Natural Gas-Enabled Renewables (Bldg 7R)

Natural Gas-Enabled Renewables (Bldg 7R)

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The Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection and Community & Economic Development (PA DEP and DCED, respectively) have expressed a desire to understand how Marcellus Shale gas can be coupled with renewable energy technologies to promote economic development in grid-constrained areas of Pennsylvania, while enabling the long-term reduction of carbon footprints. The purpose of this project is to complete pre-construction of a hybrid generation and storage system capable of accomplishing these goals, as outlined below.

The system will consist of a gas-fired, low-emission, combined-cycle microturbine operating in parallel with existing PV-enabled energy storage. Penn State, in partnership with PECO, PJM, and ProtoGen, intends to demonstrate that this particular technology mix can serve as a viable and scalable basis of distributed energy systems, and that the economics of such systems can be enabled, in part, through interplay in the frequency regulation marketplace. The system will serve as a platform for education and training on complex energy system architectures. Anticipated teaching and research topics include system programming, modeling, administration, design, construction, commissioning, troubleshooting, and expanded market options for customer-sited assets.

Additionally, the system will be used in the execution of proposed supplemental test cases, such as:

  • Demonstrating the versatility of a three-port inverter in managing multiple batteries and PV
  • Establishing the capability to program inverters for variable operational modes and ranges
  • Evaluating integration into a Building Automation System (BAS) and management of all energy assets via Curtailment Services Provider (CSP)
  • Investigating the implementation of voltage and frequency ride-through requirements in distributed energy resources interconnected to a utility
  • Monitoring for and responding to system disturbances with and without PV/battery/turbine-supported recovery