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Title: Smart Energy Management and Control for Fuel Cell Based Micro-Grid Connected Neighborhoods

Abstract

Fuel cell power generation promises to be an efficient, pollution-free, reliable power source in both large scale and small scale, remote applications. DOE formed the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance with the intention of breaking one of the last barriers remaining for cost effective fuel cell power generation. The Alliance’s goal is to produce a core solid-state fuel cell module at a cost of no more than $400 per kilowatt and ready for commercial application by 2010. With their inherently high, 60-70% conversion efficiencies, significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and negligible emissions of other pollutants, fuel cells will be the obvious choice for a broad variety of commercial and residential applications when their cost effectiveness is improved. In a research program funded by the Department of Energy, the research team has been investigating smart fuel cell-operated residential micro-grid communities. This research has focused on using smart control systems in conjunction with fuel cell power plants, with the goal to reduce energy consumption, reduce demand peaks and still meet the energy requirements of any household in a micro-grid community environment. In Phases I and II, a SEMaC was developed and extended to a micro-grid community. In addition, an optimal configuration wasmore » determined for a single fuel cell power plant supplying power to a ten-home micro-grid community. In Phase III, the plan is to expand this work to fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods (mini-grid). The economic implications of hydrogen cogeneration will be investigated. These efforts are consistent with DOE’s mission to decentralize domestic electric power generation and to accelerate the onset of the hydrogen economy. A major challenge facing the routine implementation and use of a fuel cell based mini-grid is the varying electrical demand of the individual micro-grids, and, therefore, analyzing these issues is vital. Efforts are needed to determine the most appropriate means of implementing micro-grids and the costs and processes involved with their extended operation. With the development and availability of fuel cell based stand-alone power plants, an electrical mini-grid, encompassing several connected residential neighborhoods, has become a viable concept. A primary objective of this project is to define the parameters of an economically efficient fuel cell based mini-grid. Since pure hydrogen is not economically available in sufficient quantities at the present time, the use of reforming technology to produce and store excess hydrogen will also be investigated. From a broader perspective, the factors that bear upon the feasibility of fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods are similar to those pertaining to the electrification of a small town with a localized power generating station containing several conventional generating units. In the conventional case, the town or locality would also be connected to the larger grid system of the utility company. Therefore, in the case of the fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods, this option should also be available. The objectives of this research project are: To demonstrate that smart energy management of a fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhood can be efficient and cost-effective;To define the most economical micro-grid configuration; and, To determine how residential micro-grid connected fuel cell(s) can contribute to America's hydrogen energy future.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of South Alabama
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
885435
Report Number(s):
DoE/FC/36-04GO14243-3
TRN: US200719%%313
DOE Contract Number:
FC36-04GO14243
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; CARBON DIOXIDE; COGENERATION; COMMUNITIES; CONFIGURATION; CONTROL SYSTEMS; ECONOMICS; ELECTRIC POWER; ENERGY CONSUMPTION; ENERGY CONVERSION; ENERGY MANAGEMENT; FUEL CELL POWER PLANTS; FUEL CELLS; HOUSEHOLDS; HYDROGEN; IMPLEMENTATION; POLLUTANTS; POWER GENERATION; POWER PLANTS; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; PEM Fuel Cells, Smart Energy Management and Cntrol, Microgrid connected neighborhoods

Citation Formats

Dr. Mohammad S. Alam. Smart Energy Management and Control for Fuel Cell Based Micro-Grid Connected Neighborhoods. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/885435.
Dr. Mohammad S. Alam. Smart Energy Management and Control for Fuel Cell Based Micro-Grid Connected Neighborhoods. United States. doi:10.2172/885435.
Dr. Mohammad S. Alam. Wed . "Smart Energy Management and Control for Fuel Cell Based Micro-Grid Connected Neighborhoods". United States. doi:10.2172/885435. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/885435.
