The primary objective of this project is to demonstrate the value of a standardized and repeatable approach to the design of new or upgraded energy systems on Department of Defense (DoD) installations globally, using a state-of-the-art Microgrid and Distributed Energy Resources (DER) design platform. In addition, the team will facilitate technology transfer, by designing a DoD focused training program around the platform.
The project team brings an awarded, cutting-edge, Microgrid design and implementation platform, which combines economic energy optimization, with static and transient power analysis under a single entity, streamlining the entire process of energy system design and implementation. Further, the team will develop training material with a DoD focused training curriculum and provide expert instructors as part of the demonstration to facilitate the transfer of the technology to a wide user base within the DoD. XENDEE is an informed decision-making tool, built on well-established scientific Microgrid modeling algorithms, streamlining the Microgrid design and implementation process. XENDEE employs and enhances well established optimization tools to determine the optimal mix, capacity, placement, and operation of DER resources within a new or existing Microgrid under real constraints such as climate, regulations, utility structure, and financial realities. For power system design and analysis, XENDEE uses the Open Distribution System Simulator (OpenDSS) power system analysis tool as the engine for time-based load-flow analysis, a critical step in the Microgrid design process. In addition, other solution modes, such as short-circuit, dynamic, and harmonic analysis can be performed. As part of the demonstration, the team will integrate best practices gained from the cyberinterconnection-network characterization and discovery tool from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which identifies the minimum set of the communication paths that are necessary for normal and optimal operation of Microgrid DER, while reducing the cyber-attack surface. The project team has led several training programs around Microgrids and the XENDEE platform. The team will customize these programs, tailoring them specifically to DoD needs, as part of the training and technology transfer.
Benefits to DoD revolve around having a standardized approach to provide installation resilience and cost savings in the face of changing conditions:
- The ability to cost-effectively implement a scalable Microgrid from the ground up or facilitate integration of additional critical loads, generation, and storage assets into an existing Microgrid – The platform will be used as a standardized approach to the design of new, and the expansion of existing, DoD Microgrids and DER projects, removing the reliance on external vendors and consultants. Based on research, costs for such designs are around 25% of the entire project implementation costs. XENDEE can reduce this to less than 5%, based on commercial experience.
- The ability to simplify the design process through application of standard interfaces, configurations, and DoD specific catalogues – This demonstration will determine the scale at which DoD Microgrids can be standardized, where standard packages are determined as a function of cost and resilience. The rest of the design process is streamlined by employing DoD specific catalogues, which store technologies, utility tariffs, and resilience requirements.
- The ability to cost-effectively exploit legacy generation assets to reduce cost and increase resilience – The platform models the existing Microgrid as part of the design process, recommending optimal operation of existing assets, reducing OPEX and maintenance costs, and strengthening resilience.
- Diversity in generation sources – The ability to analyze distinct energy and technology alternatives to determine mission appropriate configurations.
- Trained expertise – Hands-on training tailored to the DoD to accelerate technology transition.
- Increased self-reliance – Confidence in installation resilience as a result of decreased reliance on uncontrolled external energy providers. Increase transparency between vendors/consultants and the installations improving the efficiency of the design phase.