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Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has launched a system of micro grids as a way of enabling communities to take control of their energy use and reduce their carbon footprint.

At CAT, wind, hydro and PV energy work together with an intelligent control system to connect and disconnect to the national grid whenever needed.

Jase Kuriakose, engineer for the micro grid project, said: ‘There is a vital need and enormous opportunity to move towards a more sustainable decentralised system, which protects the climate and provides future generations with secure energy.’ The renewable energy produced at CAT is fed into a battery bank and connected together through an intelligent electronic control system along with the load and the national grid.

At normal operation, the renewable generators provide power to all the loads and excess power will be exported to the grid.

In the event of a power failure, the CAT electricity system will be isolated from national grid and the renewable generators will continue to operate as an island grid system.

The intelligent electronic control system will regulate the power generation according to the demand of power.

This ensures a continuous efficient operation of renewable generators to achieve the Zero Carbon CAT policy.

The micro grid system ensures that all renewable generators at normal conditions will generate electricity and delivers electricity to the precision mains load as first priority and then to the raw mains power.

The excess electricity will be then exported to the national grid.

Once the national grid switched back on, the system will work as in normal condition.

This makes sure that renewable generators will operate uninterruptedly.

The back-up battery will also provide power for at least three hours if there is no wind, sun, water or biomass.

After a certain period of time without any generation, the system will disconnect the power to precision mains power and make sure the energy is available for the wise emergency lights, servers and telephone system.

The system will be used for the courses and consultancy as a model for Zero carbon CAT.

This will be a demonstration project for small communities interested in island grid/micro grid system.

Centre for Alternative Technology

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