University of California, Irvine, opens research microgrid in Shadow Mountain community


Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Moreno cuts the ribbon during the grand opening.

UC Irvine’s Advanced Energy and Power Program joined the US Department of Energy, KB Home, SunPower, Southern California Edison and Schneider Electric on May 22 to officially open the new microgrid communities located in the Shadow Mountain Master Plan. : Menifee, California.

A microgrid is a self-contained energy system that serves a specific geographic area with one or more energy sources supplying the community along with the utility grid. For this research and demonstration project, all-electric homes are located in two neighboring communities and are equipped with solar panels, home batteries, a smart water heater, a smart heating and air conditioning system, and controls that can insulate and power country homes. network outage event. Each home is certified to DOE-mandated Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) standards, which include ENERGY STAR, WaterSense and Indoor airPLUS.

The two communities of 219 homes have separate microgrids that can be connected when shared energy resources are determined to benefit both communities. In addition to home batteries, a community battery will be used between homes. The overall goal of the project is to increase the energy reliability, flexibility and efficiency of residential homes, as well as to use flexible loads based on the electrical microgrid architecture of connected communities. More than thirty homes have been fitted with a large portfolio of state-of-the-art energy efficient equipment and energy efficiency measures to meet ZERH standards.

“This is at the forefront of the next generation of household developments,” said Scott Samuelsen, professor of mechanical, aerospace and environmental engineering and principal investigator with SunPower. “For homeowners, the digital age and home charging of electric vehicles demand enhanced home energy security that microgrid technology provides.”

APEP is partnering with SCE, SE and SunPower to develop, deploy and evaluate a microgrid infrastructure and microgrid controller designed to interface with the home, community battery and utility grid to achieve the higher reliability, flexibility and energy efficiency expected is next year. a generation of home owners. Throughout the project, APEP will work with SCE to simulate connected microgrids, acquire and archive data resulting from the project, and conduct research to improve technologies for future microgrid applications.

APEP will also explore, test and demonstrate a car-to-home future, where energy stored in an electric vehicle is available to extend the home’s energy readiness in the event of a grid outage.

In general, APEP will certify that the microgrid controller conforms to national standards (IEEE 2030.7) derived from previous research conducted by APEP for DOE using the UCI microgrid as a platform for both development and demonstration. The UCI Microgrid is a 20 MW class microgrid serving more than 50,000 communities, a wide variety of building types (residential, office, research, classroom), transportation options (cars, buses, shared cars, bicycles) and an array of distributed energy resources. Through past and ongoing research projects, APEP has partnered with UCI Administration and Facilities Management (FM) to integrate key microgrid hardware, software, and simulation assets into the UCI Microgrid. In collaboration with UCI FM and SCE, APEP successfully and seamlessly isolated and reconnected the UCI microgrid from the utility grid. During the 75-minute demonstration of the islands, the event was transparent to the university community, although the demand for locally produced resource cargo changed significantly.

News from the University of California, Irvine

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