Engineering Lean, Packaged Energy Systems for Rapid, Economical Deployment and Distributed Generation
The following document addresses two grand challenges posed to engineers: to make solar energy economically viable and to restore and improve urban infrastructure. Design solutions to these problems consist of the preliminary designs of two energy systems: a Packaged Photovoltaic (PPV) energy system and a natural gas based Modular Micro Combined Cycle (MMCC) with 3D renderings. Defining requirements and problem-solving approach methodology for generating complex design solutions required iterative design and a thorough understanding of industry practices and market trends. This paper briefly discusses design specifics; however, the major emphasis is on aspects pertaining to economical manufacture, deployment, and subsequent suitability to address the aforementioned challenges. The selection of these systems is based on the steady reduction of PV installation costs in recent years (average among utility, commercial, and residential down 27% from Q4 2012 to Q4 2013) and the dramatic decline in natural gas prices to $5.61 per thousand cubic feet. In addition, a large number of utility scale coal-based power plants will be retired in 2014, many due to progressive emission criteria, creating a demand for additional power systems to offset the capacity loss and to increase generating capacity in order to facilitate the ever-expanding world population. The proposed energy systems are not designed to provide power to the masses through a central location. Rather, they are intended to provide economical, reliable, and high quality power to remote locations and decentralized power to community-based grids. These energy systems are designed as a means of transforming and supporting the current infrastructure through distributed electricity generation.