It’s All About Peak Power.

The switch to renewable power generation is inevitable and unstoppable, but the intermittency of solar and wind puts great stress on the utility grids of old. At the same time, we are witnessing extreme weather events even in the continental United States – from ice storms in Texas to heat waves in California – that bring the grid to its knees more and more frequently. What we need is a new paradigm: a decentralized power infrastructure.

Rooftop solar in combination with grid-tied home battery systems plays an important role here by shifting energy production to where the load is. The batteries help balance energy supply and demand between the sunny hours around mid-day, when the solar array produces the most electricity, and the morning and evening hours, when we cook, heat, light our homes, and run appliances. However, those battery systems cannot provide peak power.

As we shift to more and more electric appliances in our homes, we do not only need more energy (i.e. total and average consumption, measured in kilowatt hours, kWh), but also more power (i.e. peak consumption, measured in kilowatts, kW). It’s the peak power needs, not the total amount of energy required, that push our existing grid to its limits. When the electric stovetop or the air conditioner get turned on at the same hour in millions of households, the lights will flicker or even go out.

A nanogrid provides primary power to the entire home, without falling back on the grid for peak loads. It is a key building block for the decentralized power infrastructure that we need to create a 100% clean energy future for ourselves and our children.

THE decentralized energy FUTURE

Today’s Legacy Grid

In today’s legacy power grid, it’s necessary for power plants and distribution systems to be oversized just to meet peak load. Most of the time, the legacy grid barely uses half its capacity, while consumers still bear the full cost through their utility rates.

Tomorrow’s Hybrid Grid

In tomorrow’s hybrid power grid, power plants and distribution systems have higher utilization rates. Average demand is lower because of distributed solar systems, but peak demand is even lower because much of it is delivered by distributed batteries. The result is an electric supply that is cheaper, greener and more reliable than the legacy grid.