Our distributed generation definition will highlight a number of key examples to help you understand the various differences of these technologies.
Distributed Generation (DG) Definition
Distributed Generation or DG is a popular subject in the energy industry at the moment, and for good reasons. It has changed the way energy is generated and distributed. Indeed, DG is helping us to reshape our future energy sources.
Let’s find out what exactly this term means along with some examples.
What is the Distributed Generation?
Distributed Generation is referred to a set of technologies that generate electricity close to its point of delivery. DG uses modular yet renewable-energy generators such as solar panels, wind turbines, and more that have a large number of benefits in terms of environmental impact.
Distributed Generation is also known to provide inexpensive electricity that comes with complete security and high reliability. DG technologies can be used to serve a single entity such as a business and home. In some cases, DG is a part of microgrid, designed to serve a college campus, a military facility, or a major industrial unit.
These systems utilize small but several plants together to provide onsite power. Moreover, their reliance on the transmission grid and distribution is quite limited.
The power capacity provided by DG technologies ranges from 1 kilowatt (KW) to 100 megawatts (MW) while Utility-scale generators can produce power that often reaches above thousands of Megawatts.
Distributed Generation Examples
DG generally has two levels, i.e., the local level and the end-point level. Local-level power plant usually consists of renewable energy sources, for example, solar systems, wind turbines, geothermal energy production, and hydro-thermal plants. These plants are generally smaller in size in comparison to traditional plants.
As local-level Distributed generation takes the local environment into account, they make negligible damage to the environment than larger central plants.
Some great examples of Distributed Generation Technologies include:
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels at Elementary School (Fairbanks, Alaska)
- Wind Turbines at Buffalo Mountain, TN
- A 300-kilowatt Capstone Microturbine at a Demonstration Project (Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN)
Speaking of end-point level, energy consumers can use these power generators in many ways. For instance, they can be used as a backup to the normal power grid or internal combustion engines for RVs and homes.