The objective of the project is to develop an advanced optimization-based design support tool for AC or DC microgrids in remote locations, where utility grids may not be accessible. The mathematical model and the interface will be designed such that multiple design objectives and criteria/constraints can be easily enabled or disabled. Also, it will be designed to facilitate future feature developments. The tool will be available for free.
DER-CAM has been applied to microgrid design and analysis problems by many prestigious companies including EPRI, GE, and Burns Engineering, and several NY Prize winners use it for microgrid design. We will adapt DER-CAM to develop an optimization model that meets all the requirements of a Microgrid design tool, including:
- AC or DC microgrid architectures
- multiple economic objectives
- constraints on fuel availability
- active and reactive power flow constraints for normal and N-1 contingency cases
- component part load efficiencies
- interactive data visualization capabilities.
A component library including components’ default technical and economical characteristics will also be developed.
A second phase will focus on tool testing and validation, tool deployment for real microgrid design, and reaching out to the tool customers. The development team will collaborate with an industry advisory board, and will work with their pool of microgrids and utilities. This phase also includes tasks for enhancing the model, by expanding the component library, considering stochasticity in renewable generation, adding network design capability, enhancing the visualization and interface, and enhancing the computational speed.
To successfully carry out the project, a team of several National Labs, Universities, Industrial Partners, and Microgrid governing entities have been formed.
Microgrid Governing Entities: