Design and Performance of Solar Decathlon 2011 High-Penetration Microgrid: Preprint

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The Solar Decathlon 2011 was held in Washington, D.C., from September 23 to October 2, 2011 . A high-penetration microgrid was designed, installed, and operated for the Solar Decathlon 2011 to grid-connect 19 highlyenergy-efficient, solar-powered competition houses to a single utility connection point. The capacity penetration of this microgrid (defined as maximum PV generation divided by maximum system load over a two-week period) was 74% based on 1-minute averaged data. Temporary, ground-laid conductors and electrical distribution equipment were installed to grid-connect the Solar Decathlon village,which included the houses as well as other electrical loads used by the event organizers. While 16 of the houses were connected to the 60 Hz microgrid, three houses from Belgium, China, and New Zealand were supplied with 50 Hz power. The design of the microgrid, including the connection of the houses powered by 50 Hz and a standby diesel generator, is discussed in this paper. In addition to theutility-supplied net energy meters at each house, a microgrid monitoring system was installed to measure and record energy consumption and PV energy production at 1-second intervals at each house. Bidirectional electronic voltage regulators were installed for groups of competition houses, which held the service voltage at each house to acceptable levels. The design and successful performance ofthis high-penetration microgrid is presented from the house, microgrid operator, and utility perspectives.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 2012
    Event2012 World Renewable Energy Forum - Denver, Colorado
    Duration: 13 May 201217 May 2012


    Conference2012 World Renewable Energy Forum
    CityDenver, Colorado

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-7A30-54719


    • high penetration
    • microgrid
    • Solar Decathlon


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