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Load controller and method to enhance effective capacity of a photovoltaic power supply

United States Patent

6,037,758
March 14, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
A load controller and method are provided for maximizing effective capacity of a non-controllable, renewable power supply coupled to a variable electrical load also coupled to a conventional power grid. Effective capacity is enhanced by monitoring power output of the renewable supply and loading, and comparing the loading against the power output and a load adjustment threshold determined from an expected peak loading. A value for a load adjustment parameter is calculated by subtracting the renewable supply output and the load adjustment parameter from the current load. This value is then employed to control the variable load in an amount proportional to the value of the load control parameter when the parameter is within a predefined range. By so controlling the load, the effective capacity of the non-controllable, renewable power supply is increased without any attempt at operational feedback control of the renewable supply. The renewable supply may comprise, for example, a photovoltaic power supply or a wind-based power supply.
Perez; Richard (Delmar, NY)
The Research Foundation of State University of New York (Albany, NY)
09/ 295,172
April 20, 1999
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH This invention was made with Government support under NREL Subcontract No. XAD-8-17671-01, Prime Contract No. DE-AC36-98GO10337 awarded by the Department of Energy. Accordingly, the U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.