A Platform for Designing and Evaluating Electric Power System Generation Sources

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

PowerWorld Corporation
1816 South Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes a new software platform for designing and simulating electric power generation and delivery networks. The demand for reliable electric power, both in this country and in developing nations seeking to forge a sustainable industrialized economy, is growing dramatically. At the same time, fears over the environmental repercussions of burning carbon-rich matter, particularly in regards to the emission of greenhouse gases and acid rain, are intensifying. While using cleaner energy sources and technologies could help mitigate the environmental impact of increased power production, the larger initial investment required by such alternatives has made their adoption a tough sell. The software will enable system architects to design a system graphically and to assess and compare its merits using an integrated approach that considers reliability, financial cost, and environmental impact. Users will be able to distribute generation resources throughout a system, change generator fuel and technology types, and experiment with various transmission topologies with unprecedented ease. The package will assess system reliability using an integrated contingency analysis tool. It will evaluate the financial implications of a design by accounting for start-up and construction costs associated with various generating and transmission equipment and calculating projected operating costs using economic dispatch. Finally, it will assess the environmental impact of a design by calculating the amount of pollutants emitted by its power sources based on empirical formulas for emissions defined by the user.