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Mohammad Shahidehpour is the Bodine Chair Professor and Director of Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation at Illinois Institute of Technology. Dr. Shahidehpour is the recipient of the Honorary Doctorate for the Polytechnic University of Bucharest in Romania. He is a Research Professor at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Honorary Professor in North China Electric Power University in Beijing and Sharif University in Tehran. He is an IEEE Fellow.

Joseph F. Clair, P.E., serves as Director of Campus Energy and Sustainability for the Illinois Institute of Technology. As part of his responsibilities at IIT, Mr. Clair served as implementation project manager for the Perfect Power/DOE Smart Grid project – one of the first 10 Smart Grid projects in the country. Prior to his work at IIT, Mr. Clair served as Managing Engineer for the Chicago Public Schools, overseeing the energy efficiency of new building design and working with building engineers to improve efficiency in existing buildings. In 16 years in the construction business, Mr. Clair has worked as a contractor, designer, construction manager, commissioning authority, and now owner, seeing all ends of the building business.

Mohammad Shahidehpour is the Bodine Chair Professor and Director of Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity

A Functional Microgrid for Enhancing Reliability, Sustainability, and Energy Efficiency

The Illinois Institute of Technology’s Perfect Power project has converted its Chicago campus to a microgrid, providing a glimpse into the future of electricity innovation in an urban community. The microgrid demonstrates that cost-effective electric power can be delivered to the consumer precisely as that consumer requires it, without fear of failure and without increasing costs.

Mohammad Shahidehpour and Joseph F. Clair

I. Earlier Infrastructure before Microgrid

The Illinois Institute of Technology sits about 2.5 miles south of downtown of Chicago, bounded by 35th Street on the south, Michigan Avenue on the east, 29th/30th Street on the north, and the Metra Rock Island

line on the west. As of 2006, IIT received electricity feed from the local utility – ComEd – at two

substations located on the west end of campus: South Substation at 3400 South Federal Street and North Substation at 3200 South Federal Street. These substations shown in Figure 1 receive electricity via three feeders from ComEd, one unique to each substation and one shared by the substations. The feeders carry a nominal capacity for the campus of 20 MW; however, due to ComEd requirements, the campus

[(Figure_1)TD$FIG]

[(Figure_1)TD$FIG] Figure 1: IIT Microgrid-Utility Interconnection can draw no more than 14 MW from the combined

Figure 1: IIT Microgrid-Utility Interconnection

can draw no more than 14 MW from the combined service. If campus demand exceeds 14 MW, the utility will require the university to build a new substation.

S tarting at the substations, IIT owns and manages

electricity distribution to almost all campus buildings. The original substations and the technology within them dates back to the implementation of the Mies Van Der Rohe campus plan in the 1940s and 1950s. Execution of that plan placed almost all of the electrical distribution underground or within a building. A cross-tie feeder runs between the substations to allow for operation of one from the other in the event of a utility failure in the shared feeder and one of the individual feeders, or operation of the North Substation from the on-site generation present adjacent to the South Substation. The underground placement protected the electrical infrastructure from storm damage

and similar threats from exposure; however, given the campus’s proximity to Lake Michigan and the height of the water table, the underground manholes and duct banks come into regular contact with groundwater. This, combined with the age of the equipment, led

IIT in 2003 to begin the process of renovating the electric grid on campus by refitting the North Substation with modern equipment and controls, during which time ComEd also upgraded its equipment at the substation. Prior to the implementation of the microgrid, any scale of outage response required the IIT maintenance mechanic to visit the affected area directly, armed with no information about the condition of the equipment or affected feeders.

F or the decade preceding the implementation of the IIT

microgrid, the university received sporadic reliability both from the campus infrastructure and the utility feeds to the campus. Also,

without very detailed and expensive surveys and testing, the university could not identify the most troubled feeder segments and prioritize replacements. During that period, IIT experienced varied and sporadic outages, bringing consequences to the services provided by the university. Several buildings lost power to laboratory or space conditioning equipment, resulting in lost experimental data and subjects. Equipment in all areas of the campus required repair or replacement due to undervoltage on the incoming utility service. Most costly, feeder damage on the residential side of campus caused outages that required the temporary relocation of campus residents to nearby hotels, at a steep cost to the university. The IIT community had little faith in the reliability of the system, and the university administration did not have resources to address the myriad issues associated with the aging infrastructure.

