Exploration and Production Technologies
Cooperative Agreement on Energy Technologies: Effects of Village Power Quality on Fuel Consumption and Operating Expenses

DE-FC26-01NT41248 (Task 1.03.1)

Goal
This project involves collecting, formatting, and analyzing power system data from a representative number of Alaska rural villages served by the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA). The specific goals of this project are the:

  • Evaluation of data collection and management systems for Alaska village power systems that have been instrumented with monitoring equipment.
  • Upgrading and new installation of remote monitoring equipment and switchgear in about 25 Alaska rural villages served by the AEA.
  • Formatting and analysis of data to produce an efficiency and power quality report for AEA and the respective village utility that identifies strengths and weaknesses of plant operations, including an economic assessment with projections of cost savings based on corrective measures.
  • Creation of a consortium of Alaska rural utilities and State energy organizations in order to coordinate the collection of energy system data in selected rural communities, establish general performance assessments, and identify strengths and weaknesses of plant operations.

Performers 
University of Alaska (UAF), Fairbanks, AK
Alaska Energy Authority (AEA), Anchorage, AK

Results
Project accomplishments include:

  • Promotion of the standardization of instrumentation and data collection systems in the villages since 2002. After collecting and storing large amounts of power system data in various formats with different sampling rates, AEA and Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) are currently working on developing a standard system for downloading the data on a regular schedule and in a convenient format. In addition to the powerhouse electrical data, AEA will also make available data from weather stations, meteorological towers, BTU meters from heat recovery systems, and electrical data from village users such as schools, washeterias, community buildings, and others as they move forward with their metering projects. AEA, in cooperation with AVEC, has been installing Yokogawa instrumentation in all remote village power systems in order to standardize the data collection.
  • Testing of the remote terminal unit and fuel and coolant flow meters, and undertaking data collection and analysis of 125-kW diesel electric generator (DEG) system at the UAF Energy Center—similar to those found in Alaska rural villages. Results showed the importance of remote metering when fire ash in summer 2004 clogged the cooling system radiator and the operating temperature increased by 20 °C. In a village system without remote monitoring, this situation might have led to a costly generator failure if left unchecked.
  • Implementation of village power system data collection and analysis through the following methods:
    • At Stephens Village, UAF evaluated data with its standalone hybrid power system analysis tool and submitted a short report to AEA identifying possible problems with the system.
    • At Kongiganak, Lime Village, Stevens Village, and Wales Village, UAF evaluated data with its standalone hybrid power system analysis tool (Hybrid Arctic Remote Power Simulator, or HARPSIM).
    • Online access to real-time monitoring (http://www.aidea.org/aea/aearemotemon.html).
    • At Kotzebue, researchers reviewed Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) proposals for the Kotzebue Electric Association (KEA). The subsequent installation of a SCADA system resulted in a 7 percent decrease in fuel consumption due to economic dispatch between DEGs and wind turbines.
  • Installation of remote monitoring switchgear and current collection of data without permanent storage at the Attka Diesel Powerhouse and Hydro Facility, Arctic Village, Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Golovin, Hughes, Kongiganak, Koyukuk, Kwigillingok, Pedro Bay, Manokotak, Nikolski, Sleetmute, Stevens Village, Stony River, and Takotna.

In addition, online remote monitoring systems will be installed by the end of summer 2007 at Buckland, Chefornak, Diomede, Larsen Bay Hydro Facility, and Ouzinkie Diesel Powerhouse and Hydro Facility. The project has selected an additional village within AEA’s service territory, Kipnuk, to install new remote monitoring switchgear with project equipment and AEA subcontract funds.

Benefits 
The main goal of this project is to create a partnership with rural utilities and State energy organizations to coordinate the collection of energy system data in a representative set of rural Alaska communities in order to establish general performance assessments and identify strengths and weaknesses of plant operations. These results will be used to improve system design and operation. The benefits of this project are that the energy, economic, and environmental profiles of each system will be determined and used to develop a long-term performance assessment through monitoring and analysis of village power system data. The results of the data analysis will be efficiency and power quality reports for AEA and each respective village utility that can be used to identify strengths and weaknesses of plant operations, including an economic assessment with projections of life-cycle cost savings and payback based on corrective measures. Results of the analysis will be available for AEA and the rural utilities to use in the implementation of diesel engine efficiency and power quality improvement measures for each village.

Background 
Alaska's rural village electric utilities are isolated from the Alaska rail belt electrical grid inter-tie and from each other. Different strategies have been developed for providing power to meet demand in each of these rural communities. Many of these communities rely on DEGs for power. Some villages have installed hybrid power systems and automated systems for controlling the DEGs and other sources of power. For example, Lime Village has installed a diesel battery photovoltaic hybrid system, Kotzebue and Wales have a wind-diesel hybrid system, and McGrath has installed a highly automated system for controlling diesel generators. But poor power quality and diesel engine efficiency in village power systems increases the cost of meeting the load. Power quality problems may consist of poor power factor or waveform disturbances, while diesel engine efficiency depends primarily on loading, the fuel type, the engine temperature, and the use of waste heat for nearby buildings. These costs take the form of increased fuel use, increased generator maintenance, and decreased reliability. With the cost of fuel in some villages approaching $8.00/gallon, a modest 5 percent decrease in fuel use can result in saving thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars annually—depending on village load and the cost of corrective measures.

Summary 
The research will be conducted in cooperation with AEA. The project technical approach involves monitoring and analyzing the performance of a representative number of systems that reflect general operating conditions in the overall service territory. This includes 1) data collection and formatting; 2) the evaluation of monitoring systems (specifically, remote terminal units, sensors, and flow meters); and 3) analysis of data from village power systems.

