Sandia’s world-class technologies, experience, software, and facilities provide support to military customers to address and solve national security energy needs.

Working with the DOE and DoD to Enhance National Energy Security

A view of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan from the Air Traffic Control Tower's catwalk after a recent rainstorm. (photo by Staff Sgt. Craig Seals)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on developing energy technologies to meet future needs of the DoD and the country. Quoting from the MOU:

“The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is…to strengthen coordination of efforts to enhance national energy security, and demonstrate federal Government leadership in transitioning America to a low carbon economy.”

The DOE and DoD recognize the importance and critical role of energy as a mission enabler for their operations at home and abroad. Informed decisions that will guide R&D investments for enhancing energy security and resiliency are the key to our future national security. Sandia has the technology expertise and complex analytics to inform key decisions needed to achieve the greatest benefit for our nation’s energy security and resiliency. Sandia is focused on providing DOE and DoD collaborative R&D to accelerate energy technology transition and commercialization, with the DoD and military services as early adopters for some of their highest priority needs:

  • cyber-secure resilient microgrids
  • energy harvesting
  • thermal management

Research Areas

Sandia combines energy technology R&D with custom modeling, simulation, analysis, and optimization capabilities and tools to provide a unique value to U.S. defense agencies through world-class capabilities, innovative technologies, and proven experience. Sandia has the capabilities to address these defense energy security challenges throughout the technology life cycle, beginning with research, development, and prototyping through the transition to industry and government:

  • Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory (DETL): Conducts research with industry and academic partners to integrate emerging energy technologies into new and existing electricity infrastructures.
  • Photovoltaic Systems Engineering Laboratory (PSEL): A multi-user, multi-sponsor facility that conducts research in PV cells, modules, and arrays and performs detailed, comprehensive analysis in PV systems design, optimization, and characterization in real-world scenarios. PSEL conducts research on behalf of DOE, DoD, and other customers, often in collaboration with industry/academic partners.
  • Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) Test Bed: Combines state-of-the-art operational system testing facilities with research, development, and training to discover and address critical security vulnerabilities and threats to the energy sector.
  • Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) Facility: A unique facility that gives the U.S. an opportunity to address wind farm under performance, much of which can be attributed to turbine-to-turbine interaction.
  • Combustion Research Facility (CRF): An internationally recognized DOE SC-sponsored collaborative research facility. CRF scientists, engineers, and technologists conduct basic and applied research aimed at improving our nation’s ability to use and control combustion processes.

Joint Operational Energy Initiative (JOEI) Modeling, Simulation, & Analysis

JOEI is a partnership between Sandia, the U.S. Army Operational Energy Task Force Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support, and the Tank and Automotive Research and Development Engineering Center established to create a holistic approach to evaluate operational energy (OE) technology, systems, and improvements for theater operations.

Challenges of OE include a lack of analytic capabilities to quantify/understand OE impacts of technologies in operational scenarios and limited ability to inform OE R&D investment decisions to reduce logistical & supply chain burdens and improve utilization of resources.

Sandia’s approach was to develop a modeling & simulation framework and toolkit to analyze OE technologies and systems using an integrated, System-of-Systems (SoS) engineering & analysis approach. Sandia’s SoS Analysis Toolset provides scenario-based performance assessments of technology choices using event-driven, reliability-based simulations. The toolset will be used to investigate OE challenges and understand potential technologies that will reduce energy use, extend operational reach, and enhance mission success.

Expeditionary Energy Storage Systems

Sandia, in collaboration with Army Program Manger Force Sustainment Systems and industry, developed and demonstrated a variety of prototype Expeditionary Energy Storage Systems for an experimental Forward Operating Base (FOB), Base Camp Integration Laboratory (BCIL) at Fort Devens, MA. Testing and evaluations were conducted to determine suitability and appropriate applications. The objective was to increase the reliability and quality of the power and energy required for FOB operations while decreasing overall fuel consumption. Preliminary testing of the Expeditionary Energy Storage Systems was performed at Sandia’s Distributed Energy Testing Laboratory to determine reliability and operation. Energy storage systems were then transitioned to BCIL for installation and further testing.

Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy, Reliability, and Security (SPIDERS)

SPIDERS, winner of the Joint Capability and Technology Demonstration (JCTD) Project of the Year in 2015, is a JCTD project between the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security to demonstrate that microgrids have the ability to maintain operational surety through secure, reliable, and resilient electric power generation and distribution to mission critical loads. The project benefits include improved reliability, increased endurance for backup energy during outages, improved maintenance capabilities, reduced operational risk, flexible energy service support, improved energy situational awareness, and reduced energy costs. Three SPIDERS Microgrids have been installed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickham, Fort Carson, and Camp Smith. This project involved the collaboration of government, industry, and five national laboratories.

