influence the future of microgrids and even the "macrogrid" as well.

 

Although many of us don't realize it, nanogrids are already common:

·      The power systems in cars and boats

·      The USB-powered devices hanging off a PC

·      Power over Ethernet distribution systems

·      Households in developing nations with local generation and battery storage

 

In fact, developing nations may leapfrog the U.S. and the rest of the developed world in nanogrid deployment. After all, many countries are skipping the landline telephone and jumping directly to mobile technology. In the same fashion, many regions may skip the capital-intensive traditional grid, thus gaining electricity much earlier than if they waited for the traditional grid to reach them.

 

"This does not preclude their later joining a macrogrid," says Bruce Nordman, "but possibly a leaner and different sort than we have today." Nordman is a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the author of  “Nanogrids: Evolving our electricity systems from the bottom up.”