Traditional energy distribution or ‘the grid’ has not changed much since the days of Tesla. Power is created far from the point of consumption and delivered via high voltage AC transmission lines. Where this will likely be the continued primary source of power for our business and home, Distributed Energy using local sources (such as solar and wind with local storage) allows the grid to operate more efficiently and reliably. Add to this coming era of the electric car more opportunities arise as the grid becomes the primary source of power for our homes, businesses and transportation.



The source of the Base load plus an amount of power not to exceed demand charges should come from the utility. One of the main purposes of a Distributed Energy System will be managing the electrical load and supply to maintain a consistent demand of power from the utility at a high or reasonable power factor.


Most locations do not have sufficient and consistent air flow for wind for generation. Most air flow is high above the ground, at least 100 feet above the ground. Large wind generators also create noise and hazards to people, wildlife and air traffic. Wind is better for large scale utility operations.


a. Battery Banks – Most common large battery storage banks are lead acid or lithium ion. Both have pros and cons: lead acid is less expensive, but heavier per kWh. It is also sensitive to heat/cold, has fewer life charge/discharge cycles and longer discharge times. Lithium Ion batteries are more expensive, but are lighter per kWh. They are less sensitive to temperature, have more life charge/discharge cycles and short discharge times if needed.
b. Electric Vehicles (EV) – Electric Vehicles not in use and parked at a charging station with the proper charger/inverted can be used to supply power in times of peak demand or power outage.


An Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) is run to produce heat and power. In a conventional generator setup, the governor controls the rpm or frequency (usually 50 Hz or 60 Hz) by controlling the amount of fuel added to the prime mover and the Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) controls the voltage by controlling the amps of DC or excitation to the rotor.
The main output of this system is: power at a consistent voltage and frequency. When a CHP system is paralleled with the grid or other power sources the main outputs are heat and Volt Ampere Reactive (vars). The governor now reacts to a thermostat to control the amount of heat or fuel being needed for the process or system and the AVR independently supplies the vars being consumed by the site to keep vars imported from the utility low and power factor (PF) high.
In a conventional generator fuel produces electricity and waste heat because of heat to power conversion efficiencies. In a CHP system the fuel produces mainly heat with “waste” electricity and a power factor control benefit. If there is a failure with other system such as utility supply, a CHP system can return to conventional generator operation with the governor controlling frequency and AVR controlling voltage for critical loads.


Power from roof top solar or solar fields can be used to supplement the power needs of a site. When the output of the solar panels exceeds the load of the site, the surplus power can be stored in onsite batteries or in some occasions be sold to the utility.


Usually a diesel, propane or natural gas unit that can provide power when all other energy sources: utility, solar, battery or wind are not available.


(coming soon)