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Title: Solar Building Energy Storage Management - MicrogridXpert

Abstract

Throughout the world and the U.S., increases in solar PV adoption have occurred due to lower prices, government incentives and concern for the environment. Due to their variable intermittent power output, solar PV is being paired with batteries to smooth their output. This presents many challenges in terms of cost optimization, stability, and control of power flow. Microgrids are being introduced as a solution to maximize the effectiveness of such systems. As the grid becomes more decentralized and distributed generation reaches about 20% of the grid (which can occur in some local areas), grid stability becomes more susceptible to the output of renewable energy sources and inverters. These situations present unique opportunities for a control software to reap the maximum effectiveness of a microgrid. BlazeTech has developed an innovative software, MicrogridXpert, that addresses many of these challenges. It is designed to be scalable and flexible to interface with microgrid components including solar PV, batteries, inverters, and battery management systems. The performance characteristics of each component varies among manufacturers and when put in service; the capabilities and characteristics of each component are used as inputs in MicrogridXpert. MicrogridXpert is an innovative high-level control software using the most advanced computational tools. Itsmore » main features/ benefits are: Optimize load and battery use/ Minimize utility electricity costs Address both user and utility requirements/ Provide actionable insight and Ensure microgrid stability Adaptable and flexible/ No custom engineering needed Support grid-connected and islanded modes/ Promote microgrid/system resilience Runs continuously/ Respond to events as they happen Deep learning and artificial algorithms/ Improve its predictions over time Support AC & DC Hybrid Microgrid/ Decrease conversion inefficiencies Our commercialization strategy is to license MicrogridXpert to a microgrid installer or developer while retaining the development rights to further improve the technology. Our initial target end-user is focused on grocery stores in Los Angeles, California county because of the number of on-going and planned installations of solar PV, batteries, and microgrids. The driving forces are high electricity prices including time-of-use and demand charges, abundant solar power, enticing federal and state incentives, and the need for backup power during power outages to prevent inventory spoilage and to serve the community in times of emergency. Our application of MicrogridXpert on an average grocery store in this location predicts attractive net savings and payback periods in general agreement with the NREL System Advisor Model (SAM). We can later expand into other commercial and government applications. MicrogridXpert can be used as a standalone tool in the design and monitoring of microgrids to provide actionable insights or connected to microgrid sensors and actuators for direct control and to the utility for demand response. The software can be used in retrofit and new projects. A self-calibrating feature will be provided to ensure that MicrogridXpert faithfully represents the microgrid. Its calibration, connectivity, and security features will be first developed in future validation tests planned in a pilot microgrid at NREL. MicrogridXpert can be extended to control wind turbines, fuel cells, and non-battery storage technologies. The anticipated ability of MicrogridXpert to achieve the user’s goals of cost savings and good power quality while alleviating the concern of utilities about the increased adoption of microgrids will represent a breakthrough that benefits all parties while promoting the adoption of distributed generation and microgrids and protecting the environment.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. BlazeTech Corporation, Woburn, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
BlazeTech Corporation, Woburn, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1457040
Report Number(s):
DOE-BLAZE-8167
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0018167
Type / Phase:
SBIR (Phase I)
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; 42 ENGINEERING; Battery; Solar; Control; Optimization; Simulation

Citation Formats

Barrows, Tyler, Belz, Andrew, Moussa, N. Albert, and Abedini, A. Solar Building Energy Storage Management - MicrogridXpert. United States: N. p., 2018. Web.
Barrows, Tyler, Belz, Andrew, Moussa, N. Albert, & Abedini, A. Solar Building Energy Storage Management - MicrogridXpert. United States.
Barrows, Tyler, Belz, Andrew, Moussa, N. Albert, and Abedini, A. Mon . "Solar Building Energy Storage Management - MicrogridXpert". United States.
@article{osti_1457040,
title = {Solar Building Energy Storage Management - MicrogridXpert},
author = {Barrows, Tyler and Belz, Andrew and Moussa, N. Albert and Abedini, A.},
abstractNote = {Throughout the world and the U.S., increases in solar PV adoption have occurred due to lower prices, government incentives and concern for the environment. Due to their variable intermittent power output, solar PV is being paired with batteries to smooth their output. This presents many challenges in terms of cost optimization, stability, and control of power flow. Microgrids are being introduced as a solution to maximize the effectiveness of such systems. As the grid becomes more decentralized and distributed generation reaches about 20% of the grid (which can occur in some local areas), grid stability becomes more susceptible to the output of renewable energy sources and inverters. These situations present unique opportunities for a control software to reap the maximum effectiveness of a microgrid. BlazeTech has developed an innovative software, MicrogridXpert, that addresses many of these challenges. It is designed to be scalable and flexible to interface with microgrid components including solar PV, batteries, inverters, and battery management systems. The performance characteristics of each component varies among manufacturers and when put in service; the capabilities and characteristics of each component are used as inputs in MicrogridXpert. MicrogridXpert is an innovative high-level control software using the most advanced computational tools. Its main features/ benefits are: Optimize load and battery use/ Minimize utility electricity costs Address both user and utility requirements/ Provide actionable insight and Ensure microgrid stability Adaptable and flexible/ No custom engineering needed Support grid-connected and islanded modes/ Promote microgrid/system resilience Runs continuously/ Respond to events as they happen Deep learning and artificial algorithms/ Improve its predictions over time Support AC & DC Hybrid Microgrid/ Decrease conversion inefficiencies Our commercialization strategy is to license MicrogridXpert to a microgrid installer or developer while retaining the development rights to further improve the technology. Our initial target end-user is focused on grocery stores in Los Angeles, California county because of the number of on-going and planned installations of solar PV, batteries, and microgrids. The driving forces are high electricity prices including time-of-use and demand charges, abundant solar power, enticing federal and state incentives, and the need for backup power during power outages to prevent inventory spoilage and to serve the community in times of emergency. Our application of MicrogridXpert on an average grocery store in this location predicts attractive net savings and payback periods in general agreement with the NREL System Advisor Model (SAM). We can later expand into other commercial and government applications. MicrogridXpert can be used as a standalone tool in the design and monitoring of microgrids to provide actionable insights or connected to microgrid sensors and actuators for direct control and to the utility for demand response. The software can be used in retrofit and new projects. A self-calibrating feature will be provided to ensure that MicrogridXpert faithfully represents the microgrid. Its calibration, connectivity, and security features will be first developed in future validation tests planned in a pilot microgrid at NREL. MicrogridXpert can be extended to control wind turbines, fuel cells, and non-battery storage technologies. The anticipated ability of MicrogridXpert to achieve the user’s goals of cost savings and good power quality while alleviating the concern of utilities about the increased adoption of microgrids will represent a breakthrough that benefits all parties while promoting the adoption of distributed generation and microgrids and protecting the environment.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1457040}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

Technical Report:
This technical report may be released as soon as June 25, 2022
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