Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dougal, Roger A

Abstract

With the advent of smart grid and home technologies, falling costs of renewable energy, and time-varying energy pricing models there is need for home energy management systems that can implement demand-side management. By dynamically responding to the fluctuating cost of energy, such a system could reduce the peak grid demand automatically by using stored energy when it is most valuable, saving money for both the electricity provider and homeowner. It also increases grid stability and the return-on-investment of solar panels. Since it is automatic, the system is completely transparent to the user, responding intelligently without any input from the homeowner besides preferences. This paper proposes the required functions and overall system architecture based on a use-case analysis. A system control algorithm is proposed to realize the required functions. The achievable cost-savings and peak-shaving utility are calculated though MATLAB simulations. Based on the current policies and cost-per-watt of solar panel installations, it is found that a typical PV installation, designed to offset half of the average daily home energy demand, will take an average of 22 years to pay back. By adding a battery, the payback period is reduced to 14 years and the system displaces an average of 82% more energy during peak times. These results show the system benefits both provider and consumer, perhaps warranting shared cost and potential market penetration.

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