Marine Corps Power and Energy Modeling Simulation and Optimization

Under sponsorship of the DoD, United States Marine Corps (USMC) Energy Expeditionary Office (E2O), Sandia was tasked to determine energy performance impacts of the USMC current and anticipated Expeditionary Energy (E2) investments on future Marine deployments and identify the optimal portfolio mix of generators and technology improvements that will best satisfy future USMC power and energy needs for expeditionary operations. Efforts over three years resulted in development of an extensive set of SoS energy performance models ranging in size from a company to a full marine expeditionary brigade (MEB). These scenario-based discrete-event models provided energy performance information to support acquisition decisions. The models included treatment of system interdependencies, logistics, reliability, and combat damage. In addition, a comprehensive set of hybrid power and microgrid optimization models, including Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources (MEHPS), were developed using the Sandia-developed Microgrid Design Tool to help inform decision makers on future energy technology investments and energy portfolio mix decisions. Additional delivered and vetted data products included a comprehensive USMC equipment energy data base, MEB and Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) equipment density lists, and a complete set of unit-specific MEB and MEU load profiles. The year-end reports provide full documentation of the work accomplished, the models, assumptions, analyses, results and data products.

Marine Corps Water Energy Nexus for USMC Expeditionary Energy Office

Sandia is providing the USMC robust modeling, simulation, and analysis tools to inform and prioritize energy-related investments across the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP). The overall motivation of this work is to understand the interrelationship and trade-offs between battlefield water production and distribution and the 1st and 2nd order impacts of these trades on energy/fuel consumption. The models, analyses, and results that will be developed during this effort will provide quantitative information about the SoS-wide impacts and 2nd order effects of deploying new water-saving and energy-saving technologies. The developed models and results will provide USMC decision makers with quantitative information that characterizes the interrelationships between scenario-based, deployed energy, water and vehicle systems. Deliverables and products include a holistic set of system of systems analyses and trade studies to include technology performance and investment decision modeling and analysis; objective impact assessments of new energy and water related technology solution sets; and evaluation of technology sets on operational effectiveness.

Army Contingency Base Initiative

A model based systems engineering approach has been used to effectively address the complexity and inter-dependencies of the various functional areas, systems, and required capabilities for a family of contingency bases.  A SoS modeling, simulation, and analysis approach has been employed and used in order to better understand the complexity of the interactions of functions, capabilities, enabling systems and system of systems that comprise a current contingency base. Using a model based systems engineering approach, the Contingency Basing Community of Practice can develop alternative solution sets that could be implemented to transform current contingency basing into more adaptive and efficient force projection platforms that can provide a full spectrum of operations in various environments and scenarios.

Advanced Microgrids to Enhance Energy Security and Mission Assurance

Sandia developed the Energy Security Assessment Methodology through significant internal investment over the last seven years. During that time, Sandia has teamed with the US Army Corps of Engineer’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) to improve the utilization of the methodology and the associated assessment and advanced microgrid design tools.  Sandia continues to support state and federal agencies, including DOE, DoD, DHS, and Department of State to work with military bases, utility and community leaders, and international customers to evaluate, design, test, and implement advanced microgrids that provide safe, reliable, and secure and resilient power for site-specific critical missions and critical infrastructure services.

Tool for Siting, Planning, and Encroachment Analysis for Renewables (TSPEAR)

TSPEAR is currently designed to support wind energy developers as well as their government agency counterparts assess proposed wind energy projects. To date, TSPEAR efforts have been solely on addressing the wind turbine-radar interference issue using a publicly available site that employs NOAA’s weather radars:

Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT)

With growing numbers of solar energy systems being proposed and installed throughout the United States, the potential impact of glint and glare from photovoltaic modules, concentrating solar collectors, receivers, and other components is receiving increased attention as a potential hazard or distraction for pilots, air-traffic control personnel, motorists, and residents. Visual impairment can be mitigated by thoughtful application of analytical tools. Traditionally, glare hazards are analyzed in terms of the geometry of the proposed solar installation relative to key observation points. However, such geometric methods fail to provide an indication of the intensity of the reflected light or the potential ocular impacts. Sandia developed SGHAT v. 3.0, a free, web-based tool and methodology that features automated optimization to select PV configurations (tilt and orientation) that mitigate glare while maximizing annual energy production. The built-in flight path tool has been enhanced to evaluate continuous flight paths rather than discrete points along a flight path. It also has the ability to analyze glare from vertical surfaces, such as glass buildings. The calculations and methods are based on analyses, test data, a database of different photovoltaic module surfaces (e.g. anti-reflective coating, texturing), and models developed over several years at Sandia to evaluate ocular hazards. The results are presented in a simple easy-to-interpret plot that specifies when glare will occur throughout the year, with color indicating the potential ocular hazard.

