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ELECTRIC POWER ENGINEERS INC  

Austin,  TX 
United States
https://www.epeconsulting.com
  • Booth: 1435


EPE welcomes you to DistribuTECH! Visit us at Booth #1435.

EPE is a full-service power engineering firm. EPE provides engineering and consulting services to generation owners and developers, municipalities, electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities, both in the United States and internationally. Our services are integrated around a platform of unparallel analysis and software. 

Please stop by EPE's booth for an exclusive demo of our distribution modeling software, ENER-i™. Built and backed by power systems engineers for the evolving energy market, ENER-i™ is a web-based application housed on your own internal server designed to bring together Operations, Planning, Asset Management, & Data Analytics to one integrated platform.

Our Services Include:

  • Transmission & Distribution Planning
  • Energy Integrated (ENER-i) Software Platform
  • Smart Grid Development
  • Interconnection Testing & Commissioning
  • NERC Compliance Services
  • Energy Market Analysis
  • System Design
  • Owner’s Engineer Representation
  • Integrated Resource Planning

Come see us at Booth #1435!

Brands: Power Engineering, Generation Development, Design, Locational Marginal Pricing Analysis, NERC Compliance, Planning Studies, Renewable Energy, Transmission Planning, Energy Integrated (ENER-i) Software


 Press Releases

  • Electric Power Engineers (EPE) Completes Evaluation of 9.6 MW Distributed Gas Generation Project with Microgrid Interconnection

    Austin, Texas, December xx, 2019 – EPE announced today that it has completed the evaluation of a distributed gas-fired generating project with microgrid interconnection.  The project has been designed to operate within a campus environment, and to be connected to the local municipal utility’s 12.47 kV feeder.

    The review was requested by the local utility to ensure that the proposed distributed system would safely and reliably interact through the local feed line with the municipal power grid.  In the course of its thorough testing protocols, EPE completed load flow, short circuit, protection coordination, and arc flash studies. 

    The specific objectives of testing included:

    • Assess the impact of the project on the distribution feeder, with attention given to voltage rise/drop, thermal loading, voltage flicker, and back-feed to the transmission system.
    • Identify protection equipment exceeding short circuit ratings.
    • Analyze coordination of protection equipment and determine appropriate settings for feeder reclosers.
    • Determine the arc flash boundary and arc flash incident energy, and recommend personal protective equipment for minimizing the potential for injury in the event of an arc flash incident.

    Findings:

    Impact on distribution feeder - EPE’s load flow analysis in WindMil® evaluated potential impacts of the proposed project on the distribution feeder, including maximum and minimum load levels, and four modes of operation: fully online, partially online, offline, and not connected (i.e., operating as an island).  No thermal loading violations were identified, although voltage violations exceeding +5% were detected for one scenario. EPE also identified no adverse effects on voltage levels or thermal loading resulting from transmission contingencies around the substation when subjected to full export from the generating units.

    Short circuit study – EPE’s review did not find any protection devices for which fault current ratings were exceeded.  However, it did make some recommendations concerning reclosers.

    Protection coordination – EPE analyzed the trip currents and TCC curves for the two reclosers on the local feeder and found that during full export of 9.6 MW, a steady state current of -420 A would be experienced, implying a trip as current would exceed recommended levels. EPE made some commensurate technical recommendations with respect to programming the affected recloser and appropriate TCC curves.  EPE also made recommendations concerning generator protection settings and transfer trip, focusing on the potential for feeder or transmission breaker reclosing when the DER‐fed island and the utility source voltages are out of phase, and recommended a transfer trip to protect against islanding whenever the feeder is disconnected with the substation. 

    Arc flash hazard analysis – EPE’s review indicated that the Point of Interconnection presents the highest incident energy, and recommended the adoption of specific protective clothing to minimize the potential for injury.

    In the ERCOT service territory alone, the number of registered distributed generating assets is estimated at 750-850 MW, including a rapidly growing number of gas-fired units.  As more of these distributed assets get added to utility grids across the U.S., it is critically important that they are able to perform reliably and safely under a variety of operating circumstances.  EPE’s team can help evaluate proposed projects of this nature and ensure that these assets perform as expected.

    About Electric Power Engineers

    Electric Power Engineers, Inc. (EPE) is a leading power engineering consulting firm. EPE offers unparalleled expertise in power system planning, design, and grid integration in the United States and international markets. Our experience and services cover the entire spectrum of GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, and DISTRIBUTION and are provided to developers, generation owners, transmission service providers, municipalities, electric cooperatives, and various government entities. 

    https://www.epeconsulting.com

    For technical inquiries, please contact:        For business inquiries, please contact: 

    Kenneth A. Donohoo                                    Hugo E. Mena
    Electric Power Engineers, Inc.                     Electric Power Engineers, Inc.

    (512) 886-2123                                             (512) 886-2122

    kdonohoo@epeconsulting.com                     hmena@epeconsulting.com

  • Electric Power Engineers (EPE) Performs Demand Dispatch Analysis on Municipal Residential Load And Confirms Significant Economic Value with Guaranteed Quality of Service

    Austin, Texas, December 09, 2019 – EPE announced today that it has completed analysis of a simulated Demand Dispatch program in the Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative (HOTEC) service territory.  Using its proprietary ENER-ITM software platform, EPE identified the potential for significant savings, estimated at over $420,000 over ten years for the 528 homes located on a single distribution circuit.

    Demand Dispatch is an emerging science for predictably controlling flexible electric loads, and reliably dispatching them to provide valuable grid services.  This approach to managing and coordinating distributed loads can significantly improve overall utilization of grid resources and increase system reliability while satisfying customer preferences. 

