Seminar | Using Batteries to Unlock the Wide and Income-Agnostic Adoption of Photovoltaics by Residential End-Customers
1827 Neil Ave
Columbus, OH 43210
Seminar by Panayiotis (Panos) Moutis, PhD
Special Faculty | Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University
In the last few years, utility-, commercial- and industrial-scale Photovoltaic (PV) projects have been positioned as particularly appealing investments options. At the same time, however, residential PV projects have struggled for meaningful value as the revenue streams for household end-customers are limited, while the higher capital expenses (per unit of PV energy) are another concerning matter. This situation undermines the deployment and socioeconomic adoption of renewables, which has been exacerbated by demands to phase out subsidies supporting them. This talk presents an optimal control method that procures energy cost savings for residential customers, by reducing the detrimental effect of Demand Charge Pricing (DCP). This is achieved by properly shifting PV energy (assumed subsidy-free) through Battery Storage Systems (BSS). To enable the application of the optimal control method in a sense of a common goal of energy savings among all end-customers, a community framework is proposed: the community microgrid (M/G). The community M/G also enables access to PV energy to all participating residential end-customers through plans of shared ownership of the PV and the BSS. The study shows that the overall proposal has net-zero energy cost result, i.e. the control dissipates the costly DCP effects, while incorporating PV and BSS throughout a feeder operated as a community M/G. Hence, as BSS technologies advance and PV and BSS prices drop further, the framework of an optimally controlled community M/G will reduce the customers’ energy bills regardless of household income level. BSS are, thus, proven as an ideally complementary asset to PV, while the ownership sharing allows wide socioeconomic PV adoption.
Panayiotis (Panos) Moutis, PhD, has been Special Faculty with the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) since August 2018 (postdoc at Electrical & Computer Engineering, CMU, 2016-18). His recent grants include one from the national system operator of Portugal, REN, for the development of a transmission expansion planning platform, and another from the moonshot factory of Google, X, for the digital twin of the electrical grid. Between 2018-20 he served as a Marie Curie Research Fellow with DEPsys, Switzerland, on distribution grid synchronized measurements and state estimation. In 2014 he was awarded a fellowship by Arup UK (through the University of Greenwich), on the "Research Challenge of Balancing Urban Microgrids in Future Planned Communities". In 2013 he won the "IEEE Sustainability 360° Contest" on the topic of Power. Throughout 2007-15, as part of Prof. Nikos Hatziargyriou's research group he contributed to over a dozen R&D projects funded by the European Commission. Panos received both his diploma (2007) and his PhD (2015) degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering at the National Technical University of Atehns, Greece, and has published more than 30 papers and contributed to 5 book chapters. He has accumulated over 10 years of industry experience on projects of Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Efficiency, and serves in energy start-ups as advisor and executive. He is a senior member of multiple IEEE societies, member of the IEEE-USA Energy Policy Committee and NASPI, associate editor of IEEE & IET scientific journals, active contributor to IEEE standards working groups, chair of the IEEE Smart Grid Publications Committee and editor-in-chief of the "IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter".