The first Microformer demonstration was shown at the 2010 Climate Leadership Challenge, where the Microformer team won as the Most Action-Ready solution. The table-top prototype was built as a proof-of-concept system for demonstration purposes. It does not recreate realistic conditions such as long transmission lines. However, it is a fully working Microformer prototype with one step-up Microformer at the “generation” side, and two step-down Microformers emulating two households.
The step-up Microformer is fed using a power cable that is plugged to the wall, or could be plugged to any 120V electricity source such as the inverter output of a PV system, or a gen-set. Each step-down Microformer is connected to a wall outlet, which can be used with any 120V appliance.
The WMARS Project
The first Microformer outdoor prototype was installed in Madison, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s WMARS. For this demonstration project, an existing wind turbine with built-in battery was connected to a shed, which was previously not electrified, using a two-node Microformer distribution system. The shed will provide lighting and electricity for small power tools and appliances such as radios and computers.
The Huatacondo Project
Huantacondo is a small village in north Chilean which is situated between high, rocky mountains. Contacts at the University of Chile provided us the opportunity to expand the Microformer’s work into a real-life situation in Chile. An effort to use Huatacondo as a testing ground for microgrid work was already underway, led by the University of Chile and the local electric utility. A solar power plant works in unison with diesel generators to provide this small village its electricity. In addition, a wind turbine was scheduled to be integrated to this grid. This low power output turbine would be located near the top of the mountains which surround the village, making it an ideal candidate for the Microformer. Microformers were installed successfully in 2011, and we continue to provide technical support for this installation.
Copyright Microformer 2011