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Journal Article

Reliability and Cost Trade-Off Analysis of a Microgrid

Optimizing the trade-off between reliability and cost of operating a microgrid, including vehicles as both loads and sources, can be a challenge. Optimal energy management is crucial to develop strategies to improve the efficiency and reliability of microgrids, as well as new communication networks to support optimal and reliable operation. Prior approaches modeled the grid using MATLAB, but did not include the detailed physics of loads and sources, and therefore missed the transient effects that are present in real-time operation of a microgrid. This article discusses the implementation of a physics-based detailed microgrid model including a diesel generator, wind turbine, photovoltaic array, and utility. All elements are modeled as sources in Simulink. Various loads are also implemented including an asynchronous motor. We show how a central control algorithm optimizes the microgrid by trying to maximize reliability while reducing operational cost.
Technical Paper

Reliability and Resiliency Definitions for Smart Microgrids Based on Utility Theory

Reliability and resiliency (R&R) definitions differ depending on the system under consideration. Generally, each engineering sector defines relevant R&R metrics pertinent to their system. While this can impede cross-disciplinary engineering projects as well as research, it is a necessary strategy to capture all the relevant system characteristics. This paper highlights the difficulties associated with defining performance of such systems while using smart microgrids as an example. Further, it develops metrics and definitions that are useful in assessing their performance, based on utility theory. A microgrid must not only anticipate load conditions but also tolerate partial failures and remain optimally operating. Many of these failures happen infrequently but unexpectedly and therefore are hard to plan for. We discuss real life failure scenarios and show how the proposed definitions and metrics are beneficial.
Journal Article

Flexible Design and Operation of a Smart Charging Microgrid

The reliability theory of repairable systems is vastly different from that of non-repairable systems. The authors have recently proposed a ‘decision-based’ framework to design and maintain repairable systems for optimal performance and reliability using a set of metrics such as minimum failure free period, number of failures in planning horizon (lifecycle), and cost. The optimal solution includes the initial design, the system maintenance throughout the planning horizon, and the protocol to operate the system. In this work, we extend this idea by incorporating flexibility and demonstrate our approach using a smart charging electric microgrid architecture. The flexibility is realized by allowing the architecture to change with time. Our approach “learns” the working characteristics of the microgrid. We use actual load and supply data over a short time to quantify the load and supply random processes and also establish the correlation between them.
Journal Article

Reliability Prediction for the HMMWV Suspension System

This research paper addresses the ground vehicle reliability prediction process based on a new integrated reliability prediction framework. The integrated stochastic framework combines the computational physics-based predictions with experimental testing information for assessing vehicle reliability. The integrated reliability prediction approach incorporates the following computational steps: i) simulation of stochastic operational environment, ii) vehicle multi-body dynamics analysis, iii) stress prediction in subsystems and components, iv) stochastic progressive damage analysis, and v) component life prediction, including the effects of maintenance and, finally, iv) reliability prediction at component and system level. To solve efficiently and accurately the challenges coming from large-size computational mechanics models and high-dimensional stochastic spaces, a HPC simulation-based approach to the reliability problem was implemented.