“We will be replicating the entire California power grid on one campus,” said Jan Kleissl, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego and the project’s principal investigator.
DERConnect will include more than 2500 distributed energy resources, or DERs, on the campus’ microgrid, with its fuel cell and solar panels, a dozen classroom and office buildings, as well as 300 charging stations for electric vehicles. It will also entail the construction of a new energy storage testing facility on the East Campus. An upgrade to the microgrid will give researchers real-time control over heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, lighting, solar panels, battery storage and EVs. The testbed’s control center will be housed in Robinson Hall on the UC San Diego campus, which will be turned into a fully controllable building that can be disconnected from the campus’ grid at any time.
The full project abstract is available here.