Performance and analysis of retail store-centered microgrids with solar photovoltaic parking lot, cogeneration, and battery-based hybrid systems

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Department of Materials Science and Engineering


To examine the potential of distributed microgrids using sustainable energy sources centered on retail store parking lots, this study provides a methodology to simulate medium-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) + combined heat and power (CHP) + battery hybrid microgrid systems deployed at big box retail stores. First, a method is provided to agglomerate 15-min load data for a community of residences in the region of the store to provide baseline electricity load profiles. The systems are then modeled using dispatch strategies previously shown to be stable for smaller, but more dynamic loaded systems. The methodology is demonstrated with a case study for a Walmart Supercenter located in Nova Scotia, Canada. The electricity generated by each component of the hybrid system is coupled and optimized to fulfill the electric demands of the local community. The results provide the total electricity generated by the PV + CHP + battery hybrid system, total operating hours by each unit, fuel consumed, and hourly energy produced by each unit. The results show that such microgrid systems could serve the electrical needs of ˜1000 people (350 residences) for each parking lot of 3.5 MW PV system and CHP unit of 1 MW. The technical viability of this approach warrants future work.

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Engineering Reports