LBNL Report Number
Energy supply in rural and off-grid communities has traditionally relied on diesel-based microgrids, due to limited access. But global environmental concerns are pushing for the transformation of these systems into renewable-based microgrids. This transition to more complex systems with a mix of dispatchable and non-dispatchable resources requires new planning tools that ensure the security of supply. This paper presents a novel mixed-integer linear optimization model that determines optimal technology mix, size, placement, and associated dispatch for a multi-energy microgrid. The model satisfies microgrid’s electrical and heat transfer network limitations by integrating linear power flow and heat transfer equations. It captures the efficiency gains from waste heat recovery through combined heat and power technologies, by modeling the interplay between electrical and heat sources. To ensure a secure design against generator outages, the optimization maintains sufficient reserve capacity in the system, which is dynamically allocated based on system operating conditions. Several case studies on an isolated microgrid model, developed based on a real microgrid in Alaska, illustrate how the proposed model works. The results show the effectiveness of the model and are used to discuss various aspects of the optimization solution.