@article{osti_885435,
title = {Smart Energy Management and Control for Fuel Cell Based Micro-Grid Connected Neighborhoods},
author = {Dr. Mohammad S. Alam},
abstractNote = {Fuel cell power generation promises to be an efficient, pollution-free, reliable power source in both large scale and small scale, remote applications. DOE formed the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance with the intention of breaking one of the last barriers remaining for cost effective fuel cell power generation. The Alliance’s goal is to produce a core solid-state fuel cell module at a cost of no more than $400 per kilowatt and ready for commercial application by 2010. With their inherently high, 60-70% conversion efficiencies, significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and negligible emissions of other pollutants, fuel cells will be the obvious choice for a broad variety of commercial and residential applications when their cost effectiveness is improved. In a research program funded by the Department of Energy, the research team has been investigating smart fuel cell-operated residential micro-grid communities. This research has focused on using smart control systems in conjunction with fuel cell power plants, with the goal to reduce energy consumption, reduce demand peaks and still meet the energy requirements of any household in a micro-grid community environment. In Phases I and II, a SEMaC was developed and extended to a micro-grid community. In addition, an optimal configuration was determined for a single fuel cell power plant supplying power to a ten-home micro-grid community. In Phase III, the plan is to expand this work to fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods (mini-grid). The economic implications of hydrogen cogeneration will be investigated. These efforts are consistent with DOE’s mission to decentralize domestic electric power generation and to accelerate the onset of the hydrogen economy. A major challenge facing the routine implementation and use of a fuel cell based mini-grid is the varying electrical demand of the individual micro-grids, and, therefore, analyzing these issues is vital. Efforts are needed to determine the most appropriate means of implementing micro-grids and the costs and processes involved with their extended operation. With the development and availability of fuel cell based stand-alone power plants, an electrical mini-grid, encompassing several connected residential neighborhoods, has become a viable concept. A primary objective of this project is to define the parameters of an economically efficient fuel cell based mini-grid. Since pure hydrogen is not economically available in sufficient quantities at the present time, the use of reforming technology to produce and store excess hydrogen will also be investigated. From a broader perspective, the factors that bear upon the feasibility of fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods are similar to those pertaining to the electrification of a small town with a localized power generating station containing several conventional generating units. In the conventional case, the town or locality would also be connected to the larger grid system of the utility company. Therefore, in the case of the fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhoods, this option should also be available. The objectives of this research project are: To demonstrate that smart energy management of a fuel cell based micro-grid connected neighborhood can be efficient and cost-effective;To define the most economical micro-grid configuration; and, To determine how residential micro-grid connected fuel cell(s) can contribute to America's hydrogen energy future.},
doi = {10.2172/885435},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 15 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Wed Mar 15 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • To build on the work of year one by expanding the smart control algorithm developed to a micro-grid of ten houses; to perform a cost analysis; to evaluate alternate energy sources; to study system reliability; to develop the energy management algorithm, and to perform micro-grid software and hardware simulations.
