Developing Wind Turbine Modules for Gridlab-D
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As modern energy production techniques move away from monolithic, fossil-fuel-driven generation facilities, heuristics for the development and maintenance of distributed renewable energy systems must be developed; furthermore, antiquated heuristics undervalue renewable energy and ignore externalities.
The objective of this project was to facilitate the advancement of new decision-making paradigms by incorporating sustainable energy sources into distribution-level simulation software. Specifically, this report describes the development and implementation of wind-turbine add-ons to an open-source distribution-network simulation and analysis tool called Gridlab-D. The additions include single- and multiple-turbine simulation objects that estimate power generation based on climate data (an existing part of the simulation tool) and user-defined turbine parameters.
The resulting software was verified by comparing the expected and observed power output for each turbine model. These values were calculated externally in MATLAB and then compared with the output of Gridlab-D for the same weather information. Retrospective software validation was carried out by using real-world turbine data from NREL, Weaver Wind, and Middelgrundens Wind Turbine Cooperative to generate model parameters. The resulting parameters were plugged into Gridlab-D (compiled with the new models) along with observed wind data, and then the simulated output was compared to the observed wind power output. Further work in this area could entail reproducing existing wind integration studies on the Gridlab-D platform. This would allow researchers to directly compare studies that were originally carried out in disparate simulation environments.