Solar Nanogrids? Now, if that brings up images of some real hi-tech nanotech stuff, hold on!
Solar nanogrids are far simpler entities. They refer to small distributed solar power generating systems which could be supplying to a local network of consumers, typically a small community of less than 50 households. Should this be a standalone grid not connected to the larger grid, such solar nanogrids usually also incorporate battery storage.
Conceptually, nano-grids can be thought of smaller than microgrids (which could be running into about 50 kW), which in turn are smaller than minigrids that could run to 1 MW. Nanogrids, on the other hand, are typically 5 kW or smaller.
Imagine a 5 kW solar rooftop system, but this time, imagine that instead of supplying to just one household, it supplies power to about 50 houses with low load consumption. You now see a nanogrid.
Solar nanogrids could find significant application in developing or more in underdeveloped countries – some of the countries nanogrids are being applied in include Bangladesh & Kenya. I am personally aware of nanogrid type of infrastrucutres being attempted in some parts of India too.
You can easily see how solar nanogrids, through their simple architecture and quick implementation could start powering millions of households in many not-so-fortunate regions of the world with little or no grid power access.
As a result, not surprisingly, Navigant Research estimates solar nanogrids are a fast growing market – it estimates the market could grow from $1.2 billion in 2015 to $23.1 billion in 2024.