Microgrids open up new earning potential for farmers


With the heart of the microgrid, the battery container, and a smart energy management system farmers can optimally deploy the various energy sources – both technically and in terms of cost. (Copyright: Rolls Royce)

Rolls-Royce offers with its MTU microgrids the company's first eco-friendly and on-site power generation solution suitable for agricultural applications. These autonomous power grids combine renewable energy sources with battery storage and gas or diesel generators using a microgrid control system developed by Rolls-Royce, thereby reducing CO2 emissions in power generation. Farmers also lose their dependency on the public grid and can integrate existing energy sources such as photovoltaics or biogas plants, which offers financial benefits. The components of a Microgrid can be adapted according to the requirements. The possible applications in agriculture are manifold and offer advantages in terms of return-on-investment (ROI), decentralisation and decarbonisation.

Cost advantages through own consumption or feeding into public grid

Instead of continually pumping all the electrical power won from a biogas plant into the public grid, it can be stored in the MTU-EnergyPack, for example. The smart energy management system then ensures that this energy is only fed into the public grid at times of peak demand, when prices are at their highest. Another practical application example are self-sufficient greenhouses. Crops cultivated in greenhouses need temperature levels and light exposure to be kept as constant as possible. The heat and power required to achieve that constitute major cost factors for any farmer. But with combined power generation using a photovoltaic installation and MTU generator linked up to a battery and master controller, the greenhouse can operate independently round-the-clock without recourse to the public grid. Electrical energy generated by photovoltaics and a gas-powered CHP module during the day can be fed into the batteries, where it is subsequently available for lighting the crops and other electrical consumers. Heat from the CHP module is used to heat the greenhouses while CO2 recovered from its exhaust emissions promotes plant growth.

For more information, please visit: Rolls Royce


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