On March 14th, Sandia participated in a recognition ceremony at the US Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (DOE OE) to honor two technologies that recently received R&D100 awards. Both projects were supported by DOE OE’s Advanced Grid R&D Division and have major implications for improving the resilience and reliability of the nation’s power grid.
Microgrid Design Toolkit
The Microgrid Design Toolkit (MDT) is a decision support software tool that is intended to be used in the preliminary design phase to aid designers in creating optimal microgrids. The MDT can perform topology optimization and energy resource selection and sizing; account for both grid connected and islanded performance, power and component reliability in islanded mode, and dozens of metrics when performing the trade space search; and present a user with an entire trade space of information from which to draw conclusions. These characteristics make the MDT a significant advancement over anything available to designers today.
Control System for Active Damping of Inter-Area Oscillations
The Control System for Active Damping of Inter-Area Oscillations uses measurement data, acquired in real-time, from phasor measurement units, recently installed throughout the western North American Power System. This measurement data serves as a feedback signal to tell the controller as to how much power to add or subtract to the power flow on the transmission line. The controller then modulates the power flow. This carefully controlled “injection” of power smooths out oscillations in the grid, allowing utilities to push more electricity through transmission lines, leading to lower costs for utilities and consumers and greater stability for the grid.