Microgrid systems can provide distributed power to communities that lack basic access to electricity. Scalability, maintenance, and power management are prominent challenges associated with microgrid resilience. These obstacles can be limiting in the continued development of the community. As progress drives an increase in energy demand, the microgrid needs to continue to meet that demand. Designing systems with the appropriate maintenance levels is another obstacle that impacts resiliency.
There are many design tools that analyze system performance and cost. One goal of this work is to review a set of these technical models. HOMER Energy, System Advisor Model (SAM), and the Microgrid Design Toolkit (MDT) were reviewed. However, technical and economic performance is just one aspect of design. In the design procedure, social parameters also need to be considered. Few, if any, microgrid design tools consider societal dynamics. This work also aims to evaluate social indicators in the context of sustainable microgrid design. Accordingly, relationships are established between common societal indicators and the microgrid challenges of scalability, maintenance, and power management.