The purpose of this article is to discuss how to implement solar and wind energy generation on an example system. This article will also go into some detail about what each type of power source can contribute to the grid, and how to use them in your home or business’s electricity supply. Power sources such as photovoltaic panels (PVs), battery systems, and small-scale turbines are becoming increasingly popular due to their low-cost maintenance and ability to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. These technologies can be used either for direct current (DC) production, alternating current (AC) production, or both depending upon your needs and budget.
In this article, we will only focus on implementing distributed generation (DG) using PV modules and batteries. There are many ways to connect these components to produce AC or DC power, so feel free to explore other articles for more information! IEEE Systems Committee has designed an interesting test case that can easily be implemented in homes and offices around the world. It is our task to evaluate the performance of several DG configurations by looking not just at the raw data but also comparing different cost metrics such as active component investment costs and operation and maintenance (O&M) expenses.
This article will assume you have basic knowledge of electric circuits, resistance, capacitance, and algebra. If you do not, I would recommend studying those concepts first before moving forward with this article.
Reasons to implement DG
The main goal of this article is to discuss why you should implement distributed generation (or what some call “solar” or “wind power” as it can be referred to directly) on your home or business electricity supply system. It will also look at how to implement these generators on an example grid, the 33-bus system.
This article will talk about two major reasons that most people do not actively use all available energy resources in their homes and/or businesses. These are cost efficiency and income independence.
By having solar or wind power systems installed at your house or business, you reduce your reliance on expensive utility-supplied electricity. You also earn money by selling any excess power generated back to the grid!
This article will assume that you are already using renewable electricity source(s) in your home or business via a photovoltaic (PV) panel or similar equipment.
Calculate energy production
The next step in implementation is to determine how much power each generator produces, and what their respective roles will be within the system. This is typically done by finding the generation of each resource at any given moment and then using algebra or software to calculate what percentage comes from each source.
There are many ways to implement this calculation, but one of the most common is called “power balance”. Power balance takes into account all powers drawn from a source as well as any resistive losses incurred while drawing that power. It calculates the difference between input supply and output load and divides it by the total supply to find the proportion of supplied power used for other purposes.
This article uses the term ‘generation’ very broadly to refer to anything that can produce electricity, including photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, fuel cells, and so forth. In practice, however, we often only include solar PV and wind turbine generators in our calculations due to their relatively high efficiency, and because they are usually the first resources installed on a project.
In our case study today, we will exclusively focus on distributed renewable generation projects, which use various types of equipment to generate power close to where it is consumed. These projects are particularly useful when there is not enough consistent clean energy available to fully meet an organization’s demands, such as during late evenings or early mornings.
Calculate energy consumption
The next step in this process is to determine how much power each device will need to be productive during operation. This information comes from two sources: Power demands typically have an efficiency factor, or demand ratio, that denotes how many watts of power they require to operate effectively. Efficiency factors vary depending on the device type, but most are around 20%–25%. A typical solar panel has an efficiency of about 15%-20%, so it needs about one-fifth to one-twentieth of its requested wattage to work properly!
Power demands also include some indirect loads such as lighting or other equipment used for functionality or aesthetics. These loads can make up half or more of a system’s total load, so it is important to not only account for direct power usage, but also include these secondary functions when calculating supply. By using average efficiencies and adding in all necessary loads, you get a pretty good estimate of what your system will need at any given time.
By having a source of generation close to where there is high electricity use, you reduce the amount of transport needed to produce energy which reduces cost. Also, by producing your own power instead of relying on the grid, you lower your exposure to potential outages caused by maintenance or natural disasters.
Establish a contract with the consumer
After determining your system’s optimal DG potential, the next step is to establish a contractual relationship with each customer that will require them to connect to the grid at their location.
This can be done through either a direct connection or a power purchase agreement (PPA). Direct connections are typically free, but there may still be fees for equipment installation or lines running across the property. PPAs offer financial incentives to use solar or wind energy by way of lower monthly electricity bills.
By having an established contract, customers do not need to worry about finding funding sources or negotiating terms as the company does. A company that offers PPPs also covers all costs associated with solar or wind energy including hardware, installations, and maintenance.
These contracts usually have a fixed price per kWh which helps mitigate cost uncertainty.
