Control system development for power generation from small-scale compressed air energy storage
Vranas, Todd M.
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This thesis is the development of an industrial control system to enable autonomous operation of the electrical generator for a small-scale compressed air energy storage system (SS-CAES). The purpose of the SS-CAES is to facilitate electrical energy storage (EES) at Department of the Navy (DON) facilities using preexisting compressed air systems. Development of the control system focused on designing a robust control program that was scalable to enable application to a broad range of facilities. The control system accomplished scalability through a single control program by utilizing scalable commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware components. The possible use of the SS-CAES for providing emergency electrical power requires the control system to be capable of a dark start. The term dark start refers to a power generation system that does not require electrical energy in the form of batteries or external power to begin operation. Dark start systems have the potential to store energy for extended periods of time without maintenance. The implementation of this control system with retrofitted compressed air systems at DON facilities increases the viability of SS-CAES, enabling storage of electrical power produced by solar and wind generation.
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