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Distributed generation, nothing has to do with generation X, Y or who knows what other letter, we talk about energy and possible alternatives to the traditional way of having it that have advantages in some contexts. To find out if it is right for us, it is necessary to understand what this so-called "distributed" Generation is.
Distributed generation: what it means
This term, in electrical engineering, when speaking of electrical energy distribution, indicates the production of electricity in small self-generation electric units dispersed or located in various points of the territory but all connected directly to the electricity distribution network.
And the contrary to centralized production, it can in fact be defined as decentralized production. Each of the two modes, centralized production and distributed generation, features advantages and disadvantages, must be evaluated from time to time of the context and the technological developments that are gradually occurring in the sector.
Distributed generation and smart grid
When adopting the distributed generation model, we get to make a number of many small, scattered production plants, so that however, they are close to consumers. This is possible thanks to smart grids and the technologies they bring with them.
Often these "distributed" generators, they are located in places that are not easy to reach, it is their "beauty". They are found, for example, in remote locations, near wind farms or near a user who lives isolated. Everyone is connected to the low voltage distribution network.
There are no standard features for the Distributed generation, its network varies greatly depending on the size and type of plants. In fact, the parameters are different whether they are aircraft, photovoltaic panels, small biomass plants or other different types.
Diffuse or distributed generation
We can speak of both Distributed generation, both of Widespread generation, the concept is to offer an alternative to the traditional management of the primary electricity network which proposes a model made up of a few large power plants connected to the distribution network through the very high voltage transmission network.
Distributed Generation: Benefits
The advantages of distributed generation, compared to centralized production, are numerous, but our choice must be made by taking note of our personal boundary conditions, never stopping at the theoretical level.
Centralized production certainly requires substantial investments to build and maintain distribution networks and at the same time ensures that few producers have the power and control over the security of energy supply and continuity. Something less and less unwelcome to most. With the Distributed generation there are economies of scale based on standardization, in the case of centralized production, however, they are based on the size of the plants.
In terms of pollution, with the same production source, a small plant has a more negative impact in general, but it must be taken into account that there are also very green energy sources such as photovoltaics, great for distributed Generation, less for centralized production.
A disadvantage is that it often requires more capillary and complex automation systems via software to control the numerous small plants scattered throughout the territory.
Finally, at the level of energy consumption, complex facts accounts, the Distributed generation pays off in absolute terms compared to distribution over large distances resulting from production at large plants.
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