Considerations of Generation and Energy Storage in an Emergency Microgrid
This paper describes a feasibility study for forming a microgrid in the downtown area of the city of _____, _________ under emergency conditions created by loss of power transmission from the transmission authority, as happened on November __, ____. The objective of this study is to improve the reliability of the microgrid. In the case at hand, there are two hydroelectric generators totaling 13 Megawatts without the energy storage of a dam. Rooftop solar generation adds a similar amount a generation capacity. Energy storage consists of vanadium flow batteries. The loads are typical high priority urban loads such as hospitals, police and jail, government offices, and downtown business district. A long history maintained at the public utility provides appropriate load data.
A team comprised of a graduate student and five undergraduate students performed this study. This concept of performing an important study such with a team such as this is an ongoing successful method of enhancing the effectiveness of engineering education at both graduate and undergraduate levels. This methodology includes instruction and mentoring in leadership and business administration for the students. It enables the graduate student to accomplish more in the course of the thesis-based Masters’ degree. Likewise, the undergraduates accomplish more in the course of their senior engineering project due to more direct and frequent mentoring. We have used this method for several years. It is explained in an ASEE paper which will be cited. In this paper, we will formally assess the effectiveness of this model upon the results that we achieved for the microgrid project at hand.
The project itself consisted of several tasks. First, the microgrid was characterized, identifying energy resources and critical loads, obtaining network data, and collecting historical generation and load resource data. Second, the microgrid, consisting of a subset of the existing electrical distribution network, was modeled in PowerWorld®. Third, the microgrid was analyzed in PowerWorld. A steady state power flow analysis proved the feasibility. A transient analysis established robustness under expected transient and fault conditions. Contingencies, such a loss of individual generators or loads or lines, were investigated and the microgrid’s limits established. Fourth, electrical energy storage systems, i.e., batteries, were proposed to improve the microgrid operation by reducing the variations between the available generation and connected load. A study was conducted to identify the available battery storage technologies for practical implementation. The study included sizing the battery and identifying a location to place the battery. Fifth, available master control technology and the microgrid control techniques were analyzed. For those results, schemes were developed for centralized and decentralized control of the microgrid.
The paper will describe how we conducted this investigation. Organizing and mentoring students, establishing power sources, coordinating electrical loads, sizing battery storage, and controlling the entire system reliably and effectively are all subjects of this paper.
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