Chattanooga Airport and Partners Plan “Dynamic Boundaries” Microgrid

Date: Mar 28, 2018

Already a pioneer in municipal broadband and smart grid, Chattanooga, Tennessee, is now setting its sights on developing an airport microgrid that will employ an innovative, open-source controller.

dynamic boundaries microgrid

Credit: EPB

The city’s utility, the Chattanooga Electric Power Board (EPB), and partners are working on a microgrid for the Chattanooga Airport that will link into existing automated switch gear and hence to the utility’s smart grid network.

Together, the open-source microgrid controller, automated switch gear and smart grid interconnection will create a microgrid with dynamic boundaries, according to Jim Glass, EPB smart grid development manager.

“Instead of the typical single interconnect point between a microgrid and a utility, this microgrid is actually using EPB’s distribution system to supply customer loads. The boundaries of the microgrid can expand or contract (using the automated switches) based upon the customer load forecast, the solar PV generation forecast and the battery state of charge,” Glass said.

Microgrid controller manages dynamic boundaries

The microgrid controller is being tested in the lab at University of Tennessee-Knoxville, which is also serving as the project’s lead manager. University professor of electrical engineering Fred Wang is the project’s principal point of contact, and he and his team are developing the code for the microgrid controller. National Instruments is supplying the microgrid controller hardware.

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