Energy and Climate

Sandia conducts its grid integration research in partnership with industry, academia, utilities, other national laboratories, research groups, and stakeholder groups. For a list of current collaborations, click here.

Areas of focus for Sandia’s Grid Integration Program include:

  • Operating prototyped PV systems and analyzing resulting data
  • Modeling and analyzing short-term PV variability
  • Developing PV system models for grid planning and interconnection studies
  • Evaluating related PV system technologies in critical areas
  • Participating in timely evolution of codes and standards appropriate for high penetration PV
  • Conducting outreach activities, including participating in and organizing conferences and workshops

These technical activities span both distribution and transmission integration issues. Some key current activities of Sandia’s Grid Integration program in the area of distribution grid integration include:

  • The Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory (DETL) at Sandia National Laboratories plays a key role in the PV Grid Integration Program. DETL is a flexible platform that facilitates the development and demonstration of new control algorithms and functionality required to accommodate high penetration PV scenarios. Other user facilities are available at Sandia to conduct additional related research and development.

The goal of Sandia’s FY12 annual operating plan is to address technical barriers to large-scale solar generation deployment on the distribution system. While there is a long history of PV deployment on distribution systems, penetration levels have been very low. The prospect of high-penetration scenarios requires improvements in standards, utility practices, analysis methods, and simulation tools. Sandia will contribute to solving some of the most critical challenges by improving models and tools for utility planning and operations, and ensure effective collaboration among critical stakeholders. Tasks directly support priority gaps identified in the Systems Integration multiyear program plan. The ability to increase deployment on the distribution grid is a requirement to achieving the Solar Vision and make progress toward DOE SunShot initiative objectives.

  • Stakeholder Engagement: Critical program support and stakeholder coordination and engagement.
  • System Test and Demonstration: Evaluate multi-inverter islanding scenarios by conducting laboratory testing and demonstrate various types of PV inverter advanced functionality based on laboratory and field evaluations.
  • Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis: Conduct analyses of distribution feeder performance and document results.
  • Technology Development: Advance PV grid integration and balance-of-system technologies through technical monitoring of DOE solicitations, including SEGIS-AC and other related funding opportunity announcements.
  • DGI Codes and Standards: Participate in IEEE, NIST, and IEC stakeholder groups working on codes and standards activities related to distribution PV grid integration and interoperability.

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