Optimization and integration of renewable energy sources on a community scale using Artificial Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms
- Author(s): Davis, Bron
- Advisor(s): Coimbra, Carlos
- et al.
The goal for this paper and my research is to reduce overall cost associated with electricity use at UC Merced. UC Merced presents itself as a unique opportunity for to model integration and optimization of renewable energy sources. It will be discussed exactly what makes UC Merced unique and how UC Merced has set a path towards higher energy efficiency on a community level. Furthermore, I will discuss difficulties involved with integrating renewable resources and then proceed to analyze techniques for further optimization as UC Merced continues its path towards zero net energy. One of these optimization techniques, genetic algorithms; I will discuss in some detail as it was the technique chose to verify the results of the optimization. The main goal of this study is to determine the effect of moving UC Merced‘s Central Plant load closer to or completely during daylight hours when there is inexpensive (solar) energy available or during the night time when energy pricing is minimum. While it seems logical to shift the cooling load, it has yet to be quantitatively shown that such load shifting would be more cost effective. Genetic algorithm (GA)-based Artificial Neural Network (ANN) models are used for demand and energy production forecasting and then GA based cost optimization is performed to find optimum time window for load shifting. We determined that loading shifting can be beneficial and the associated savings are presented for both summer and winter seasons.