158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vermont 5663

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Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Time: 12:00 to 12:50 PM

Location: Todd Multipurpose Room, Kreitzberg Library

Name: Dr. Karen Supan

Title: Techno Economic Analysis of Modular Microgrids in Cold Regions

Abstract: As the Army looks to expand into remote Arctic locations, it is imperative to investigate how a forward operating base in such a location will receive its power and heat. The objective of this study was to analyze renewable energy technologies for use in a modular, mobile microgrid that could operate in remote Arctic locations.  The scope of the work was to select renewable energy generation components based on design criteria and a Pugh decision matrix and then optimize the winning component in HOMER (Hybrid Optimization Model for Multiple Energy Resources) Pro Software.  The HOMER Pro simulations compared a base case of a diesel generator to a proposed system that included renewable energy generation resources.  Each simulation provided a proposed system, present worth of savings, cost of energy, annual electric production, and environmental impacts. These simulations were run for hydrokinetic turbines, solar photovoltaics (PV), wind turbines, and gas microturbines.

Biography: Karen Supan is the Director of the David Crawford School of Engineering, an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Vermont.  She teaches in the area of thermal/fluid sciences.  Her research explores thermal degradation of materials used in military applications.  She also studies the thermal degradation of local agricultural products to be used as biofuels.  Her most recent research was funded by the U.S. Army’s Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and focused on Modular Microgrids in Cold Regions.

Supan received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, a Master of Science in Pulp and Paper Science from Georgia Institute of Technology, and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Charles A. Dana Category I Grants are supported by an endowed fund from the Dana Foundation for the purpose of attracting and retaining faculty of exceptional caliber. Grants are awarded annually to tenure-track faculty who demonstrate superior scholarship, teaching ability, and university service.

Grant recipients participate in the Charles A. Dana Category I Lecture Series during the year in which they receive their awards. Light refreshments will be served, please feel free to bring your own lunch.

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