Parallel Operation of Compact, Efficient Turbogenerators for Robust Tactical Energy Independence
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AbstractThe need for clean, reliable electrical power is increasing in both the military and commercial sectors, which places high priority on technologies that provide flexibility and increased energy independence. The potential for reduced maintenance, high reliability, and increased durability is currently being demonstrated with microturbine generator (MTG) hardware. Currently these MTGs have been large in scale for industrial or utilities application; however, advances are being made in the development of more compact microturbine auxiliary power units (APUs), or turbogenerators, that build upon the advances of miniature (less than 100 pound thrust) turbojet engines. The efficiency of these compact turbogenerators is being dramatically improved through the addition of recuperator technology, thereby enabling a greatly reduced power generation footprint. The IS4S team has investigated, through modeling and simulation, the architecture and controls necessary to take compact (less than 30 kW) turbogenerators and parallel them to form a stable and reliable microgrid. The simulation and control algorithms provide the groundwork for Phase II development and demonstration using actual turbogenerator hardware. The IS4S team proposes to leverage the lessons learned in the Phase I and combine electronics and turbogenerator hardware in order to provide a microgrid test bed. The resulting controller will seek to maximize the system efficiency, with automatic startup/shutdown of units while reacting to real-time load variations.
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