Research Paper

A Micro-Grid with PV, Fuel Cells and Energy Efficiency

Distributed generation technologies such as solar are opening up new opportunities, such as micro-grids. Because a micro-grid is designed to support all the electricity demands of a specific group of customers, it may lower the cost of electricity because it is not burdened with the overhead associated with the transmission and distribution system provided by electric utilities.

This paper evaluates of the economic potential of a micro-grid composed of PV, fuel cells and energy efficiency investments for a set of residential customers.

This paper examines:
  • Whether PV, fuels cells (operated in a cogeneration mode) and energy efficiency may all be an economically attractive part of a micro-grid.
  • Whether a micro-grid with PV, fuel cells and energy efficiency can meet supply and demand on an annual, monthly and hourly basis.
  • How fuel cells (operated in a cogeneration mode) and PV can be used to meet peak electrical demand throughout the year.
  • How large the micro-grid needs to be to be reliable, and what factors dictate the size.

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