Building-scale microgrids are a type of behind-the-meter microgrids where the building operator has control of the distributed energy resources, including, in this case, a natural gas-fired microturbine in addition to solar PV and battery energy storage systems. There is a growing trend in deploying behind-the-meter microgrids due to their benefits including the resiliency of serving critical loads, especially in regions with abundant natural gas. In order to ensure distributed energy resources are dispatched optimally for the desired mode of operation, a hierarchical control platform including a centralized controller was developed and installed. The platform includes communication and control infrastructure that interface with controllers for distributed energy resources and the building automation system of a recently built energy efficient commercial building. Based on desirable outcomes under different grid and building conditions, operational modes were defined for the microgrid controller. The controller is programmed to map each mode to respective operational modes for distributed energy resources controllers. Experimental data for test runs corresponding to two operational modes confirm the communication and control infrastructure can execute hierarchical control commands. Finally, dispatch optimization for a year-long simulation of system operation is presented and the benefits of the hybrid solar PV-natural gas setup are evaluated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Energy (miscellaneous)
- Control and Optimization
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering