Dr Andrew Mears
Building flexible, resilient microgrids with battery storage
Dr. Andrew Mears is an electrical engineer with more than 20 years in clean energy and technology innovation. He is a former Chief Technical Advisor on Renewable energy and climate change for United Nations in Africa and SE Asia, as well as solar, hydro and biofuels project development. He has extensive experience in research, design and commercialisation of control systems and biomedical devices and prior tech ventures in satellite communications.
Dr Mears is founder and CEO of SwitchDin, an innovative provider of smart energy control solutions for beyond-the-meter and micro-grid orchestration of distributed energy resources.
Today’s microgrids deploy more diverse resources and have a greater reliance on data than those of the past. Solar PV and batteries are common components in microgrids, but these need to be coordinated with other resources and loads to maximise security and reliability.
This presentation looks at the role of battery storage in the management of modern-day microgrids. It examines case studies from SwitchDin’s project portfolio, including both stand-alone microgrids like the Lockhart River project in Queensland as well as embedded networks for commercial, industrial and residential applications.
The focus of the presentation is on the different services that batteries provide in microgrid environments – demand management, self-consumption optimisation, blackout protection, and more – and the need for smart management to deliver them. It also looks at ‘future-proofing’ microgrids by building in flexibility, and the role embedded networks could play in tomorrow’s grid, including energy market participation via virtual power plant programs.