Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

An Electrical Microgrid: Integration of Solar Panels, Compressed Air Storage, and a Micro-Cap Gas Turbine

[+] Author Affiliations
Shreyas M. Patel, Paul T. Freeman, John R. Wagner

Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Paper No. DSCC2014-6058, pp. V002T22A003; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 2: Dynamic Modeling and Diagnostics in Biomedical Systems; Dynamics and Control of Wind Energy Systems; Vehicle Energy Management Optimization; Energy Storage, Optimization; Transportation and Grid Applications; Estimation and Identification Methods, Tracking, Detection, Alternative Propulsion Systems; Ground and Space Vehicle Dynamics; Intelligent Transportation Systems and Control; Energy Harvesting; Modeling and Control for Thermo-Fluid Applications, IC Engines, Manufacturing
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, October 22–24, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4619-3
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas are being consumed at a brisk pace while greenhouse gases contribute to atmospheric pollution. A global shift is underway toward the inclusion of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, for generating electrical and mechanical power. To meet this emerging demand, a solar based electrical microgrid study is underway at Clemson University. Solar energy is harvested from photovoltaic panels capable of producing 15 kW of DC power. Compressed air energy storage has been evaluated using the generated solar power to operate an electric motor driven piston compressor. The compressed air is then stored under pressure and supplied to a natural gas driven Capstone C30 MicroTurbine with attached electric power generator. The compressed air facilitates the turbine’s rotor-blade operated compression stage resulting in direct energy savings. A series of mathematical models have been developed. To evaluate the feasibility and energy efficiency improvements, the experimental and simulation results indicated that 127.8 watts of peak power was delivered at 17.5 Volts and 7.3 Amps from each solar panel. The average power generation over a 24-hour time period from 115 panels was 15 kW DC or 6 kW of AC power at 208/240 VAC and 25 Amps from the inverter. This electrical power could run a 5.2 kW reciprocating compressor for approximately 5 hours storing 1,108 kg of air at a 1.2 MPa pressure. A case study indicated that the microturbine, when operated without compressed air storage, consumed 11.2 kg of gaseous propane for 30 kW·hr of energy generation. In contrast, the microturbine operated in conjunction with solar supplied air storage could generate 50.8 kW·hr of electrical energy for a similar amount of fuel consumption. The study indicated an 8.1% efficiency improvement in energy generated by the system which utilized compressed air energy storage over the traditional approach.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In