The Microgrid Design Toolkit (MDT)

Organization: Sandia National Laboratories
Year: 2017

The Microgrid Design Toolkit (MDT) is a decision support software program that can provide designers the information they need to identify optimal microgrid designs for their needs in the early stages of the design process. Employing powerful algorithms, the MDT searches the trade space of alternative microgrid designs in terms of user-defined objectives, such as performance, reliability and cost. It then produces a Pareto frontier of efficient microgrid solutions. The MDT is focused on the preliminary design phase where the information necessary for a detailed design has not yet been collected, but a trade-study of costs and expected technical benefits is desired. To this end, the MDT allows a user to graphically input an online diagram of their system with all known topological information as well as design variables representing expected degrees of freedom in the final design. These multi-dimensional results allow the MDT to provide a suite of visualization and data mining capabilities that aid in understanding the trade-offs resulting from design decisions. The trade space is embodied by the Pareto frontier, which shows all efficient solutions found that represent sensible trade-offs between the design objectives, where a sensible trade-off is one for which improving any given trade metric results in the worsening of another.