Connect to the grid
The next step in solar power generation is connecting your system to the electrical grid. This is typically done through what is called interconnection agreements, or IGA’s as they are commonly referred to. An IGA is like a contract that sets up rules for how much energy you can produce and when you must give it back to the grid.
Most states have laws requiring net metering, which means giving back free electricity to the grid, but only if your system is producing more than you are using at any given time. Some utilities may also ask for a connection fee, depending on whether you are connected directly to their transmission line or not. These fees are usually very reasonable, making it possible to affordably add solar to your home.
There are several ways to connect to the grid. You can connect via a net meter, net feeder, net transformer, or net substation.
Apply for permits
Once you have determined which energy source(s) will be used to meet your system’s demand, the next step is applying for a permit to use these resources to power your distribution generation.
Most state utility commissions require an application for a DG permit to be accompanied by a plan that includes specific milestones, timeframes, and cost estimates. These plans are referred to as “load allocation planning documents” or LATDs. The LATD must show how much electricity each type of solar or wind equipment can supply to the grid in their respective operating states and what size of battery bank they need to compensate for any surplus or deficit energy production.
The utilities typically don’t provide this information directly so it is up to the applicant to make assumptions about what equipment needs to function at its best performance levels during peak times and what level of redundancy is needed to ensure adequate service. Applicants should always check with their local utility to see if such documentation is available prior to submit their own.
Another important component of the LATD is determining what price tag to assign to each kWh produced by each piece of DG equipment. There may be tax incentives or other benefits associated with producing renewable energy, so pricing per kWh cannot simply include the average market rate.
Lastly, the commission will want to verify that all relevant regulations have been met for each individual project site before issuing the final permit.
Design the system
The next step in implementation is to design your distribution generation system, or what we referred to as DG. This includes all of the equipment needed to produce energy from either solar or wind sources.
The type of solar or wind generator you choose makes a big difference in how much power it produces and how efficiently it functions. You want to make sure that you are looking at many different types of generators before choosing which one is best for your site.
There are two main categories of solar generators: photovoltaic panels and concentrator PV systems. Both work by converting light into electricity.
Photovoltaic cells use semiconductors to do this, while concentrated solar rays turn turbines inside the device to create current. Concentrator PV uses lenses and mirrors to focus sunlight onto the cell more effectively than normal flat panel setups.
Wind turbine generators are also categorized into vertical-axis or horizontal-axis models. Horizontal axis designs rotate the blades perpendicular to the ground level, creating constant torque. Vertical axis ones have blades that stand up straight like needles, using drag force to generate momentum and power.
You will need to determine which type of solar or wind generator is most efficient at producing energy for your site, and then find vendors to supply them. There are several companies that offer pre-made installations of these components, but you may be able to get better deals by buying individual parts instead.
Build the system
The next step in implementation is to build your system. This includes solar panels, wind turbines, or both! There are many different ways to implement DG at a system level.
There are two main types of distributed generation (DG): photovoltaic (PV), which uses sunlight to produce electricity, and wind turbine generators (WTGs), which use kinetic energy from winds to generate power.
Solar panels typically have flat, stationary devices that convert light into electricity via photoelectric effects. More recently though, panel designs incorporate curved surfaces to capture as much direct unobstructed sunlight as possible while still producing enough power.
Wind turbine generator (WTGs) technology has also improved dramatically over time. Early models used large blades designed for efficiency but were relatively loud. Modern versions are more quiet and can be built with advanced materials such as composite plastics or carbon fiber composites. Even some vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) have become popular due to their simpler design and potential cost savings.
With all this variability, it is important to do research and determine what will work best for you and your site’s budget. Luckily, there are now several free software tools available to help you choose the right type and number of renewable resources for your system. These applications assess your location and find appropriate equipment by either giving you price estimates or directly offering to sell you one thing only if another one is canceled or doesn’t work.
IEEE 33, 69 Test Bus System, Load Flow using Matlab Distributed Generation and solar DG Calculation. Optimal Placement of DG Units Considering Power Losses Minimization and Voltage Stability Enhancement in Power System. Optimal Placement of Multi DGs in Distribution System with Considering the DG Bus Available Limits. Preliminary Investigation of Building a Wind Farm Plug-in Vehicles and Renewable Energy Sources for Cost and Emission Reductions Placement of wind and solar-based DGs in the distribution system for power loss minimization and voltage stability improvement