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Input data reduction for microgrid sizing and energy cost modeling: Representative days and demand charges

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Computational time in optimization models scales with the number of time steps. To save time, solver time resolution can be reduced and input data can be down-sampled into representative periods such as one or a few representative days per month. However, such data reduction can come at the expense of solution accuracy. In this work, the impact of reduction of input data is systematically isolated considering an optimization which solves an energy system using representative days. A new data reduction method aggregates annual hourly demand data into representative days which preserve demand peaks in the original profiles. The proposed data reduction approach is tested on a real energy system and real annual hourly demand data where the system is optimized to minimize total annual costs. Compared to the full-resolution optimization of the energy system, the total annual energy cost error is found to be equal or less than 0.22% when peaks in customer demand are preserved. Errors are significantly larger for reduction methods that do not preserve peak demand. Solar photovoltaic data reduction effects are also analyzed. This paper demonstrates a need for data reduction methods which consider demand peaks explicitly.

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