The three "Ds" of modern energy - decentralisation, decarbonisation, and digitalization, have paved the way for Distributed Energy Resources (DER). The drive for cleaner energy and strategic system management has led to an emergence of many on-demand and small-scale energy supply options on the grid. Each of these require interconnectivity to ensure that when power is generated or there is a demand for it, supply is not interrupted.
Prior to DER, energy was mainly produced in large power plants, providing energy to cities, suburban environments, and remote locations. With a decentralized supply, each of these environments is able to produce and supply the grid with electricity themselves. Residential and commercial properties are now producing energy on-site, allowing energy providers to rely on a reliable, decentralized energy supply.
Energy generation can be from any source, such as wind, solar or fossil fuel. It is generally low in capacity and typically under 10 MW. As with a large power plant, the energy will be drawn and controlled as needed.
For energy to be drawn on demand, communication is required with multiple locations at once. These resources are commonly aggregated together enabling energy to be distributed or disconnected on demand. Using cellular connectivity enables low-latency, high bandwidth communication for an immediate response. Merlin, our cellular router family has built in support for cellular connectivity, enabling communication with equipment on site being either Serial or Ethernet.
Having full visibility of the grid enables grid operators to start and stop a resource on demand. In general, DER sites are not manned, which means they must be fully automated. PLCs and HMIs installed on site can autonomously and routinely report back to a top end system ensuring operators to always have current information. Furthermore, synchronization and metering of equipment is just as important. When drawing energy from a Distributed Energy Resource, the producer, which could be a homeowner, may require compensation for the service.
DER offers the ability for a flexible autonomous system to provide energy for an ever-evolving grid. With power generation now not only being produced at one single source, such as a power station, but now at multiple sites, and from various sources. It has opened the opportunity for prosumerism, enabling home owners, commercial properties and industrial sites to provide power to not only themselves but the grid.
For decades we have offered products and solutions for remote access networking applications. Our extensive product range and deep understanding of applications ensure that we can offer the best solution for your needs.