Integrated performance based design of communities and distributed generation
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The vertically integrated utility market within the U.S. is undergoing rapid changes due to the rise of small-scale distributed power generation known as microgrids, which are local networks of power generation and distribution typically serving a demand less than 40 MW. Primary drivers for microgrid investment are the performance benefits these systems return to their owners, which include increased reliability, reduced emissions and reduced operating costs. We define a novel modeling methodology to represent the microgrid as an integrated system of the demand and supply. Previous work to develop an integrated system model does not adequately model the building thermal demand, incorporate a modeler’s knowledge of the grid’s availability or allow for a user to model their tolerance for unmet demand. To address these modeling issues, we first demonstrate a technique for representing a building stock as a reduced order hourly demand model. Next, as demand side measures are typically defined at the building level as discrete options, we demonstrate a technique for converting a large discrete optimization problem into a simplified continuous variable optimization problem through the use of Pareto efficient cost functions. The reduced problem specification results in 90% fewer function evaluations for a benchmark optimization task. Then, we incorporate two new features into the Distributed Energy Resource Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM) developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) that allow users to define grid outage scenarios and their limit of expected energy demand not served. Applying the integrated model to a microgrid design scenario return solutions that exhibit on average an 8% total annual cost reduction and 18% reduction in CO2 emissions versus a Supply Only case. Similarly, the results on average reduce total annual cost by 5% and annual emissions by 17% for a Demand First case. In summary, we present a modeling methodology with application to joint decision making that involve renewable power supply, building systems and passive building design measures and recommend this model for performance based microgrid design.