Solar Energy Integration Study and DC Infrastructure Integration

Pitt Ohio has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh and other local industry partners to integrate renewables through a DC backbone and into their Harmar facility as a means to promote sustainability. This project will include the installation of both solar and wind power at the facility. The University of Pittsburgh has been asked by Pitt Ohio to facilitate the planning and design of the Harmar facility. This role includes finding local industry partners, hosting project meetings and providing technical contributions to the design of the innovative facility. Additionally, Pitt Ohio will provide the University of Pittsburgh with a test room to directly research the benefits of DC power. This project provides a leadership opportunity for the University of Pittsburgh to bring together industry partners to promote the Pittsburgh region as a global leader in the application of DC power. Pitt Ohio and the University of Pittsburgh are also working to incorporate DC and renewables at a larger scale into a new Pitt Ohio facility in Parma, Ohio. 

The purpose of the Harmer project is to power a 33.4 kW lighting load, a 2.5 kW DC test load, and a 2.5 kW AC test load from 50 kW of solar power and 5 kW of wind power. The outputs from the solar array and wind turbine are stepped up to 380 Vdc using boost converters and fed to Terminal A, where the energy can be stored in the battery system. If there is not enough power being fed to the battery system from the renewables, then additional power can be drawn from the main AC grid (Panel 'MDP') by rectifying it to 380 Vdc and fed to Terminal A. The output from the battery system is fed to Terminal B where the energy can power the lighting, DC test and AC test loads. Inverters are necessary to convert DC power to AC power for both the lighting and AC test load. The details for the Parma facility are still being discussed by Pitt Ohio, the University of Pittsburgh and additional industry partners.