II. The Promise

The Perfect Power microgrid designed and implemented at IIT has resulted in an intelligent power system that will not fail the end user. The microgrid consists of a loop system and redundant electricity supply. It offers IIT the opportunity to eliminate costly outages, minimize power disturbances, moderate an ever- growing demand, and curb greenhouse gas emissions. The IIT microgrid would specifically:

[(Figure_2)TD$FIG]

[(Figure_2)TD$FIG] Figure 2: IIT Distribution System Layout Based on a High-Reliability Distribution System 1. Demonstrate the

Figure 2: IIT Distribution System Layout Based on a High-Reliability Distribution System

  • 1. Demonstrate the viability of

Perfect Power at IIT;

  • 2. Allow for a decrease of 50

percent of grid electricity

demand;

  • 3. Create a permanent 20

percent decrease in peak demand

from the 2007 level;

  • 4. Defer planned substation

investments through demand reduction;

  • 5. Demonstrate the economic

benefits of Perfect Power, and

  • 6. Offer a design that can be

replicated on any other microgrid. The microgrid design addresses three areas of service including reliability, efficiency, sustainability, as discussed below.

A. Reliability

The microgrid will increase the campus reliability through two strategies:

A high-reliability distribution system (HRDS) that replaces the radial feeder structure with a loop feeder structure that employs smart

switches installed throughout campus to automatically

isolate ground faults in feeder segments while maintaining service to all buildings on the

loop, and Increased ease of deployment of on-site generation and storage

to meet critical loads even in the absence of utility feed (i.e., island mode).

Figure 2 depicts the seven-loop configuration established at IIT in

which each loop, connected to one of the two substations, is equipped with HRDS switches.

[(Figure_3)TD$FIG]

Figure 3 shows the installation of a HRDS switch at IIT. F or a building to experience a complete outage due to failure of the campus grid, at least two coincident and unrelated failures would have to occur in feeder segments on the same loop. Even though the project did not call for replacement of the entire campus infrastructure, the chances of two such failures occurring simultaneously is far less than the chances of one occurring, thus increasing

[(Figure_2)TD$FIG] Figure 2: IIT Distribution System Layout Based on a High-Reliability Distribution System 1. Demonstrate the

Figure 3: HRDS Switch

[(Figure_4)TD$FIG]

[(Figure_4)TD$FIG] B. Sustainability When a large electrical user reduces energy consumption and demand, this has the

B. Sustainability

When a large electrical user reduces energy consumption and demand, this has the tangential benefit of reducing emissions related to that consumption. With increased awareness of impact, microgrids can use the data to install less harmful sources of energy and purchase cleaner electricity.

T he on-site microgrid generation could be used for

reliability and economic improvements in the main grid- connected and the island modes. The on-site generation at IIT includes combustion microturbines connected to the North Substation, storage and renewable energy sources, and an 8 MW gas-fired power plant which includes two 4 MW Rolls-

Figure 4: Architecture of Master Controller

reliability. Since project implementation, IIT has experienced no feeder outages on the North Substation. F or situations where the campus loses feed from the

utility, control strategies in the buildings and at the whole campus level enable on-site generation, and maintain loads within the available power. To accomplish this integrated task of enabling source and controlling demand, the project called for development of a master controller that would receive information on the status of the campus distribution and make decisions to meet as many critical loads as possible. Figure 4 provides an overview of the control tasks performed by the master controller at IIT. The master controller applies a hierarchical control via SCADA to ensure reliable and economic operations of the IIT microgrid. It also coordinates the operation of HRDS controllers, on-site generation, storage, and

individual building controllers. Intelligent switching and advanced coordination technologies of master controller through communication systems facilitates rapid fault assessments and isolations in the IIT microgrid.

