Photovoltaic (PV) based grid-interactive and off-grid electricity system

Overview

Renewables, especially photovoltaic (PV), based decentralised electrical energy systems are challenging the conventional centralized electricity production, transmission and distribution systems. Ordinary people are looking for means to reduce their energy bills and improving the availability of energy by installing own generators. In order to improve energy efficiency of the society, governments globally spur consumers to implement renewable generation and become prosumers. At the same time there are over billion people living without access to electricity or clean energy. Thus, access to electricity has been recognised to be one of the most important factors in increasing the standard of living at developing economies.

Growing energy independence is not only a blessing. Intermittent dispersed renewable generation poses challenges to power distribution and power system operation. But when combined with other distributed energy resources, like flexible loads and energy storages, the renewables have given birth to local microgrids, which open brand new means for developing and optimizing the grids, power system operation and energy markets.

The so-called grid-parity of PV production has already been achieved on regions near equator and the development continues. In India the grid-parity was first time reached in a PV project at 2013. In Finland it is estimated that several PV projects will reach the grid-parity cost level before 2020. The availability of low-cost PV production, the growing demand for clean energy and the related opportunities for power system evolution raise the question – How to take advantage of this resource on the most socio-economic and efficient way in providing affordable and sustainable access to electricity on remote areas?

Objectives

To develop and verify concepts, technology, simulations models, optimization algorithms, operational management systems and business models for the off-grid as well as grid connected microgrids based on the application of solar power, energy storages, power electronics, flexible loads (including electrical vehicles) and tools of digitalization. By applying the developed methods, the outlook for tomorrow's decentralised electricity systems and their benefits and business potential will be studied and developed.

Contents

The work is divided into six interleaved tasks, that deal with (1) technology trends and operational environments, (2) techno-economical modelling and simulation, (3) optimisation of microgrids and their use, (4) optimisation of microgrid operation, (5) verification with demonstrations, and (6) researcher exchange.

The work is conducted in collaboration by Lappeenranta University of Technology and Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar and Delhi. The project is financed by the Academy of Finland and the Department of Science and Technology, India.

Challenges

  • Society
    • Communal organisation degree

    • Environmental impacts

    • Welfare and living standards

    • Affordable access to electricity

    • Societal acceptability of technology

  • Sustainability
    • Meagre existing infrastructures

    • Flexibility and safety of technologies

    • Life-cycle management

    • Life-cycle cost effectivity

    • Material and energy efficiency

  • Technology

    • Generation intermittency

    • Material and energy efficiency

    • Capacity and expandability

    • Level complexity

    • Resiliency and reliability


       

Contact Us

Tero Kaipia

tel. +358 50 577 3922

tero.kaipia@lut.fi