Sandia National Laboratories won the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s (FLC) 2017 State and Local Economic Development Recognition award for its work on the New Jersey Transit Grid project. Sandia’s partnership with NJT focused on the Energy Surety Microgrid (ESM) developed at Sandia. The labs did a feasibility study under the MOU and, after an initial design was completed, New Jersey was awarded $410 million from the Department of Transportation to develop NJ TRANSITGRID, a first-of-its-kind electric microgrid for transportation that can supply highly reliable power during storms or other times when the centralized power grid is compromised.

Sandia also won the FLC’s Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for a heat-exchanger technology that makes power generation more efficient. The micro-channel heat exchanger (MCHE) is an emerging technology that makes power generation, refrigeration, heating and drilling more efficient. In power generation, even small increases in heat transfer efficiency can greatly boost production and cut the cost of electricity. The Selection, Evaluation and Rating of Compact Heat Exchangers Software Suite (SEARCH) is a software suite used to design efficient MCHEs. The design has typically required a combination of analytical performance estimation, computational fluid dynamics and finite element modeling, with each cycle taking from hours to days. Sandia’s simplified design tool uses a sub-heat exchanger thermodynamic model, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code mechanical constraints and a thermal-hydraulic solver within the Engineering Equation Solver platform to model any combination of liquid, gas, two-phase and supercritical fluid.