MAE Seminar: Optimal Design of Distributed Energy Resource Systems that Minimize Cost While Reducing Carbon Emissions

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Robert Flores

UC Irvine Research Engineer

Abstract: From a practical perspective, economics drives the development of distributed energy resource (DER) systems. However, the adoption of a DER system provides an opportunity for the end user to completely control his/her environmental footprint. This work examines the process of designing a DER system while controlling carbon emissions. A mixed integer linear program (MILP) for sizing and dispatching a DER system is developed. The MILP includes a novel formulation of constraints that govern utility natural gas, generator operational state and charging of thermal energy storage. The MILP is executed using real energy-demand data for the University of California, Irvine to optimally design a DER system that minimizes cost while also reducing carbon emissions by a specified quantity. Multiple technology scenarios that include electrical and thermal energy storage, and electrical export, are explored. Technology adoption trajectories are developed, and the different operational methods through which each system achieved lower carbon emissions at minimum cost is examined. Finally, the cost to reduce carbon emissions is calculated.

Bio: Robert Flores is a research engineer who works at the Advanced Power and Energy Program at UCI. His research is focused on the optimal design and control of energy systems when considering interaction with transportation systems and environmental impact. He graduated with his Ph.D. in mechanical and eerospace engineering from UCI in 2016.