A Rock in a Hurricane | From Babcock Ranch to “Mesh” Micro-Grids

A few days ago, CNN reported that Babcock Ranch, a 100% solar community in Florida, endured Hurricane Ian with no loss of power and minimal damage.

A microgrid powers the planned development of 2,000 homes with energy coming from a central solar solar array. Everything about the ability of Babcock Ranch to ride out the storm is a reason to celebrate.

Babcock was built using “old school” technology which comprises a utility-scale solar array and a centralized microgrid. It still stood like a rock.

A Rock in a Hurricane | From Babcock Ranch to "Mesh" Micro-Grids

The solar array at the Babcock Ranch. This solar microgrid is a success, but YouSolar’s “mesh” microgrid is the future.

YouSolar, in contrast, is working towards microgrids in a mesh network of distributed PowerBlocs.

Modern “mesh” microgrid comprises networked nano-grids, like the YouSolar PowerBloc®, which is even more resilient than the microgrid design at Babcock.

In a mesh microgrid, every house is powered independently by a PowerBloc nano-grid which, given enough solar energy, can run the home indefinitely.

In a mesh grid, the purpose of the interconnections between homes is to “trade” energy with each other.

Aggregating multiple homes averages out the energy demand and reduces the chance that an individual home runs out of energy.

But the interconnections do not need to carry peak power. This reduces the cost of interconnections by about a factor of 10 x as compared to a central microgrid like Babcock Ranch.

Technology disruption occurs when a solution is better and cheaper. This is why the PowerBloc is the future of power.