North Carolina State University (NC State) will radically change how future microgrids are designed by developing a suite of microgrid control/coordination co-design tools capable of performing systematic design of an optimized microgrid, given a set of design objectives and performance constraints. The team will develop a well-documented co-design engineering process supported by a tool suite that yields optimal equipment selection, guarantees system stability, evaluates system dynamics, and delivers an integrated coordination/control and communication software/hardware architecture with a concrete implementation validated in high-fidelity simulations. The team will also deliver an open-source microgrid control integration platform: a hardware device with sensing, actuation capabilities and networked, embedded software that can realize the outputs of the design flow in a concrete, physical form. Such automated implementation of control and communication architecture into the operational environment is expected to significantly reduce the cost of microgrid deployment.
NC State’s process of addressing the control, communication and coordination aspects of the design early in the design phase enabled by a tool suite-supported design flow makes microgrid engineering more affordable and allows more optimal, functional, and resilient designs. The team’s design and operational approach will enable microgrids to: