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Isaac Panzarella

Assoc Director

Varsity Research Building 1414


Date: 05/15/23 - 4/30/25
Amount: $49,687.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The focus of the proposed Engine is on clean energy resource technologies, including land-based and offshore wind, solar, and marine energy, as well as the electric-energy delivery and storage systems that support their integration. The Engine will support the net-carbon-neutral electric grid of 2050 that is now required by law in North Carolina and is a compelling goal in South Carolina. The Engine will address the complexities of renewable resource integration, such as frequency instability of and need for hybrid energy storage systems, to achieve the goal of a reliable and resilient electric grid of 2050. The Engine will develop new and strengthen existing partnerships for workforce development, and the life cycle of clean energy equipment and components, to foster a circular, inclusive, and equitable economy and address the vital needs of underserved and diverse communities through energy transformation (such as public transportation, affordable housing, and sustainable, community agriculture). The Engine???s self-sustaining innovation ecosystem will enable translational outcomes and develop workforce with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusiveness, and accessibility in its organization, partnerships, and activities.

Date: 05/01/23 - 4/30/25
Amount: $993,560.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

The responsibilities of Emergency Management agencies are extensive and constant, through four generally recognized phases: Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. Energy assurance is only one of many key emergency support functions, and the availability of electricity during and after a disaster is a very important metric for community resilience. In this project the team will develop Energy Resiliency Metrics and a Playbook for Community Energy Resilience to guide Emergency Managers and their community to assess and implement assist energy resilience to mitigate the effects of energy loss during a disaster. The core of the playbook will be a framework for integrating enhanced community energy resilience in the planning and execution for each phase of emergency management. A primary focus will be the use of distributed energy resilience resources, such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage at several points levels of local disaster response ??? local critical infrastructure facilities, community outposts and low income housing. The team will develop and test a process for selecting facilities, assessing for economic feasibility, determining resilience benefits and developing the resilience resources. Finally, metrics for community energy resilience that are appropriate for use by emergency management at the local and state level will be developed. The NCCETC in collaboration with the State of NC Emergency Management, the NC State Energy Office, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), the NC Justice Center and A Better Chance A Better Community will support several local government emergency management stakeholders and their communities including: - City of Asheville/Buncombe County Urban center in mountainous area; - City of Wilmington/New Hanover County; - Roanoke Rapids / Halifax County - Rural, inland area

Date: 05/01/21 - 4/30/24
Amount: $91,299.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) will complete stakeholder, subject matter expert, and partner outreach in support of the Proposal goals to reconfigure complex community microgrids. The project, entitled Resilient Community Microgrids with Dynamic Reconfiguration to Serve Critical Loads in the Aftermath of Severe Events aims to solve technical problems associated with securely and stably operating a complex microgrid the consists of large solar generation capacity. The NCCETC will research, identify, and convene investor owned utilities, electric cooperatives, and municipal owned utilities across the U.S. that are already working on microgrids or are likely to deploy one in order to gather input and disseminate project findings to assist the deployment of community microgrids. The Team will also convene subject matter experts to identify the challenges associated with deploying a community microgrid and coordinate with project partners to gather input on the issues to solve and relay technical support and findings back to the partners. Finally the NCETC team will work with the project team, partners, and subject matter experts to develop a set of electric grid outage scenarios that can be used for modeling and testing. Furthermore, the team will adapt metrics from previous work by which the modeling and testing can measure if the microgrid has improved resilience of the system.

Date: 09/01/18 - 12/31/23
Amount: $2,850,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

The proposed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Technical Assistance Partnership for the Southeast United States (Southeast CHP TAP) is led North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University and aims to support the DOE CHP Deployment Program??????????????????s goals of maximizing CHP end-user and key stakeholder engagement, delivering locally targeted technical assistance, and promoting best practice installations and policies. The project will provide coverage as the CHP TAP for Region 4 that includes Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. To enable effective delivery of CHP TAP services to the entire region, the team has established partnerships with state energy offices, manufacturing organizations and other entities throughout the region. In the state of Florida, end-users and stakeholders will receive services from a CHP TAP state team led by the University of Florida with support from Florida Institute of Technology and the University of Miami. Tennessee Technological University, located in Cookeville, will provide service to CHP end-users and stakeholders throughout the state of Tennessee. The eight-state Southeast region of the United States this project will cover has many existing and potential industrial manufacturing, commercial and institutional applications for CHP. Additionally, the project proposes to provide nationwide support under as Subject Matter Experts in several market sector and technical expertise areas including: Biomass & Biogas Fueled CHP technologies, State/Utility CHP Policy and the Federal CHP sector.

