Off-grid power systems

Also called:

  • island power system (even if not on an island...)
  • islanded network
  • mini-grid or micro-grid
  • stand-alone power system

An off-grid power system can be described as a local electricity supply which is not grid-tied or grid-connected. Usually it is not connected to, owned, operated or maintained by a major utility company, although sometimes utilities will operate small off-grid systems to supply remote customers, rather than install very long power lines.

In general, the operator of any off-grid power system takes on responsibility for making sure that the electrical power they supply is safe, reliable, and affordable.

Off-grid power systems often make use of multiple energy sources, including combinations of renewable energy, fossil fuels and energy storage.

Off-grid power systems can vary from a few Watts to several MW, and the same general principles will apply to all.

Some very small off-grid power systems are purely based on low DC voltages, and special dedicated DC electrical equipment is needed. However, many off-grid power systems supply utility-standard AC voltages.

Technologies used in off-grid power systems

Power generation and energy conversion equipment often used in off-grid power systems can include:

  • diesel engines
  • hydro turbines
  • wind turbines
  • solar photovoltaic (PV) cells
  • various types of batteries and power electronic inverters
  • biomass / biogas technologies
  • fuel cells / electrolysers / hydrogen storage

Amber Control applications

Amber Control frequency-sensing products are designed for off-grid power systems supplying utility-standard AC voltages (for example: 230V, 50Hz).

Off-grid Power