Publication | Peer reviewed papers | Potentiale, Bioenergiesysteme, Logistik

Techno-economic optimization of islanded microgrids considering intra-hour variability

Published 15 December 2021

Citation: Mathiesen P, Stadler M, Kleissl J, Pecenak Z. Techno-economic optimization of islanded microgrids considering intra-hour variability. Applied Energy. 2021.304:117777.


The intra-hour intermittency of solar energy and demand introduce significant design challenges for microgrids. To avoid costly energy shortfalls and mitigate outage probability, islanded microgrids must be designed with sufficient distributed energy resources (DER) to meet demand and fulfill the energy and power balance. To avoid excessive runtime, current design tools typically only utilize hourly data. As such, the variable nature of solar and demand is often overlooked. Thus, DER designed based on hourly data may result in significant energy shortfalls when deployed in real-world conditions. This research introduces a new, fast method for optimizing DER investments and performing dispatch planning to consider intra-hour variability. A novel set of constraints which operate on intra-hour data are implemented in a mixed-integer-linear-program microgrid investment optimization. Variability is represented by the single worst-case intra-hour fluctuation. This allows for fast optimization times compared to other approaches tested. Applied to a residential microgrid case study with 5-minute intra-hour resolution, this new method is shown to maintain optimality within 2% and reduce runtime by 98.2% compared to full-scale-optimizations which consider every time-step explicitly. Applicable to a variety of technologies and demand types, this method provides a general framework for incorporating intra-hour variability into microgrid design.

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