The Desert Research Institute (DRI) has developed a Renewable Energy Deployment and Display (REDD) Facility as an off-grid capable facility for exploration of integration, control, and optimization of distributed energy resources (DER) with an emphasis on solar and wind energy. The primary goal of the facility is to help grow DRI’s capabilities and expertise in areas of renewable energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment. The facility is powered by four solar PV arrays (6 kW total) and two wind turbines (3 kW total) during off-grid operation. Energy storage is achieved via two 2.5 m3 hydrogen storage tanks and a 9 kWh battery bank. The hydrogen is produced via a 5 kW electrolyzer and is used to fuel an internal combustion engine (ICE) with an alternator when needed.
The REDD Facility consists of a 111.5 m2 residence and a 56 m2 workshop. The REDD House features over 37 m2 of solar thermal collectors used to provide hot water to either a 15.9 kW heat exchanger or a 17.6 kW absorption chiller. The REDD Workshop features a 54 m2 solar collector air heater and thermal storage via water and air in the floor. Also housed in the REDD Workshop is a modified 3-cylinder 950cc naturally aspirated renewable gas engine connected to a 5 kW generator to be used for future biomass-related research.
Future research at the REDD Facility will include continued investigation into the use and regulation of site-built solar air collectors, solar cooling technologies, and the advancement of hydrogen as energy storage for residential applications. The facility is also continually used for education and outreach purposes. Lastly, DRI encourages the use of the REDD Facility as a test bench for new technologies; whether for proof of concept or demonstration.