A solution with two grids

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A radical approach is to put wind power and other intermittent sources onto a separate second electricity grid, used to power systems that don't require reliable power, such as heating and electric vehicle battery-charging.

Fair lsle0

100 km


Fair lsle0

100 km


Heating: 2.5

Other: 2.9

Figure 26.12. Electrical production and consumption on Fair Isle, 1995-96. All numbers are in kWh/d per person. Production exceeds consumption because 0.6 kWh/d per person were dumped.

For over 25 years (since 1982), the Scottish island of Fair Isle (population 70, area 5.6 km2) has had two electricity networks that distribute power from two wind turbines and, if necessary, a diesel-powered electricity generator. Standard electricity service is provided on one network, and electric heating is delivered by a second set of cables. The electric heating is mainly served by excess electricity from the wind-turbines that would otherwise have had to be dumped. Remote frequency-sensitive programmable relays control individual water heaters and storage heaters in the individual buildings of the community. The mains frequency is used to inform heaters when they may switch on. In fact there are up to six frequency channels per household, so the system emulates seven grids. Fair Isle also successfully trialled a kinetic-energy storage system (a flywheel) to store energy during fluctuations of wind strength on a time-scale of 20 seconds.

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Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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