First Advisor

Wayne Wakeland

Date of Publication

Fall 12-18-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Systems Science


Systems Science




Photovoltaic power generation -- Design and construction, Energy storage -- Equipment and supplies, Solar energy -- Technological innovations



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 97 pages)


Methods of generating renewable energy such as through solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and wind turbines offer great promise in terms of a reduced carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment. However, these methods also share the attribute of being highly stochastic, meaning they are variable in such a way that is difficult to forecast with sufficient accuracy. While solar power currently constitutes a small amount of generating potential in most regions, the cost of photovoltaics continues to decline and a trend has emerged to build larger PV plants than was once feasible. This has brought the matter of increased variability to the forefront of research in the industry. Energy storage has been proposed as a means of mitigating this increased variability -- and thus reducing the need to utilize traditional spinning reserves -- as well as offering auxiliary grid services such as peak-shifting and frequency control. This thesis addresses the feasibility of using electrochemical storage methods (i.e. batteries) to decrease the ramp rates of PV power plants. By building a simulation of a grid-connected PV array and a typical Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in the NetLogo simulation environment, I have created a parameterized tool that can be tailored to describe almost any potential PV setup. This thesis describes the design and function of this model, and makes a case for the accuracy of its measurements by comparing its simulated output to that of well-documented real world sites. Finally, a set of recommendations for the design and operational parameters of such a system are then put forth based on the results of several experiments performed using this model.


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