Date: 11/01/19 - 10/31/23
Amount: $2,271,130.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

In this project, we will develop a Photovoltaic Analysis and Response Support (PARS) platform for improving solar situation awareness and providing resiliency services. The team will focus on developing new operation modes for solar energy systems and a PV+DER situation awareness tool to enable accurate estimation and predication of PV and DER operation conditions in both normal operation conditions and in emergency operation when there is a wide spread outage caused by natural disasters or coordinated cyber attacks. Real-time dynamic studies will be conducted to compute system operation conditions for different operation options. This tool will be run on real-time simulation platform so that optimal restoration plans can be developed in real-time using operation modes enabled by Tasks 1 and parameters derived in Task 2. The team will model transmission, distribution, and all the way down to each DER and inverter units at utility scale PV farms on a multi-core OPAL-RT real-time simulation platform.

Date: 04/15/21 - 6/30/23
Amount: $67,912.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

There is a potential need for North Carolina utilities to support utility solar PV resources on the electric grid by using a variety of operating reserves to balance supply-load fluctuations. Duke Energy has indicated a need to operate natural gas fueled generating plants to allow them to run continuously at low load to serve as operating reserves to accommodate excess solar PV production anticipated in the near future. The use of these natural gas plants in this manner is expected to result in increased fuel consumption, lower efficiency and greater emissions. The resulting environmental impacts, especially in communities with existing environmental justice issues, point to a need to study other options to identify feasible technologies to support utility solar PV with lesser impact. This proposed study will explore several aspects of the solar PV ?????????????????? operating reserve question: ??????????????? Circumstances under which solar PV causes a need for regulating reserves ??????????????? Type of reserve requirements needed to meet the different demand conditions ??????????????? Level of operating reserves required based on current and projected solar penetration ??????????????? Annual hours that operating reserves are needed, primarily during daylight hours ??????????????? Alternatives for providing regulating reserve capabilities After identifying the needs and options (including those identified by Duke Energy), several alternatives scenarios to supply regulating reserves will be developed, and may include options such as energy storage batteries, flywheels, capacitors, demand side management, voltage regulation, power flow control, etc. These options will be compared with Duke Energy??????????????????s preferred option of modifying operation of natural gas combustion turbine and combined cycle systems. An economic analysis will be performed to determine the feasibility of each scenario, most likely based on net present value (NPV) comparison. An environmental impact analysis will provide an estimate of any differences in emissions (relevant criteria pollutants, greenhouse gases, and hazardous air pollutants) between the scenarios and the preferred option of modifying natural gas operations.

Date: 10/01/18 - 12/31/22
Amount: $60,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

This concept paper proposes to develop a SiC-based, modular, transformer-less (i.e. no 60 Hz transformers), MW-scale, four-wire DC/AC power conditioning system (PCS) and a corresponding control system for flexible CHP systems (F-CHP). As shown in Fig. 1, the proposed PCS serves as the interface between an F-CHP, connected to a low voltage (LV, e.g. 800 to 1000 V) DC bus, and a medium voltage (MV, e.g. 13.8 kV) AC distribution grid. Through the LVDC bus, the PCS can flexibly interface to various CHP energy sources: high- or variable speed engines or turbines (e.g., micro-turbines or other non-60 Hz AC sources), 60 Hz engines or turbines if an asynchronous link is desired, fuel cells, or even the renewable energy source or energy storage system on site. Also, the local electrical load(s) are fed through the LVDC bus, such that the PCS only needs to handle the grid support power need. For MVAC side, the PCS will be designed to meet the distributed energy resources and microgrid interconnection standards (IEEE 1547 and 2030.7), capable of grid support functions (e.g. frequency, var, low voltage/frequency ride through), as well as dealing with other abnormal grid conditions (unbalance, faults and overvoltage). The PCS will utilize four-wire system, to support both three- and single-phase loads. Taking advantage of fast-switching SiC, the PCS can have extra functions, e.g. harmonic filtering and stability enhancement, without additional power ratings. The proposed control system (F-CHP Controller), which enables the automatic control of CHP grid support functions, consists of a central controller (CC) and several local controllers (LCs) as shown in Fig. 1. Since it is desirable for the F-CHP to operate like a microgrid with both grid-connected and islanded modes, the CC will be similar to a microgrid CC. It coordinates with distribution grid DMS/SCADA and LCs, with its detailed functions shown in Fig. 2. The PCS LC is responsible for regulating power to grid per grid needs, and for other grid-support functions. The source LC regulates LVDC bus voltage for CHP to provide the needed power for local loads and grid. Local load LC is responsible for supplying high quality power (voltage and frequency) for various local loads. The detailed functions for LCs are also illustrated in Fig. 2. Other features of the proposed F-CHP Controller include: 1) general purpose controller hardware (e.g. NI??????????????????s CompactRIO) for CC and LCs; 2) independent of PCS hardware and usable with new or existing system, including 60 Hz CHP source without power electronics interface. Note the PCS LC functions can be incorporated into the PCS device controller for a new system. The proposed concept will lead to enhanced resiliency and reliability for both CHP and grid. When the grid becomes unavailable, the F-CHP Controller islanded mode can isolate F-CHP site from the grid (SW1 open in Fig. 1). to form a CHP site microgrid, or with surplus power, to even form a microgrid beyond CHP site (SW2 open in Fig. 1) to continue serve some loads on the grid side. When the CHP source becomes unavailable (either planned or unplanned), the F-CHP Controller stand-by mode and the bi-directional PCS in Fig. 1 will allow the CHP local electrical loads continue to be served by the grid. Note an alternative stand-by mode in Fig. 1 is to replace the bi-directional PCS with a unidirectional one (Fig. 3) plus a transfer switch for lower cost under certain design conditions (e.g. grid support power < local electric load power for CHP). Utilization of SiC will benefit the PCS converter itself, leading to lighter, more compact, easier for modular design, and eventually lower-cost converters. In addition, SiC will result in better controllability for PCS thanks to high switching frequency and control bandwidth (BW), which will enhance the grid-support functions for the F-CHP system. Although the concept focuses on PCS and F-CHP Controller, which will be mainly developed in the laboratory, the design and testing will utilize EPB grid data, model and requirements, and will also fully

