Dynamic Building Load Control to Facilitate High Penetration of Solar PV Generation

This three-year integrated project aims to develop, demonstrate, and validate a sensing and control mechanism for using loads to mitigate the variable PV generation to reduce two-way power flow and mitigate voltage instability on distribution level circuits. The technology developed will enable increased penetration of renewables while mitigating challenges arising due to their intermittency. Budget Period 1 (BP1) will be focused on literature review and formal design of a control system approach for integrating local distribution with generation and loads. Impact of varying buildings loads, variable PV generation, along with power flow dynamics on the distribution circuit have to be accurately modeled to enable optimal control development. The dynamic models developed in BP1 will be used in Budget Period 2 (BP2) to develop a model-based control design testbed. The testbed will enable the simulation testing and comparison of different control designs and formulations applied to different configurations of the distribution grid, PV, and building loads. The control approaches developed in BP 2 will be implemented in Budget Period 3 on hardware and deployed at ORNL and Southern Company facilities for testing and evaluation.