Have you heard about the Footprint Project?' The mission of this tiny US nonprofit is to 'provide cleaner energy for communities in crisis'. Footprint's 'footprint' is visible after earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornados — and even in Ukraine — as it brings solar microgrid power to those in need. The portable microgrids developed by the Footprint Project proved their worth during Hurricane Ida in August 2021 and are now supported by Schneider Electric and Microsoft.
The background to the development of the Footprint project and later partnership between Footprint, Schneider Electric and Microsoft is spelt out in an article on the Microsoft website 'A unique form of hope - Tiny Nonprofit Footprint Project is bringing cleaner energy to disaster response'.
The Footprint Project made the Time 'Best Inventions List' of 2022 - Footprint Project Microgrids: The 200 Best Inventions of 2022 leading to an excellent article, 'Mobile microgrids by Footprint and Schneider make Time’s best inventions list', the reading of which inspired this post!
With a well established branch in Sydney Road, Benalla, Schneider Electric's logo/motto is Life is On, the O has vertical slash, as per symbol for on/off switch. The Schneider Electric (Australia) website has a list or downloadable reports in pdf including 'Operating, Maintaining and Optimizing Microgrids' (2023) 'Resilient - Delivering exceptional resilience for extraordinary health care" (2022). There's a pdf download 'Schneider Electric - Our New World of Energy'
Interested in finding out more about microgrids generally? Microgrid Knowledge is a website full of resources. Reference manuals in downloadable pdf format include 'Handbook on Microgrids for Power Quality and Connectivity' published by the Asian Development Bank; and the 'Microgrid Conceptual Design Handbook 2022' a publication of the Energy Transitions Project, US Department of Energy.
Malcolm McCullough's book 'Downtime on the Microgrid: Architecture, Electricity and Smart City Islands' published in 2020 by MIT and subtitled 'a human-centered account of why the future of electricity is local', is my next port of call.
It's frustrating that we don't seem to be making progress with microgrids in Australia. But some people are!
17 January 2024
Footnote - a quick search for 'mobile microgrids' in Australia came up with 'hybrid' products -
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