  • In this Project we collaborated with two DOE National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL). Dr. Hammerstrom of PNNL initially supported our project and was on the graduate committee of one of the Ph.D. students (graduated in 2014) who was supported by this project. He is also a committee member of a current graduate student of the PI who was supported by this project in the last two years (August 2014-July 2016). The graduate student is now supported be the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at Montana State University (MSU). Dr. Chris Marneymore » of LBL provided actual load data, and the software WEBOPT developed at LBL for microgrid (MG) design for our project. NEC-Labs America, a private industry, also supported our project, providing expert support and modest financial support. We also used the software “HOMER,” originally developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the most recent version made available to us by HOMER Energy, Inc., for MG (hybrid energy system) unit sizing. We compared the findings from WebOpt and HOMER and designed appropriately sized hybrid systems for our case studies. The objective of the project was to investigate real-time power management strategies for MGs using intelligent control, considering maximum feasible energy sustainability, reliability and efficiency while, minimizing cost and undesired environmental impact (emissions). Through analytic and simulation studies, we evaluated the suitability of several heuristic and artificial-intelligence (AI)-based optimization techniques that had potential for real-time MG power management, including genetic algorithms (GA), ant colony optimization (ACO), particle swarm optimization (PSO), and multi-agent systems (MAS), which is based on the negotiation of smart software-based agents. We found that PSO and MAS, in particular, distributed MAS, were more efficient and better suited for our work. We investigated the following: • Intelligent load control - demand response (DR) - for frequency stabilization in islanded MGs (partially supported by PNNL). • The impact of high penetration of solar photovoltaic (PV)-generated power at the distribution level (partially supported by PNNL). • The application of AI approaches to renewable (wind, PV) power forecasting (proposed by the reviewers of our proposal). • Application of AI approaches and DR for real-time MG power management (partially supported by NEC Labs-America) • Application of DR in dealing with the variability of wind power • Real-time MG power management using DR and storage (partially supported by NEC Labs-America) • Application of DR in enhancing the performance of load-frequency controller • MAS-based whole-sale and retail power market design for smart grid A« less
  • A fuel cell power plant, which utilizes a smart energy management and control (SEMaC) system, supplying the power need of laboratory based ''home'' has been purchased and installed. The ''home'' consists of two rooms, each approximately 250 sq. ft. Every appliance and power outlet is under the control of a host computer, running the SEMaC software package. It is possible to override the computer, in the event that an appliance or power outage is required. Detailed analysis and simulation of the fuel cell operated smart home has been performed. Two journal papers has been accepted for publication and another journalmore » paper is under review. Three theses have been completed and three additional theses are in progress.« less
  • A 200-kW fuel cell produced by International Fuel Cells (IFC), a United Technologies Company, began operation at the National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) in early June 2003. The NTRC is a joint Oak Ridge National laboratory (ORNL) and University of Tennessee research facility located in Knoxville, Tennessee. This research activity investigated the protective relaying functions of this fully commercialized fuel cell power plant, which uses ''synthesized'' protective relays. The project's goal is to characterize the compatibility between the fuel cell's interconnection protection system and the local distribution system or electric power system (EPS). ORNL, with assistance from the Electric Powermore » Research Institute-Power Electronics Applications Center (EPRI-PEAC) in Knoxville, Tennessee, monitored and characterized the system compatibility over a period of 6 months. Distribution utility engineers are distrustful of or simply uncomfortable with the protective relaying and hardware provided as part of distributed generation (DG) plants. Part of this mistrust is due to the fact that utilities generally rely on hardware from certain manufacturers whose reliability is well established based on performance over many years or even decades. Another source of concern is the fact that fuel cells and other types of DG do not use conventional relays but, instead, the protective functions of conventional relays are simulated by digital circuits in the distributed generator's grid interface control unit. Furthermore, the testing and validation of internal protection circuits of DG are difficult to accomplish and can be changed by the vendor at any time. This study investigated and documented the safety and protective relaying present in the IFC fuel cell, collected data on the operation of the fuel cell, recorded event data during EPS disturbances, and assessed the compatibility of the synthesized protective circuits and the local distribution system. The project also addressed other important and timely issues. For instance, the study includes an evaluation of the effectiveness of the fuel cell's synthesized relay protection scheme relative to the recently issued IEEE 1547 interconnection standard. Together, these activities should serve to reduce the number of unknowns pertaining to unconventional protective circuits, to the benefit of DG manufacturers, vendors, prospective and current users of DG, and electricity suppliers/distributors. Although more grid-connect fuel cell interruptions were encountered in this study than originally anticipated, and the investigation and findings became quite complex, every effort was made to clearly summarize the interconnection causes and issues throughout the report and especially in the summary found in Sect. 4. ORNL's funding of this study is sponsored equally by (1) the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Distributed Energy Resources and (2) the Distributed Generation Technologies program of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).« less
  • The management plan of a Grid-Connected Integrated Community Energy System utilizing cogeneration of electricity as a byproduct of steam in an educational, residential, hospital, and commercial community east of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is presented. The management plan, construction schedules, legal assessments, and financial assessment programs are described in detail.