DER-CAM+ Announcement

Friday, March 25, 2016

After being tested by the industry and Universities the Grid Integration Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is pleased to announce the official release of DER-CAM Plus (DER-CAM+), a significant leap forward compared to the previous version of DER-CAM. DER-CAM+ is a decision support tool for decentralized energy systems that has been tailored for microgrid applications, and now explicitly considers:

  •  electrical and thermal networks (power flow) within a microgrid
  •  ancillary services, and
  • operating reserves.

Unlike the previous versions of DER-CAM that did not model the electrical/thermal networks within the microgrid and used aggregate single-node approaches, DER-CAM+ includes electrical power flow and thermal flow equations and constraints in the microgrid. More specifically, DER-CAM+ includes a mixed-integer linear power flow model (with losses) for active and reactive power in the microgrid, applicable to both distribution-level meshed and radial networks. Similarly, it contains a mixed-integer linear heat transfer model that also includes losses.

The other main new feature is the consideration of revenues from various ancillary services markets, including spinning and non-spinning reserve, and up and down frequency regulation. Furthermore, the new DER-CAM+ is able to enforce operating reserve constraints, which can be defined as a function of peak load and/or installed capacity.

The key inputs to DER-CAM+ are:

  •  the site's load profiles for each node, disaggregated by fuel type and end-use (space heating, water heating, gas only, electricity only, cooling, and refrigeration)
  • detailed electricity and gas (or other fuels) tariff rates
  • detailed ancillary services market data
  • detailed DG techno-economic parameters, such as capital and operating and maintenance costs, rated power or electric efficiency
  • electrical network parameters
  • thermal network parameters
  • operating reserve parameters, and
  • financial parameters and constrains that may constrain the investment decisions, such as maximum payback period or discount rates.

The main outputs of DER-CAM+ are:

  • the optimal selection of DER at each node
  • the optimal capacities of selected DER at each node
  • the optimal scheduling strategy (including market participation and load management) supporting the investment decision, and
  • several other outputs, such as energy-related costs, detailed emissions, and tariff usage information.

The new DER-CAM+ optimization engine comes with a freshly-designed interface, which can be accessed online in any web browser. The new interface enables the user to draw the system electrical single line diagram and heat transfer network in an intuitive visual environment, and easily define load and technology parameters, as well as investment preferences at the node level. The results presentations have also significantly enhanced, and give the user the ability to plot electrical, heating, and cooling dispatch for the entire microgrid (aggregate) or at each node.

Locational results (Topology)

Dispatch results for each node

Voltage profile for each node