Using storage to minimize carbon footprint of diesel generators for unreliable grids

Sahil Singla, Yashar Ghiassi-Farrokhfal, Srinivasan Keshav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Although modern society is critically reliant on power grids, modern power grids are subject to unavoidable outages. The situation in developing countries is even worse, with frequent load shedding lasting several hours a day due to a large power supply-demand gap. A common solution for residences is, therefore, to back up grid power with local generation from a diesel generator (genset). To reduce carbon emissions, a hybrid battery-genset is preferable to a genset-only system. Designing such a hybrid system is complicated by the tradeoff between cost and carbon emission. Toward the analysis of such a hybrid system, we first compute the minimum battery size required for eliminating the use of a genset, while guaranteeing a target loss of power probability for an unreliable grid. We then compute the minimum required battery for a given genset and a target-allowable carbon footprint. Drawing on recent results, we model both problems as buffer sizing problems that can be addressed using stochastic network calculus. Specifically, a numerical study shows that, for a neighborhood of 100 homes, we are able to estimate the storage required for both the problems with a fairly small margin of error compared to the empirically computed optimal value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6895139
Pages (from-to)1270-1277
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


  • Batteries
  • diesel engines
  • performance analysis
  • power demand
  • power system reliability
  • smart grids


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