Asee peer logo

An Experimental Study on the PV Systems' Contribution on Lowering the Demand Charge

Download Paper |

Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2018

Conference Session

Energy Efficiency and Capstone Projects

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count

8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27561

Download Count

10

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Jonathan Michael Newton John Brown University

visit author page

Electrical/Computer Engineering student at John Brown University and a minor in Mathematics.
Jonathan has a passion for computer programing, and the use of mathematics to create optimized solutions.

visit author page

biography

Harrison Lee Hosteter John Brown University

visit author page

Mechanical/Electrical/Computer Engineering student at John Brown University
with a minor in Physics.
Harrison was raised on a farm and developed a passion and respect for engineering and problem solving.

visit author page

biography

Ted Song John Brown University

visit author page

Dr. Ted Song joined the JBU engineering faculty in August of 2012. Dr. Song received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, and his doctoral dissertation is in the area of mathematical modeling of renewable energy sources (e.g. photovoltaic and wind) and energy storage system (e.g. lithium-ion battery). In addition, his current research interests include renewable energy technologies that can be effectively implemented in developing countries.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

John Brown University (JBU) is charged for electricity usage based on two measurements: the peak power (i.e. demand) within the recent 12 months and the amount of energy used (i.e. kWh). As the demand is a factor that currently contributes to the bill to the campus, it has been an interest of JBU to minimize the demand as much as possible to reduce the electricity cost.

In 2013 summer, a 10 kW photovoltaic (PV) system was installed on the roof of the engineering building on the university campus. While this installed PV system had a goal of reducing the peak power and the energy usage of the engineering building, the principal aim of the installation was to provide opportunities to engineering students to better understand how installed PV systems operate with the connection to the current grid and how return-on-investment (ROI) could be analyzed. In particular, as there are not many students who have experienced the demand charge that utilities charge to commercial customers, JBU has tried to use this system as a learning tool for students to realize the demand charge impact on the electricity cost.

From 2014 to 2016, a team of undergraduate engineering students has developed a monitoring system that could track the PV generation and the power usage of the building. A primary goal of this project was to determine the installed PV system’s contribution to lowering the demand charge. Since this measurement of contribution could not be determined without the real-time collected data sets, the student team focused on gathering data sets from the PV system and building’s power meter. With the collected data sets, how much the PV system contributed to lowering the cost of electricity usage and whether installed PV modules reduced the demand peak were analyzed.

Additionally, this paper discusses what has been learned through this student-led project and how hands-on activities on renewable energy sources could be used for students to understand the power system economics better.

Newton, J. M., & Hosteter, H. L., & Song, T. (2017, June), An Experimental Study on the PV Systems' Contribution on Lowering the Demand Charge Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27561

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015