SMART-Solar

SMART-Solar is a spreadsheet-based calculator developed by Daniel Powell while interning at PENSA Lab in 2013, with input from AF Mensah, Inc. The system includes a 20-year cash flow summary, capturing capital costs, tax considerations, and revenue from solar, frequency regulation and energy shifting. These calculations tap a detailed simulation (5-minute increments) of solar energy, real-time LMPs, and frequency regulation prices. An optimized policy controls the flow of energy from the solar array to the grid or the storage device, producing an accurate estimate of revenues which reflect the volatility of solar energy and electricity prices.

For more details and selected snapshots, click on:

 

Main screen:

The main screen provides top line financial summaries, and allows the user to modify key parameters that control the energy shifting policy. The system reports net revenue, net present value, and return on investment, as well as the battery characteristics and costs.

smart solar main

 

Cash flow tab:

The main screen provides top line financial summaries, and allows the user to modify key parameters that control the energy shifting policy. The system reports net revenue, net present value, and return on investment, as well as the battery characteristics and costs. (Note: the numbers below do not coincide with the parameters on the main page.)

Cash flow

 

Simulation tab:

The system simulates the generation of solar energy, real-time LMPs, and the process of selling energy to the grid from the solar panel, storing energy and reselling it later, in addition to charging from the grid during periods when the sun is not shining, taking advantage of low, off-peak LMPs.

Smart solar simulation tab

 

Graphs

The system provides numerous graphs of data summarizing both data inputs as well as the behavior of the system.

 

Graph of energy in the battery and prices

The graph below shows the storage level of the battery (in green), along with real-time LMPs (purple/red). These are simulated in 5-minute increments, supporting the analysis of energy shifting.

Energy shifting

Volatility of historical LMPs as a function of temperature

The system uses a temperature-dependent policy for charging and discharging, reflecting the volatility of prices. The plot below shows the standard deviation of LMPs plotted as a function of temperature, demonstrating the volatility of LMPs at very low and very high temperatures.

 

STd dev of LMPs