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Chapter 10 DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCES

1) What is Distributed Generation and explain two reasons why you think it is good
and explain two reasons why you think it is bad.
Distributed generation is an approach that employs small-scale technologies to
produce electricity close to the end users of power. DG technologies often consist of
modular (and sometimes renewable-energy) generators, and they offer a number of
potential benefits. In many cases, distributed generators can provide lower-cost
electricity and higher power reliability and security with fewer environmental
consequences than can traditional power generators. Some bad side of it include:
large areas are subject to common cause decline in resource and may impose
power quality issues onto electric system.
2) What is a CHP (Combined Heat and Power) system and specifically, how is it
better than a simple cycle system?
Combined heat and power (CHP) systems is also known as cogeneration, generate
electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system. CHP is an
approach to applying technologies. Heat that is normally wasted in conventional
power generation is recovered as useful energy, which avoids the losses that would
otherwise be incurred from separate generation of heat and power. While the
conventional method of producing usable heat and power separately has a typical
combined efficiency of 45 percent, CHP systems can operate at levels as high as 80
percent (http://www.aceee.org/topics/chp).
3) What is Demand Side Management and provide two brief examples of (from the
utility of your choice) their DSM programs.
Demand side management is the utility programs designed to control energy
consumption on the costumers side of the meter. This includes conservation/ energy
efficiency programs and load management programs. The conservation/energy
efficiency programs have the effect of reducing consumption during most or all hours
of the day. The load management programs have the effect of reducing peak
demand through conservation or by shifting the demand to nonpeak hours.
4) In Sidebar 10.1 (page 399) what used for the solution of low voltage and how do
you think it works?
Sidebar 10.1 presents an information about a Duracell project in the desert. What
happens is that instead of upgrading the whole system line, the PacifiCorp
installed a 2MWh battery system close to the loadcenter of the distribution line.
The substation will no longer has to supply all the power because of the charging
of the batteries at night when power usage is low.

5) Specifically, what is the technology improvement that is helping the electric


vehicles in making a comeback?
The renewed interest in battery powered vehicles is due to the development of
new, lightweight and powerful batteries. There are two versions of electric-drive
vehicles that are emerging: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and the allbattery-powered electric vehicle (BEV).
6) What is the difference between single phase and three phase electricity and
where are each type used?
The main difference between three-phase and single-phase systems is the
number of separate currents that are sent across the lines. A single-phase
system only has one sine wave voltage while three-phase systems use three,
separate sine waves that are offset 120 degrees from each other. What we have
in our homes are single-phase systems. This is mainly because of its simplicity
and because single-phase systems were established long before three-phase
systems. Power distribution companies prefer three-phase systems because
they are more economical in terms of the cables they need.
7) Please explain the rate codes of: Block Rates, Time of Use Rates, Demand
Rates and Real Time Pricing Rates?
The inverted block rate structure is designed to discourage increasing
consumption. The time of use charges reflect the increased cost of generation
during periods when power demands is the highest. Demand charges are
monthly fee based on the half-hour of time during the month at which the
costumers power demand is the highest. The real time pricing rates reflect the
true cost in rates that change throughout the day, each and everyday.
8) What is Net Metering and where is it used?
Net metering is a billing arrangement where customers who produce their own
electricity can receive a credit on their electric utility bills for any extra electricity
produced by the customer that flows back onto the electric utilitys distribution
system. Net metering has been available to customers in Massachusetts since the
1980s. In 2008, new legislation increased the allowable capacity (or size) of net
metering facilities that use renewable resources to create energy from 60 kW to up
to 2 MW, and also increased the value of the credits for electricity generated by
these facilities from the wholesale rate to nearly the retail rate. Additional legislation
was passed in 2010 and 2012, which further modified net metering in
Massachusetts, most notably raising the overall amount of allowed net metering
projects (http://www.mass.gov/eea/grants-and-tech-assistance/guidance-technicalassistance/agencies-and-divisions/dpu/net-metering-faqs.html#two).
9) How is a Sterling engine different from an internal combustion engine?

Stirling engine uses the Stirling cycle,which is unlike the cycles used in internalcombustion engines. The Stirling cycle uses an external heat source, which could be
anything from gasoline to solar energy to the heat produced by decaying plants. No
combustion takes place inside the cylinders of the engine which the internal
combustion engine does.
10)What is a microturbine and where do you see them being used?
The microturbine is a small combustion turbine with individual units that generate
roughly 500 watts to several hundred kilowatts of electricity along with sizable
amounts of waste heat. Most microturbine's operate on natural gas, propane, or
diesel. If you install a heat exchanger off the back end (turbine exhaust) of the
microturbine, you can claim a portion of the heat for hot water, chillers, and other
devices.
11) What is a fuel cell and do you see them being used in the future? Why or why
not?
A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity by a chemical reaction. Every fuel cell
has two electrodes, one positive and one negative, called, respectively, the anode
and cathode. The reactions that produce electricity take place at the electrodes. I
can see them being used in the future, eventhough, building inexpensive, efficient,
reliable fuel cells is a far more complicated business. The use of fuel cell is
dependent on the electrolyte being used. I am hopeful that in the future scientist and
inventors would discover an electrolyte that offers greater efficiency and lesser
technical details.
12)Where can fuel cells be used?
Fuel cells have long been used in the space program to provide electricity and
drinking water for the astronauts. Terrestrial applications can be classified into
categories of portable, stationary, or transportation power uses. Fuel cells can be
used for electrolysis as well - splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, so that the
hydrogen can be stored as a fuel.