Does the inertia issue with renewable energy sources have to be a problem for microgrid island networks?

All energy transition discussions eventually reach a point about whether the addition of more and more solar and wind renewables to the mix must come at the price of instability from reduced inertia.

For island power networks this can be addressed now.

As wind and PV replace spinning machines for primary power, no island network operator can risk losing inertia, or else they will face constraints on how much renewable power can be plugged into the system.

The answer is a technology that can replace the inertia from power plants that can be located at the energy source in solar and wind farms and distributed across the grid.

A single Piller GridPB Kinetic energy store can be connected anywhere to supply 4MW.second worth of inertia at a1MW power, absolutely instantaneously whenever required. The GridPB is also capable of providing fault current in substitution of that which would previously be provided by the spinning generation.

Deploying GridPBs in numbers in multiple locations will provide any operator of an island network, where PV and/or Wind farms represent a significant part of the power mix, with the assurance that the grid is stable and the renewable power sources can be both exploited to full capacity and expanded without compromising the grid stability.

A solution based on multiple GridPB units geographically distributed over several power plants provides a robust configuration that ensures the constant availability of inertia even in the most adverse conditions (ie. when it is most needed), without the risk of single points of failure. GridPBs can be deployed either within existing power plant buildings or supplied pre-installed in ready to use containerised units. 

The complete scalability of the solution also offers a financial benefit: capex can be adjusted to stability requirements and smoothed over time as the share of renewable grows.

About Piller
Piller was founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1909 by engineer Anton Piller. Employing around 1000 people worldwide, Piller is headquartered in Osterode, near Hanover, Germany, with subsidiaries across Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Piller occupies a unique position, being the only company to produce both types of electrically coupled UPS technologies and with kinetic energy storage or battery options. The company also manufactures aircraft ground power units, 50/60Hz frequency converters, static transfer switches and specialist marine generators. With more than 7000 kinetic energy storage devices and over 6000 high power UPS units installed, Piller has more than 300 service personnel taking care of clients across 24 countries. The Piller group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the multi-disciplined global UK engineering and industrial group, Langley Holdings Plc. In 2016, Piller acquired Active Power Inc., the flywheel energy storage specialist.