Sandia's Grid Modernization Program Newsletter | May 2018

Grid Modernization Header

Sandia's Grid Modernization Program Newsletter  |  May 2018

Covering such topics as energy storage, renewable energy integration, transmission planning and operations, defense energy, and cybersecurity, Sandia's quarterly Grid Modernization Program Newsletter features research highlights, upcoming events, technical achievements, and new publications and patents. News stories are also available on Sandia's Grid Modernization website. Enjoy!

In this Issue:

Research Updates & Accomplishments

New Orleans

Innovative Microgrid Solutions Could Enhance Community Resilience

In a new report released by the US. Department of Energy (DOE) Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC), researchers from Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory suggest that a series of resilience nodes—clusters of critical infrastructure services powered by microgrids—could quickly restore power to hospitals, emergency response facilities, grocery stores, and other lifeline services during extended grid outages. The team used the Urban Resilience Planning Process—an approach developed by Sandia to improve community resilience through infrastructure investments—to analyze severe weather threats in New Orleans and evaluate potential solutions. As a follow on to the project, Sandia will work with New Orleans to apply the Microgrid Design Toolkit, a recent R&D 100 award winner, to three of the potential resiliency node locations. Sandia will also use the approach for a new GMLC project, Designing Resilient Communities, to work with San Antonio, TX and Buffalo, NY.


New Control Concept for Grid Resilience Demonstrated at SWiFT

Through a Small Business Voucher collaboration with Group NIRE and Baylor University, Sandia researchers demonstrated that a wind turbine at the Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility can modulate real power for grid stability. Control signals were routed from Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) monitoring the local SWiFT grid to the Control & Optimization of Networked Energy Technologies (CONET) lab in Albuquerque back out to the SWiFT turbine in Lubbock, which successfully modulated the power onto the local grid. This new control concept could be deployed to current and future wind turbines on the grid to enhance grid resiliency nationwide.


Sandia’s Cyber Technology Successfully Integrated into Operational Microgrid

During a recent demonstration by Sandia and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), a simulated adversary scanned Ft. Belvoir’s microgrid control system without cyber defense technology activated and was able to login to systems. Then, the team enabled Sandia’s Artificial Diversity and Defense Security, or “ADDSec,” coupled with SEL’s Software Defined Networking (SDN)-capable switch and repeated the simulation. The ADDSec technology detected the abnormal behavior and automatically triggered a response—in this case, IP randomization. IP randomization made the information the adversary obtained invalid, which stopped them from logging in to the systems they discovered. The demonstration also showed that Sandia and SEL’s technologies can work together using two other open source SDN controllers—OpenDaylight and Ryu—allowing anyone compatible with these controllers to implement this solution.


Two New Energy Storage Projects will Add Resilience and Reduce Costs in Arizona and Oregon

Sandia is partnering with two utilities to install energy storage systems that could increase resiliency and save costs. The first project will evaluate the use of energy storage for the Anza Electric Cooperative in partnership with the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Sandia will help with the procurement of the energy storage system by providing sizing and other parameters and then assess its effectiveness in deferring transmission upgrades and providing a resilient power supply. Second, Sandia will work with the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) and Oregon Department of Energy to install an energy storage system with a capacity of 500kW. The system will be used for day-to-day applications at a local school and to supply backup power if the grid goes down. It will also provide support to the EWEB grid. Sandia will use data from the system to conduct economic analysis and develop interconnection standards for energy storage. Both projects are in partnership with the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) and funded by the DOE Office of Electricity and Energy Reliability (OE) Energy Storage Program led by Dr. Imre Gyuk.

Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson Shares How to Automate Inverter Testing using Controller Hardware in the Loop Technology

In an Industry Spotlight video and blog produced by Typhoon HIL, Sandia’s Jay Johnson discusses his current research, “Design and Evaluation of SunSpec-Compliant Smart Grid Controller with an Automated Hardware-in-the-Loop Testbed.” Jay explains how a new revision to IEEE 1547—a standard for interconnecting distributed energy resources (DERs) with electric power systems—will require the resources to include different advanced inverter functions. In his research, Jay used a controller hardware-in-the-loop (CHIL) system to perform certification tests to verify and validate an inverter is compliant with the requirements. This automated CHIL technology allowed experiments to be conducted prior to deploying DER technology and can be completed in hours rather than days of manual calculations.

Outreach & Events


Webinar Available: Energy Storage Project Proves its Worth in Sterling, MA

In a webinar presented by the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP), Sandia joined other partners to explain how the Sterling Municipal Light Department’s energy storage project saved nearly $400,000 for the town’s ratepayers during the first year of operation. The webinar also provided information on a second energy storage project being undertaken by Sterling in conjunction with a community solar installation. The webinar was presented by experts from Sandia, DOE OE, and the Sterling Municipal Light Department and hosted by CESA.


Sandia Researchers Present Two IEEE Smart Grid Webinars

On February 15, Matthew Reno presented an IEEE Smart Grid webinar on “Advances in Distribution System Time-Series Analysis for Studying DER Impacts.” Over 400 attendees listened to the advantages of time series analysis and the research that has been done to dramatically decrease the amount of time required to complete accurate quasi-static time-series (QSTS) simulations. On April 12, David Copp presented, “Distributed Control for Improving Power System Stability” and shared how modulating power transfer along a high voltage DC transmission line and injecting real power from distributed energy storage devices can be used to improve the small-signal stability of large power systems.