Date: 04/12/22 - 9/30/22
Amount: $446,460.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

As a continuation of last year????????s project providing funding for community solar subscriptions at cooperative and municipal utilities, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) will explore larger-scale systems and possible incorporation of energy storage in order to improve the value proposition of community solar for both utilities and subscribers. NCCETC will include analysis of an opt-out community solar program in order to overcome barriers to access for lower-income communities. The overall project goal will be to spur new capacity development (previous community solar programs have supported existing programs and capacity); some funds will be reserved to provide additional subscriptions at existing facilities, although efforts will be made to explore ways to increase value for subscribers even at existing facilities, possibly through deployment of energy. Also, NCCETC will design a utility-owned solar-plus-storage (or standalone storage) program model focused on providing resilience benefits to low-income communities, and work to begin a real-world pilot program in partnership with a utility. Roanoke Electric Cooperative has expressed interest in serving as a utility partner for this project. The program would involve deployment of utility-owned generation and storage assets to commercial-scale customer locations, such as churches, schools, and community centers. This project will focus on communities in eastern NC that have storm-related resilience needs.

Date: 06/05/19 - 1/31/22
Amount: $99,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, on behalf of the NC Department of Environmental Quality??????????????????s State Energy Program, will lead the development of a strategic roadmap that will consider State Energy Planning targets, grid hardening investments, high penetration of renewable energy and distributed generation, potential for energy storage, emerging technologies underpinning micro- and mini-grids, economic competitiveness, and resilience of the grid during emergency times over the next decade. The outcome of a twenty four month research and stakeholder engagement process will be a roadmap that includes technical, energy economic and energy policy related components. The expected impact of developing a comprehensive roadmap will result from the suggestions to the current and future regulatory staff for planning innovation, and educating disparate stakeholders in North Carolina on a vision for NC??????????????????s energy future. The NC Clean Energy Technology Center will support EPIC in developing the resulting roadmap and lead efforts of stakeholder engagement process to gather input and vet recommendations to make North Carolina??????????????????s electricity more affordable, reliable and resilient.

Date: 08/01/20 - 1/31/21
Amount: $23,840.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Commerce

The Consultant will develop a final report, which may include appendixes or supplemental materials, that provides an analysis of North Carolina??????????????????s current OSW infrastructure and assets, identifies how to leverage North Carolina??????????????????s advantages, and provides recommendations, including executive actions, regulatory changes, and statutory changes, to alleviate barriers. The Consultant will also develop a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the final report. It is preferred that this North Carolina-focused analysis build on or be aligned with similar analyses conducted by other states in the region to promote the concept of a regional supply chain. Pursuing a collaborative multistate approach will provide North Carolina with greater opportunities to participate in the OSW supply chain. The promise of a multi-state collaboration, combined with logistics capabilities and assets, can attract anchor tenants that supply greater diversity and grow more economic benefits. The final documents will serve as a resource to connect industry prospects with North Carolina??????????????????s OSW-related industry and assets; provide a summary of North Carolina??????????????????s unique advantages; communicate OSW-related development and business incentive efforts underway; educate state and local economic development and energy policy leaders; and identify competitive gaps and make recommendations for state and local action to address those gaps.

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