[(Figure_5)TD$FIG]

[(Figure_4)TD$FIG] B. Sustainability When a large electrical user reduces energy consumption and demand, this has the

Figure 5: IIT Wind Unit

Royce gas turbines. An 8 kW Viryd wind turbine is installed on the north side of the campus at the Stuart soccer field (Figure 5). Some 160 kW of PV cells are installed on three building rooftops to supply portions of campus load (Figure 6). The current plan is to increase on-site solar generation to about 1.3 MW. A 500 kWh ZBB storage unit is installed on campus for enhancing the campus reliability and economics (Figure 7). Moreover, several electric vehicle charging stations, powered by solar energy, are deployed on campus; they utilize energy from the microgrid storage and provide green energy for on-campus electric vehicles (Figure 8).

T hese systems provided demand management

options and increased human interaction with the grid services.

C. Efficiency

An increased awareness of campus electricity needs, coupled with increased control over loads, would give the operations and maintenance staff and end users more information, which would lead to more effective use of the electricity. In real time, the university would need to avoid load increases that would push the campus beyond the capacity of the current substations and require IIT to build another substation. Figure 4 shows that the campus is equipped with a three-level hierarchical control for managing the load at normal and emergency conditions. IIT

 
 
Figure 6: Solar Unit Figure 7: Storage Unit campus operators can input desired performance parameters and

Figure 6: Solar Unit

 
 
Figure 6: Solar Unit Figure 7: Storage Unit campus operators can input desired performance parameters and

Figure 7: Storage Unit

campus operators can input desired performance parameters and establish load priorities that the master controller will then use to make decisions to keep the campus load under the desired profile. The IIT microgrid is equipped with 12-phase measurement units (PMUs) that

relay the real-time usage information to the master controller, as opposed to standard meters that convey usage only after the fact. The Siemens building controllers and the smart feeders with real-time monitoring and control systems can respond to higher electricity

 
Royce gas turbines. An 8 kW Viryd wind turbine is installed on the north side of

Figure 8: Charging Station

usage at peak hours by disabling and shifting low-priority loads, increasing the tolerance on comfort standards, or communicating with microgrid occupants to change behaviors. The IIT microgrid implementation includes a Zigbee wireless control and monitoring system at the device level to demonstrate rapid load management. In addition, IIT would deploy its on-site generation to avoid peak prices and decrease the overall cost of electricity to the institution. Without the deployment of its on- site generation, the university might never meet the financial challenge of a microgrid operation.

III. Microgrid Education and Training

[(Figure_10)TD$FIG] [(Figure_9)TD$FIG] Figure 9: Operator Training Room
[(Figure_10)TD$FIG]
[(Figure_9)TD$FIG]
Figure 9: Operator Training Room
usage at peak hours by disabling and shifting low-priority loads, increasing the tolerance on comfort standards,www.galvinc enter.org , with Department of Energy support, has established a microgrid training center which prepares the workforce and the next generation of professionals that will build and maintain microgrids in the United States. I n addition, the Galvin Center has set up several microgrid demonstration rooms and Smart Grid education and research laboratories on the 16th floor of the IIT Tower and in Siegel Hall. Figure 9 depicts one of the Power System Operator Training rooms at the Galvin Center. Figure 10 shows the tabletop model of the campus that is in use at the Galvin Center for demonstrating the benefits of applying the reliability loops to the IIT microgrid. Figure 11 shows a wind unit training facility at IIT, with an experimental wind unit that is identical to the wind unit installed at the IIT soccer field. The laboratory unit is equipped with a flywheel, which simulates the variable wind speed for generating the electricity in the " id="pdf-obj-5-9" src="pdf-obj-5-9.jpg">

Figure 10: Tabletop Model of IIT Microgrid

The entire IIT campus is regarded as a living laboratory for Smart Grid education and training. The microgrid installation at IIT includes a digital-based metering system, a monitoring system based on PMUs, HRDS switches, campus master controller, gas-fired power plant, solar and storage units, wind generating unit, charging stations for electric vehicles, and building control system serviced by Siemens. The benefits of microgrid implementation at IIT hinge on the ability of the Office of Facilities Maintenance Management to use the new tools and establish procedures for preventative maintenance. The

Galvin Center has been very proactive in soliciting external funds for the procurement and the installation of intelligent devices at IIT, and will continue its mission of raising funds for training and education of the next generation of the Smart Grid workforce. The Galvin Center, at www.galvinc enter.org, with Department of Energy support, has established a microgrid training center which prepares the workforce and the next generation of professionals that will build and maintain microgrids in the United States.

