Optimization and Control Laboratory
The Energy Systems Integration Facility's (ESIF's) Optimization and Control Laboratory is a unique, crosscutting space that brings together commercial building infrastructure, energy storage equipment, and an electric vehicle (EV) test bed to evaluate how loads can provide flexibility to the grid and reduce overall consumption while still providing comfort to building occupants.
Buildings are responsible for 75% of the total electrical load, and 5 million charge ports will be required to support a projected 7 million plug-in EVs by 2025. These industry changes make it critical to determine how to integrate building and vehicle loads. This space in the ESIF provides the necessary research capabilities to fast-track scalable solutions, including:
Commercial Buildings Integration
The commercial buildings portion of the lab opened in June 2019 and offers a space to collaborate on research related to grid-interactive efficient buildings. Some specific capabilities include:
- Electrical infrastructure for three buildings, including 480-V and 208/120-V breaker panels and integrated circuit-level power meters
- Integrated data acquisition system that can be used to collect data, control equipment, and provide real-time visualization across commercial building and energy storage assets
- Building automation system (BAS) test bed where off-the-shelf or prototype BAS systems can be evaluated in a controlled environment
- Communications and control link to building energy simulation platforms, which enables hardware-in-the-loop testing of commercial building equipment and loads
- Fluid conditioning module that connects to the ESIF’s hot- and cold-water loops to provide a controllable thermal resource
- Connection to grid and photovoltaic (PV) simulators and other distributed energy resources for grid interactivity research
- Connection to other ESIF resources through the ESIF's Research Electrical Distribution Bus and supervisory control and data acquisition system.
This capability in the ESIF is focused on energy storage installed behind the meter at a building, specifically thermal energy storage and electrochemical energy storage. This enables the characterization of both individual components or systems and the integration of multiple systems:
- Thermal characterization experiments to measure the performance of thermal components and systems over a range of operating conditions
- Thermal energy storage that includes chillers and heat pumps
- Hardware-in-the-loop integration experiments to measure the performance of an ecosystem while representing some components in simulation
- Emulation of a building's thermal and electric loads for a specific climate that includes the chiller plant and thermal energy storage in hardware
- Insight into the actual performance of a system using hardware-in-the-loop
- Characterization of new control algorithms, control hardware, and interoperability.
Contact Jason Woods for more information.
Electric Vehicle Grid Integration
With the market share for longer range electric vehicles continuing to increase, so does the demand for innovative charging and charge management solutions. The ability to enable increased adoption of EVs as part of a larger system of electrification can be achieved through research in this lab:
- Electrical infrastructure for two individual sites, with each site including a 480-V and 208/120-V or 240/120-V breaker panels and integrated circuit-level power meters
- System performance testing of extreme fast-charging systems with vehicles capable of using approximately 350-kW charging
- Connection to grid and PV simulators and other distributed energy resources for grid interactivity research at more than 1 MW
- Hardware-in-the-loop-integrated control to enable experiments for DC charging of EVs up to 350 kW. Researchers can emulate the vehicle response for different battery chemistry, battery capacity, and battery thermal designs
- Connection to other ESIF's AC and DC resources through the ESIF's Research Electrical Distribution Bus
- Hardware-in-the-loop-integrated control to enable experiments for AC grid dynamics from DC charging of EVs up to 350 kW. Researchers can emulate the grid response for the evaluation of charging equipment control influences to the grid.
Contact Andrew Meintz for more information.