Deployable Wind Turbine Analysis and Decision Tool for Contingency Basing

Small, highly energy intensive contingency bases rely on an inefficient and volatile energy source. In Afghanistan, attacks on resupply missions to these outposts represented a significant percentage of the injury and death rate for U.S. troops. Sandia’s goal is to support DoD initiatives to hedge reliance on these volatile fuel sources through addition to and diversification of renewable energy sources available to meet the military needs, reducing outside risks for soldiers. Wind turbines specifically purposed for contingency bases can effectively supplement diesel generators. Adding wind energy to the base energy portfolio enables renewable energy generation at night and on cloudy days. Existing turbines are not designed to operate within the constraints of a base and a customized design can reduce the high diesel transport costs and frequency at these bases.


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March 16th, 2017|Comments Off on Grid Modernization Initiative 2017 Peer Review

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March 2nd, 2017|Comments Off on AM symposium

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Alan Nanco

Alan Nanco is the program manager for Sandia National Laboratories’ Defense Energy Programs and leads the Military and Energy Systems Analysis organization.  His national security projects are focused on developing, customizing, and applying innovative systems and system of systems technologies along with innovative modeling, simulation, analysis, and optimization to inform and support decisions for various aspects of national security R&D programs.  He has over 35 years of research, development, and engineering experience coupled with executive leadership experience in industry prior to joining the Sandia management team in 2005. Alan began his career as a research engineer in 1980 and has served in executive positions with two large U.S. defense companies.  In 1994, he co-founded and owned a small consulting company that provided strategy, management, and engineering services to a wide variety of national defense customers for over 10 years. Alan also served in the U.S. Army as an Air Defense Artillery NCO during the last years of the Vietnam era. He earned a degree in civil engineering in 1980 and then studied business and operations research at the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico.

Dennis Anderson

Dennis Anderson is distinguished member of the technical staff in the Military and Energy Systems Analysis Department at Sandia National Laboratories, where he has worked for 25 years.  He is currently the deputy program manager for Army modeling and simulation projects and the principal investigator for a large system of systems (SoS) operational energy and logistics modeling project supporting the Joint Operational Energy Initiative under the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center. Previously, he was the principal investigator of two internal research projects developing SoS modeling and analysis methodologies and two Army programs involving SoS reliability, availability, and sustainment modeling and analysis.  Dennis is one of the original developers of the SoS Analysis Toolset, a stochastic simulation capability for modeling and analysis of complex systems of systems.  Dennis received an M.A. in mathematics (applied statistics option) from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and a B.A. in mathematics from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Mike Hightower

Mike Hightower is a distinguished member of the technical staff in the Energy Security Center at Sandia National Laboratories. He is a civil and environmental engineer with over 35 years of experience in research and development.  He has supported the design of nuclear, fossil, and solar power plants and rocket and penetrating weapons systems design and testing. Since 1992, he has focused on the research and evaluation of innovative environmental and energy technologies and the reliability, security, and protection of critical water and energy infrastructures. He is currently a project leader on Energy-Water R&D for the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation.  Another major focus area is petroleum, natural gas, and liquefied natural gas transportation safety and security research.  A third area of R&D is helping federal facilities improve their ability to meet their critical mission energy needs safely, securely, and reliably using risk-based evaluation and design approaches.  He has assisted many utilities and over 25 U.S. military installations world-wide in addressing emerging energy security and resiliency challenges using advanced microgrids. He has published over 120 papers and reports, including articles in NATURE, three Reports to Congress, and chapters in three books.  He is a past chair of ASME’s Environmental Engineering Division and is on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Water Alliance. Mike holds a B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from New Mexico State University.

Jason E Stamp, Ph.D.