In order to meet these needs, the project performers will:

  • Create a partnership of electric utilities (AVEC, KEA, Chugach Electric Association, Golden Valley Electric Association) and State energy organizations (AEA and Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority) in order to coordinate the collection of energy system data in select rural communities so as to establish general performance assessments and identify strengths and weaknesses of plant operations.
  • Collect data from a representative set of village power systems that have been instrumented with monitoring equipment through AEA. The agency provided electric power data beginning in spring 2005 as it became available from existing and new monitoring systems. All these will be web-accessible.
  • Develop a model, HARPSIM, for long-term performance assessment of village power systems.
  • Analyze the available data in order to ascertain the energy, economic, and environmental profile of each system.
  • Report recommendations from the data analysis to address identified problems. Results of the analysis will be available for AEA and the rural utilities to use in the implementation of diesel engine efficiency and power quality corrective measures for each village.

Current Status (February 2008) 
The project is completed. The final project report is listed below under "Additional Information".

Funding 
This project was selected through DOE in response to a request for proposals under a cooperative agreement through Arctic Energy Technology and Development Laboratory under solicitation number DE-FC26-01NT41248.

Project Start: June 1, 2003 
Project End: September 30, 2008

Anticipated DOE Contribution: $287,225
Performer Contribution: $84,175 (22.66% of total)

Contact Information 
NETL – Purna Halder ( Purna.Halder@NETL.DOE.Gov 918-699-2084)
U. of Alaska Fairbanks – Richard Wies (ffrww@uaf.edu or 907-474-7071)
AEA – Peter Crimp (pcrimp@aidea.org or 907-269-4631)

Additional Information
Final Project Report [PDF-85.17MB] April, 2009

Publications 
Barnes, D.L., Wilson, T., and Wies, R.W., Environment, People, and Resources in the North, Contaminants in Cold Regions: Remediation and Restoration, Erickson, K., and Duffy, L., (Eds.), University of Alaska Press, in press.

Wies, R.W., Johnson, R.A., and Agrawal, A.N., “Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Environmental Impacts of Integrating Wind-Turbine Generators (WTGs) into Standalone Hybrid Power Systems,” WSEAS Transactions on Systems, Vol. 4, No. 9, 2005, pp. 1383–1393.

Wies, R.W., Agrawal, A.N., and Chubb, T.J., “Optimization of a PV with Diesel-Battery System for Remote Villages,” International Energy Journal, Vol. 6, No.1, Part 3, 2005, pp. 107–118.

Wies, R.W., Johnson, R.A., Agrawal, A.N., and Chubb, T.J., “Simulink Model for Economic Analysis and Environmental Impacts of a PV with Diesel-Battery System for Remote Villages,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2005, pp. 692–700.

Wies, R.W., Agrawal, A.N., Johnson, R.A., and Chubb, T.J., “Implementation of a Remote Terminal Unit on a Diesel Electric Generator for Performance Analysis of Remote Power Systems in Rural Alaska,” 2005 Alaska Rural Energy Conference, Valdez, AK.

Wies, R.W., Johnson, R.A., and Agrawal, A.N., “Integration of Wind-Turbine Generators (WTGs) into Hybrid Distributed Generation Systems in Extreme Northern Climates,” 2005 Alaska Rural Energy Conference, Valdez, AK.

Wies, R.W., Johnson, R.A., and Agrawal, A.N., “Integration of Wind-Turbine Generators (WTGs) into Standalone Hybrid Power Systems in Extreme Northern Climates,” 5th WSEAS International Conference on Power Systems and Electromagnetic Compatibility, Corfu Island, Greece, 2005.

Wies, R.W., Johnson, R.A., Agrawal, A.N., and Chubb, T.J., “Using HOMER and Simulink for Long-Term Performance Analysis of a Hybrid Electric Power System in a Remote Alaskan Village,” NREL World Renewable Energy Congress VIII, Denver, CO, 2004.

Wies, R.W., Johnson, R.A., Agrawal, A.N., and Chubb, T.J., “Economic Analysis and Environmental Impacts of a PV with Diesel-Battery System for Remote Villages,” Proceedings of the 2004 IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting, Denver, CO, 2004.

Wies, R.W., Agrawal, A.N., Chubb, T.J., and Johnson, R.A., “Simulink Model for Economic Analysis & Environmental Impacts of a Photovoltaic with Diesel-Battery System for Remote Villages,” 2004 Alaska Rural Energy Conference, Talkeetna AK, 2004.

Wies, R.W., Agrawal, A.N.,and Chubb, T.J., “Electric Power Quality of Distributed Generation Systems in Rural Alaskan Villages,” 2004 Alaska Rural Energy Conference, Talkeetna, AK, 2004.

Wies, R.W., Agrawal, A.N., and Chubb, T.J., “Optimization of a PV with Diesel-Battery System for Remote Villages,” International Conference on Electric Supply Industry in Transition, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, 2004.

Wies, R.W., and Agrawal, A.N., “Integration of Wind-Turbine Generators (WTGs) into Hybrid Distributed Generation Systems in Extreme Northern Climates,” Proceedings of the 2003 International Yukon Wind Energy Conference: Cold Climate Opportunities, 2003.

Wies, R.W., and Agrawal, A.N., “Modeling and Optimization of Hybrid Electric Power Systems for Remote Locations in Extreme Climates,” Proceedings of the 2003 IASTED International Conference on Power and Energy Systems, paper 379-190, pp. 241–246, 2003.

Wales Village, AK.

2 AOC 15-50 Wind Turbines at Wales Village, AK.
Photo courtesy The Alaska Energy Authority

LCC analysis of Wales Village, AK

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