Date of this Version
2011 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, doi: 10.1109/PES.2011.6039884
This paper presents the concept and design of a novel roadway microgrid. It operates as a smart microgrid that optimally utilizes the public right-of-way and roadway infrastructure to provide cost-effective, highly efficient, and reliable wind/solar electric power production, distribution, storage, and utilization. The fundamental unit of the microgrid is called the energy-plus roadway/traffic signal light (EPRTL), which contains a grid-connected wind/solar hybrid generation system installed on the pole of a roadway/traffic signal light for clean electric power production. The term “energy-plus” stands for annual energy consumption that is less than production. The generated electric power will be consumed locally by the roadway/traffic signal light; the excess power generated will be stored in batteries, optimally distributed in the microgrid, and supplied to the utility main grid. The deployment of the proposed roadway microgrid will dramatically change the role of the public right-of-way from an energy consumer to an energy producer, leading to energy-plus roadways. This will not only reduce the roadway agency operating costs but also generate new revenues for the Highway Trust Fund. The use of renewable electric power will also promote the development of green roadways.