Jason Stamp is a distinguished member of the technical staff in the Special Cyber Initiatives Department at Sandia National Laboratories. His primary research area is cyber security for control systems (including military, government, and industry applications), where he has been leading or supporting R&D efforts since 1999. His cyber security experience includes control system/component assessments, security taxonomies and metrics, threat characterization, cyber/physical impacts, and hybrid modeling/simulation, in addition to electrical power analysis in the areas of grid management, protective relaying, and resilient energy systems for military applications.  He was the lead design engineer for the SPIDERS (Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security) microgrid project. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Clemson University.

Nadine Miner, Ph.D.

Nadine Miner is a principle member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in the Advanced Military Systems and Analysis department. Nadine has served Sandia for 20 years in a number of diverse areas including systems engineering, software development, digital and analog hardware development, modeling and simulation, and optimization. For the past 10 years, she has been part of a team developing System of System modeling, simulation, analysis, and optimization tools to assist decision makers about energy system design, requirements, and investments.  She is the program lead for two Marine Corps projects, one for the Expeditionary Energy Office and one in Systems Command Expeditionary Power Systems. Nadine has been the principal investigator on several Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects and is currently part of the Algorithms team on the HAANA Grand Challenge project. Nadine has engaged in many technical rolls within the community over the years and was most recently the Chair of the MORS Operational Energy Working Group (2014-present). Nadine holds four patents, has published over 60 journal and conference papers. She holds a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of New Mexico (UNM), an M.S. in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from UNM.

Michael Baca, Ph.D.

Michael Baca has extensive experience and background in the electric power industry. With Sandia, he has extensive experience in the areas of cyber security, energy surety, resilience, power modeling, and advanced microgrid analysis and design. Specifically, he has done project and technical work to analyze and develop advanced microgrid designs for the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense customers both for military facilities and commercial sites. Prior to working at Sandia, Mike worked with Bonneville Power Engineering for 10 years as an electrical test engineer where he commissioned several large power substations, and he worked with Intel for three years where he helped commission the distribution infrastructure for Fab 11X in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He has an M.S. in electric power engineering and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of New Mexico.

John P Eddy, Ph.D.

John Eddy is a principal member of the technical staff in the System Readiness and Sustainment Technologies Department at Sandia National Laboratories.   His research areas include operations research and system of systems modeling, simulation, and optimization for civilian and military energy systems.  He is the primary developer of the Microgrid Design Toolkit funded by the Department of Energy. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Carissa Vandermey

Carissa Vandermey is currently the program manager of energy security and infrastructure analysis at Sandia National Laboratories. Previously, she served as a director of security and risk management for DOE’s Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration division. She led the department’s energy security (reliability, survivability, and resiliency of energy infrastructure/system) efforts in coordination with key stakeholders to assess threats and hazards that posed the greatest risk to U.S. energy security. Carissa managed DOE’s domestic and international critical energy infrastructure protection, a complex program that addressed both physical and cyber threats and was directed by the National Security Council in coordination with the Department of State and Homeland Security. She coordinated with the senior officials in the energy sector, federal agencies, national labs, and foreign governments on initiatives to lessen the impact such threats and hazards could have on the global energy system.  As the DOE’s lead representative, Carissa led several high profile projects for the Department to provide technical assistance to the government of Iraq as well as a project for the Crowned Prince of Saudi Arabia.  Carissa also led the Department’s activities under the DOE-DOD Energy Security MOU, the Combatant Command Energy Advisor program, and DOD’s National Defense University Energy Security Training program.  She represented DOE at FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center; serving as co-lead (with FEMA) on the newly stood up Energy Task force during Hurricane Sandy and other national significant events (Hurricane Ike, Gustov). Carissa earned a B.S. in environmental science from Washington State University.

Karina Munoz-Ramos

Karina Munoz-Ramos has been at Sandia National Laboratories since 2009 where she is currently a senior member of the technical staff. Her current research interests include power system modeling and simulation, microgrid design and modeling, and analysis of complex systems. She has been an IEEE member since 2007. Karina received her B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Benjamin L. Schenkman

Benjamin L. Schenkman joined the Energy Storage and Microgrid Department at Sandia National Laboratories in 2004 and is currently a senior member of the technical staff. His current work involves microgrid control theory; microgrid assessments including rural villages, military, and commercial; battery management systems; energy storage design and implementation; distributed generation; and modeling distributed and renewable energy in the distribution and transmission systems.  Prior to Sandia, he worked at Texas Utilities as a distribution engineer and at the Public Service Company of New Mexico as a bulk power engineer.  He is a member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council and has been on numerous advisory and review panels for the Department of Energy and Department of Defense. Benjamin received a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University with an emphasis in power engineering and deregulation economics.

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