I n addition, the Galvin Center has set up several microgrid demonstration rooms and Smart

Grid education and research laboratories on the 16th floor of the IIT Tower and in Siegel Hall. Figure 9 depicts one of the Power System Operator Training rooms at the Galvin Center. Figure 10 shows the tabletop model of the campus that is in use at the Galvin Center for demonstrating the benefits of applying the reliability loops to the IIT microgrid. Figure 11 shows a wind unit training facility at IIT, with an experimental wind unit that is identical to the wind unit installed at the IIT soccer field. The laboratory unit is equipped with a flywheel, which simulates the variable wind speed for generating the electricity in the

[(Figure_12)TD$FIG] [(Figure_11)TD$FIG] Figure 11: Laboratory Wind Unit
[(Figure_12)TD$FIG]
[(Figure_11)TD$FIG]
Figure 11: Laboratory Wind Unit
[(Figure_12)TD$FIG] [(Figure_11)TD$FIG] Figure 11: Laboratory Wind Unit Figure 12: Wind Unit Data staff can operate the

Figure 12: Wind Unit Data

staff can operate the tools and system elements without aid of outside contractors. That does not mean that service efforts or repairs will not still require a contractor, but the day-to-day management should not require outside engagement. To this end, Facilities will need help from Galvin Center to identify best practices for staffing and maintaining the systems, so that IIT can maintain a properly sized and trained workforce capable of bringing the campus well into this century. In addition, the university must make available to the whole community the information obtained from the microgrid.

V. Summary and Conclusions

laboratory. Figure 12 shows a set of wind data collected from the unit installed at the IIT soccer field. Students will be able to examine different components of a wind unit in the laboratory and compare the laboratory test results with those collected at the field level.

IV. Remaining Challenges

The objectives of the microgrid project hinge on two main pillars:

improved energy efficiency (increased flexibility in the deployment and management of load) and decreasing the effort needed to enable local generation

(for operating the campus in island mode with no active utility feed). The PMUs and real-time monitoring will provide the necessary data to improve the building operations, as the campus needs a system that can respond appropriately to keep operations within established efficiency parameters. In addition, IIT will continue both the breadth and the depth of deployment of control systems at all campus levels for enhancing its energy management.

T he Galvin Center and its partners must proactively

work with IIT staff to ensure that

all equipment, systems, tools, and interfaces work properly and that

All research-based projects encounter difficulties, which often do not reflect a lack of understanding of the value such projects can bring a university. Instead, they serve as lessons in future planning and implementation of research-based projects in campus environments. The microgrid project solidified a way of thinking on campus that sets IIT apart from other institutions – a way of thinking that will remain a hallmark of the university for years to come. IIT has opened the campus as a living laboratory – not just for research but for the implementation of ideas coming from students, faculty, and staff. Since launching the microgrid in 2008, IIT has

partnered with Cook County to implement a student-generated composting process on campus, a group of students has developed a utility management model that promotes energy efficiency and serves as an inspiration for the present model of organization for that department, and the Master’s in Landscape Architecture

program has lead a cross- curricular process to build and manage an urban farm on campus. Bursting forth from this simple idea to improve the reliability of the campus electricity infrastructure comes a freight train seeking to make rapid and lasting change in the way students, faculty, and staff

members relate to this campus where they study, work, and play. Beyond the research dollars received and the awards won, the change in the campus environment and the creation of a true living lab stand as the strongest benefits of implementing a microgrid at IIT. &

partnered with Cook County to implement a student-generated composting process on campus, a group of students

IIT has opened the campus as a living laboratory – not just for research but for the implementation of ideas coming from students, faculty, and staff.