Microgrid design for islanded communities is seeing renewed interest due to the increased accessibility of solar, wind, and energy storage technologies. Islanded communities are often economically disadvantaged, which requires cost-effective microgrid designs. This paper investigates the potential to achieve economic and environmental benefits via optimizing the sizing of various components of a renewable energy system. We used Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island, Maine, USA as a testbed for developing an optimization framework. A system dynamics (SD) model was first developed to simulate the daily operation of the island microgrid system and then the model was calibrated and validated using historical data. A production probability frontier analysis was then conducted to co-optimize system costs, fossil fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions. We found that the greatest benefit is achieved when PV solar system size and battery size and panel numbers are co-optimized, for a fixed wind energy system size. As renewable energy systems such as wind, PV solar, and battery storage are introduced, fossil fuel consumption can be reduced significantly initially. Beyond a certain renewable energy system size, the reduction in fossil fuel consumption via increasing renewable energy becomes more costly. The model enables co-optimization of the economic and environmental performances of the microgrid.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date of Publication or Presentation
Graduate Research Project
College or School
Ghasemi, Roozbeh; Wosnik, Martin; and Mo, Weiwei, "Multi-objective optimization of a microgrid for an islanded community" (2022). Student Research Projects. 30.