SYSTEM DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF A RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCE POWERED MICROGRID

Undergraduate

 

ABSTRACT  

Today there is a great need for alternative new energy sources at cheaper development prices than those required from a traditional power plants. The renewable generation technologies are and will become both cheaper and more beneficial for our environment than other traditional means of productions. As

Renewable Energy Generation technologies advance, it is important that Power

Systems Engineers investigate carefully the Smart Grid and specially the Islanded Microgrid. Microgrid System Design Solutions that seek zero Emissions are more important as pollutants from traditional plants contribute to the contamination of the environment. In this thesis we use a Systems Engineering approach to design and analyze a typical Islanded Microgrid in order to seek zero emission Microgrids at the lowest possible cost. This study designs the Microgrid as a Smart Grid; we use and follow the design by considering engineering Standards from NIST and IEEE. Then we develop initial Microgrid System design and architecture. The System then is

Analyzed and simulated in HOMER. Finally, a Tradeoff analysis is performed to search design variations and their effect on system cost as well as on environmental emissions.


Introduction

The Future Forward Towards Smart Grids and Microgrids

Traditional Means of Energy Production are typically centralized. Many of these are the in the form of Coal power plants, and nuclear plants. This way of generating power has served well the humanity during the last century. However, they are mostly inefficient and pollutant. To generate power, those systems use mainly fossil fuels, which are heavy environmental pollutants and also are available in reduced quantities year by year. 50% to 70% of the fuel used to produce power is lost as heat waste and around 8% of the generated power is lost in transmission lines. The infrastructure has large maintenance costs and its complexity makes the whole system vulnerable and prone to failures and black-outs. New enterprises in this market are difficult due to regulations and the large initial capital needed. [21].

As Renewable Energy Generation technology advances, it is important that Power Systems Engineers investigate carefully the Smart Grid and especially the Islanded mode Microgrid. The renewable generations technologies are and will become both cheaper and more beneficial for our environment than other traditional means of energy production. And attempts to design Microgrid System Solutions that allow for zero Emissions are becoming more important as pollutants from traditional plants will effectively contribute to the contamination of the environment and the need for new energy sources at cheaper starting prices than those required from a traditional power plant.


What is a Microgrid?

The Department of Energy defines a microgrid as “A group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources (DER) with clearly defined electrical boundaries that acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid [and can] connect and disconnect from the grid to enable it to operate in both grid connected or island mode.” 

The Importance

Microgrids are becoming much cheaper to deploy and their increasingly cheaper generation capabilities for communities will help both consumers and places where energy is hard to reach, be able to afford and enjoy much needed clean energy. 

Our Objective: A Systems Engineering Approach for The Microgrid

The main objective of this study is to use Systems Engineering towards the design and operation of a typical Microgrid in order to find both an appropriate System Architecture and Economics involved in the microgrid that will allow the system designer to find and study Microgrids variations with the goal of comparing and searching for zero emission Microgrids at the lowest cost. 

The design of a Microgrid with a systems engineering approach involves several aspects of consideration. The design of a microgrid with the NIST Smart Grid standard as the entry point for system requirements. The identification of the system stakeholders. The behavior of the system. The architecture. And the analysis of the system economical aspects as well as the tradeoff and optimization of the system.