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Development of an open access tool for design, simulated dispatch, and economic assessment of distributed generation technologies

  • Author(s): McLarty, D
  • Brouwer, J
  • Ainscough, C
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. The design and deployment of DG systems requires an integrated assessment of the building and generator dynamics including the time-variant energy costs and emission factors. Static design optimizations are unable to consider the physical generator operating constraints, seasonal variability and non-coincidence in electric, heating, and cooling demands. This paper introduces the Distributed Generation Build-out Economic Assessment Tool (DG-BEAT) which combines building, utilities, and emissions databases with a library of simplified generator and building models in a user-friendly interface. Five control strategies are presented for the dynamic dispatch of distributed generation technologies at commercial buildings. The control approaches stem from the physical limitations of different generator types. Methods are also outlined for the dispatch of complementary technologies (e.g. energy storage) and accommodation of on-site renewables (e.g. solar PV) which could further improve the economic or environmental benefits of distributed generation. This paper details the methodology of sizing and dispatching distributed generation components, outlines eight databases that are employed to capture regional variations in pricing and building dynamics, and discusses the myriad of customizations available to provide a tailored analysis for a single building or national impact studies.

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