Micropower

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Micropower = production of energy on the smallest scale, such as households.


URL = http://www.micropower.co.uk/


See also the information on the P2P Energy Grid and Distributed Power Generation


What is Micropower

"Micropower, or Microgeneration is the production of energy on the smallest of scales, for individual buildings or communities. Micropower technologies emit low amounts of carbon dioxide(CO2), or in some cases, no carbon dioxide at all, whilst allowing consumers to generate their own heat and/or electricity.

Microgeneration comes in various forms. There are two categories of solar powered technologies; photovoltaic (PV) systems, that produce electricity, and solar thermal systems to provide hot-water and sometimes space heating. Ground Source Heat Pumps use energy stored in the ground for space heating and micro-Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP) look and operate similar to gas boilers whilst providing electricity as well as heat. Micro turbines provide electricity, either powered by the wind or naturally flowing water and the latest development is the roof or wall mounted wind turbine. Hydrogen powered fuel cells to provide heat and electricity at the commercial level are currently being developed and are expected to emerge in the next few years." (http://www.micropower.co.uk/about/whatismicropower.html)


Arguments for Microgeneration of Energy

  1. "Microgeneration is cost-effective. Some of Micropower technologies are more accessible than others but all can deliver on at least two of the four energy policy objectives; reductions in C02 emissions, reliability of supply, fuel poverty relief and maintaining competitiveness. For example, a micro-CHP unit will deliver the same comfort levels as a modern boiler, whilst reducing the emissions of a typical house by 1.5 tonnes (around 25%) of CO2 per year. This can help relieve fuel poverty, supply 1 - 5kW of peak electricity generating capacity - and provide the major utilities with some competition. Other forms, such as micro-wind turbines and solar panels, can cut energy bills by up to £100 per year or be integrated in conjunction with other types of microgenerators to offer genuine zero carbon residences. Moreover if just one quarter of all gas boilers that will be replaced between now and 2020 are replaced with ones that can generate power, the capacity this will bring is the equivalent to just under half of that provided by today’s nuclear power stations.
  2. A typical large power station wastes over a third of its fuel by simply heating up the atmosphere. A further 10% of this is wasted in transmission and distribution, meaning less than half of the fuel is used productively by the consumer. By comparison, microgeneration technologies use more than 90% of the fuel productively for heat or electricity, or are powered by clean, renewable sources.
  3. Microgeneration helps to combat climate change. Some forms of micropower use fuels or energy sources that produce no greenhouse gases and are classed as renewable energy. Those that do use fossil fuels do so with efficiencies typically of greater than 90%.
  4. Some micropower technologies, when taken up in large numbers, will provide a more predictable source of power generation than large power stations. They also relieve pressure on the grid at times of strain. They enhance diversity and security of supply, and for some technologies back-up power is also available in the event of a blackout.
  5. Microgeneration is a catalyst for cultural change.There are wider benefits than just cost and carbon reductions Consumers with microgeneration exhibit noticeable changes in their energy use, as well as sending a clear visual signal of a property contributes in generating low or zero carbon energy to neighbours."

(http://www.micropower.co.uk/about/whymicropower.html)


More Information

  1. See the webcast on Decentralized Energy
  2. White paper, "Micropower: The Next Electrical Era" By Seth Dunn, Worldwatch Institute.