Update from Daisy Huang at NREL in Golden, Colorado

Update from Daisy Huang at NREL in Golden, Colorado

While still in Golden, Colorado, working with researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Daisy Huang had the opportunity to tour Colorado State University’s (CSU) Powerhouse Energy Campus with NREL colleague Julieta Giraldez.  During their visit, Daisy and Julieta met with their partner on the Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership (RCREP), Dr. Sid Suryanarayanan.  Dr. Suryanarayanan was able to show Daisy the facility’s PV simulator, wind turbine simulator, and diesel and natural gas generators which are all used for research on energy systems integration.

The recently expanded and transformed Powerhouse Energy Campus has a long standing history with the local community as it previously held two coal-powered steam turbines which were commissioned in the mid 1930’s.  After decommissioning in 1973 the facility had been sparsely used until the 1990’s when it began to be used for energy conversion research.  In 2014 the facility’s transformation from the 1930’s power plant into a 5-acre site housing CSU’s Energy Institute was complete.   The modern facility is now a LEED Platinum Certified research facility with “geothermal caissons, active daylight harvesting, 100% solid state lighting, a 24V DC microgrid, advanced metering, advanced controls with weather prediction, thermal mass, high efficiency skin (windows, insulation and exterior cladding), hydronic heating and cooling, as well as solar/wind/combined heat and power energy generation.” (www.energy.colostate.edu)

In addition to Daisy’s visit to CSU’s Powerhouse Energy Campus, she and Julieta have begun taking the first steps towards defining the parameters of “typical” villages in regards to their load and generation profiles, distances from their wind farms to powerhouses to their main loads, and other factors.

To read an article recently published in the New York Times about the Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership, visit www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/opinion/wind-solar-clean-power-off-the-grid.html.

Photo: Daisy Huang and Julieta Giraldez stand outside of the CSU’s Powerhouse Energy Campus.  Photo courtesy of D. Huang, ACEP/UAF.