    The case study was applied to a cold winter day during HOTEC’s all-time system peak, and the calculation of an optimal schedule for flexible electric loads on a single distribution circuit.  The simulation was applied to 1,400 varied residential appliances, including refrigerators, central heaters, water heaters, and pool pumps. 

    The resulting calculated net load was evaluated for its savings impacts on peak charges, line losses, and deferral of capital expenditures.

    The simulation demonstrates the following:

    • Demand Dispatch is a promising resource allocation solution for optimizing response schedules to match overall grid needs while maintaining customer satisfaction.
    • ENER-i™ allows the user to simulate various control strategies and compare their results in order to find an optimal solution for the grid. Examples include randomized policies, price-based mechanisms and priority-stack-based control.

    Results and estimated savings:

    EPE’s simulation indicated that a distributed demand approach applied to loads on a single feeder is both technically feasible and yields significant benefits to the distribution utility.  These include:

    • An 8% reduction in peak demand.
    • Substantially lower ramp rates.
    • Significantly lower net load trajectory
    • Estimated net savings exceeding $425,000
    • Resulting ‘virtual’ energy storage can be significantly less costly than comparable lithium-ion batteries installations.

    Implications:

    Nationally, the amount of enrolled demand response capacity has increased 50% in just two years, from 13.6 GW to 20.8 GW.  These numbers will only increase, as the ability to communicate with, automate, and aggregate flexible loads continues to improve.  EPE’s recent simulation demonstrates the significant potential and economic value available to grid planners that can effectively manage Demand Dispatch resources.

    About Electric Power Engineers

    Electric Power Engineers, Inc. (EPE) is a leading power engineering consulting firm. EPE offers unparalleled expertise in power system planning, design, and grid integration in the United States and international markets. Our experience and services cover the entire spectrum of GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, and DISTRIBUTION and are provided to developers, generation owners, transmission service providers, municipalities, electric cooperatives, and various government entities. 

    https://www.epeconsulting.com

    For technical inquiries, please contact:        For business inquiries, please contact: 

    Chase Lansdale                                              Hugo Mena

    Electric Power Engineers                             Electrical Power Engineers
    (512) 886-2142                                             (512) 886-2122

    clansdale@epeconsulting.com                       hmena@epeconsulting.com

  • Electric Power Engineers (EPE) Models Complex Hybrid Solar and Energy Storage Power Plant In Order To Better Represent Operational Behavior

    Austin, Texas, January 13, 2020 – EPE announced today that it has developed a methodology to better model installations of complex hybrid generating resources that more closely approximate their operational behavior.  Specifically, EPE has created a model to simulate and evaluate the performance of battery energy storage systems working in conjunction with a solar photovoltaic generation facility (with each asset in this instance owned and operated by separate entities).  As the number of renewable energy and battery storage resources increases across North America’s utility grids, the ability to model and coordinate the behavior of these various assets will become increasingly more critical to the maintaining the overall reliability of the power system.

    Methodology employed

    EPE initially constructed a model for the hardware elements of the battery system in Power System Simulator for Engineering (PSSE) and Power System CAD (PSCAD) as well as a separate model for the operation of the controller.  The modeling exercise included varying parameters of the feeder to the battery system, the inverter transformers, and the actual inverters themselves.  In order to account for their different functionalities, the relevant parameters were integrated into the model differently for the PSSE and PSCAD environments.  A controller model was also integrated with the hardware model for the storage system on both PSSE and PSCAD.

    The battery energy storage unit was tied to a solar array, and EPE developed a model to more accurately reflect interactions between the two assets.  This involved adding the existing model of the solar asset to that of the storage model, as well as subsequent revisions to better approximate the actual behavior of the solar resource during testing.  

    A performance study was then developed to model the combined assets within the context of local applicable regulations.  The study consisted of analyzing the model’s response to various step commands for parameters such as power, voltage, and angle, as well as system disturbances including multiple voltage scenarios and frequency ride through.

    Study results and conclusions:

    With this undertaking, EPE was able to develop detailed plant models in PSSE and PSCAD for both a battery energy storage system as a stand-alone asset and combined with a solar array owned by a different entity.  Each approach consisted of a generator control model, a generator hardware model, and a power plant controller that included four functions: voltage control, reactive power control, active power control and frequency control, all at the point of interconnection (POI).  The two models were benchmarked against local requirements and allowed for operations of the physical assets, with resulting satisfactory performance.  In addition, the models facilitated simulation of electrical failures at the point of interconnection, as well as low voltage ride-through and frequency protection tests.

    Implications:

    With the rapidly growing number of renewable and battery energy storage assets proliferating across the utility landscape, improved modeling approaches will be required to better predict outcomes across a variety of conditions.  EPE’s modeling efforts demonstrate the value that can be made available to grid planners in order to better manage, coordinate, and optimize the behavior of this growing population of non-conventional energy resources.

    About Electric Power Engineers

    Electric Power Engineers, Inc. (EPE) is a leading power engineering consulting firm. EPE offers unparalleled expertise in power system planning, design, and grid integration in the United States and international markets. Our experience and services cover the entire spectrum of GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, and DISTRIBUTION and are provided to developers, generation owners, transmission service providers, municipalities, electric cooperatives, and various government entities. 

    https://www.epeconsulting.com

    For technical inquiries, please contact:                    For business inquiries, please contact: 

    Billy Yancey III                                                                            Hugo Mena

    Electric Power Engineers                                                        Electrical Power Engineers
    (512) 886-2127                                                                          (512) 886-2122

    byancey@epeconsulting.com                                                   hmena@epeconsulting.com


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