MARMET Hosts Microgrid Power Systems Workshop in Living Lab

On March 29-30, 2015, the MARMET group organized and hosted a workshop on microgrid systems and power electronics for low energy buildings in the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (ECEB) at the University of Illinois. This workshop was co-sponsored by the IEEE and by the Power Sources Manufacturers’ Association (PSMA).

Forty registered participants, ten talks, and four open discussion sessions provided the forum for in-depth, engaged conversations between students, faculty and industry. The workshop included a technical tour of ECEB, which has been designed to ultimately achieve zero net energy performance as it is commissioned during 2015-16.

Presented talks included:

  • A Low-Energy “Living Laboratory” Building for Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Power Grid Stability: The Perils and Potential of Power Electronic Loads
  • A Summary of Iowa’s Recent Inquiry into Distributed Generation
  • Grid Energy Storage Services and Benefits
  • Storing Thermal Energy to Maximize Renewables and Minimize Randomness
  • The Effects of Regulatory and Utility Policy on the Lifecycle Valuation of Solar PV
  • Fast Modeling of Solar Costs and Sensitivity
  • Fast Local Voltage Control under Limited Reactive Power
  • A 13.8-kV 4.75-MVA Microgrid Laboratory Test Bed
  • Case Study of Missouri S &T Solar Village Microgrid – Lessons Learned

Examples of discussion topics included:

  • Microgrid operating strategies to help achieve low energy consumption and time flexibility of loads
  • Stability issues exacerbated by constant-power loads in grids and microgrids
  • Market design experience in two different jurisdictions related to distributed generation
  • Thermal storage technology alternatives and methods for grid integration
  • Ancillary services and reactive power support
  • Solar economics based both on static energy production and dynamic variability.

Dr. Mariesa Crow, the Fred W. Finley Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and MARMET project lead, was pleased with the workshop. “The building tour was remarkable and really highlighted some of the innovative methods of reducing energy usage without loss of functionality,” she said.

The presentations can be found on the MARMET website here