Strategen Webinar Series

New Webinar Series Highlights Role of Energy Storage in Future Electric Power Sector

Sandia’s Energy Storage program is partnering with Strategen Consulting to host a new webinar series that will bring together top thought leaders to discuss a wide range of topics affecting the role of energy storage in the future of the electric power sector. The first of four webinars, Storage for Resilience – Part I: Applications & Technologies, was held April 12 to help participants understand the concept of grid resilience and explore applications and technologies for energy storage in utility, commercial, and residential contexts. Storage for Resilience – Part II: Deploying Storage for Resilience, on May 10, discusses how storage can be planned and deployed for resilience applications and includes case studies of projects that use storage to improve resilience.


Sandia Organizes Three Symposia at Spring MRS Symposium

During the Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Symposium April 2-6, Sandia’s researchers organized three symposia to discuss flow batteries for grid energy storage, harvesting natural and human-made energy sources, and solid-state super ion conductors. The MRS meeting is a platform to present research to an interdisciplinary and international audience.

PV Symposium

10th PV Systems Symposium

Co-sponsored by Sandia, CFV Solar Test Laboratory, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), this three-day workshop held May 1-3  examined the technical challenges and opportunities related to photovoltaic (PV) systems and their grid integration. The grid integration portion included a tutorial for IEEE 1547, a tutorial for applying a distributed energy resource management system, and a workshop on firming and shaping renewables.

Power Electronics Workshop

Save the Date: Enabling Advanced Power Electronics Technologies for the Next Generation Electric Utility Grid Workshop

Sandia is hosting the workshop "Enabling Advanced Power Electronics Technologies for the Next-Generation Electric Utility Grid” on July 17-18 at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town in Albuquerque, NM. Participants from government agencies, national laboratories, industry, and universities will meet to gain a broader understanding of power electronics R&D needs—from materials to systems—for the next-generation electric utility grid. The workshop includes sessions on the role of power electronics for the next- generation grid, the current state-of-the-art in power electronics, and the need for components and topologies.

Eldorado Hotel

Save the Date: DOE Energy Storage Peer Review

On behalf of DOE OE, Sandia will host the 2018 Energy Storage Program Peer Review September 25-27 at the Eldorado Resort and Spa in Santa Fe, NM. During this two-day meeting, principal investigators of DOE OE projects will present summaries of their work and progress during the year. Research areas include energy storage materials, power electronics, safety and reliability, analytics, codes and standards activities, demonstration projects and industry acceptance, and strategic outreach activities.

Upcoming Events

Join Sandia's grid experts at the following external engagements in the coming months:

      Awards & Recognition

      R&D Awards

      Grid Innovation at Sandia Recognized with Two R&D 100 Awards

      On March 14th, Sandia participated in a recognition ceremony at DOE OE to honor two technologies that recently received R&D 100 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: 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 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.

      Recent Publications & Patents


      D. G. Enos, S. R. Ferreira, H. M. Barkholtz, W. Baca, and S. Fenstermacher, Understanding Function and Performance of Carbon Additives in Lead-Acid Batteries, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Volume 164, No. 13, Pages A3276-A3284, 2017.

      D. Rosewater, S. Ferreira, and D. Schoenwald, J. Hawkins, S. Santoso, Battery Energy Storage State-of-Charge Forecasting: Models, Optimization, and Accuracy, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid (Early Access), January 2018.

      D. L. Woodruff, J. Deride, A. Staid, J.P. Watson, G. Slevogt, C. Silva-Monroy, Constructing Probabilistic Scenarios for Wide-area Solar Power Generation, Solar Energy, Volume 160, Pages 153-167, January 2018.

      F. Wilches-Bernal, R. Concepcion, J. C. Neely, R. H. Byrne, A. Ellis, Communication Enabled—Fast Acting Imbalance Reserve (CE-FAIR), IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Volume 33, Issue 1, Pages 1101-1103, January 2018.

      J. Deboever, S. Grijalva, M. J. Reno, and R. J. Broderick, Fast Quasi-Static Time-Series (QSTS) for Yearlong PV Impact Studies using Vector Quantization, Solar Energy, Volume 159, Pages 538-547, January 1, 2018.

      Y. Dvorkin, R. Fernandez-Blanco, Y. Wang, B. Xu, D. S. Kirschen, H. Pandzic, J.P. Watson, C. A. Silva-Monroy, Co-Planning of Investments in Transmission and Merchant Energy Storage, Volume 33, Issue 1, January 2018.

      E. Allcorn, G. Nagasubramanian, H.D. Pratt III, E. Spoerke, D. Ingersoll, Elimination of Active Species Crossover in a Room Temperature, Neutral pH, Aqueous Flow Battery using a Ceramic NaSICON Membrane, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 378, Pages 353-361, February 2018.

      J. F. Ellison, L. J. Rashkin, J. Serio, R. H. Byrne, The Benefits of Grid-Scale Storage on Oahu, Journal of Energy Storage, Volume 15, Pages 336-344, February 2018.

      E. A. Paisley, M. T. Brumbach, C. T. Shelton, A. A. Allerman, S. Atcitty, C. M. Rost, J. A. Ohlhausen, B. L. Doyle, Z. Sitar, J.P. Maria, J. F. Ihlefled, Nitride Surface Chemistry Influence on Band Offsets at Epitaxial Oxide/GaN Interfaces, Applied Physics Letters, 112, 092903, March 2018.

      J. Johnson, R. Ablinger, R. Bruendlinger, B. Fox, J. Flicker, Interconnection Standard Grid-Support Function Evaluations Using an Automated Hardware-in-the-Loop Testbed, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 565-571, March 2018.

      Z. K. Pecenak, V. R. Disfani, M. J. Reno, J. Kleissl, Multiphase Distribution Feeder Reduction, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Volume 33, Issue 2, March 2018.



      J. Johnson, Patent No. 9897642, 02/20/18: Detection of Arcing Location on Photovoltaic Systems Using Filters

      Patent Application file 01/10/18: Method to Provide Meta-stable Operation of a DC Microgrid Comprising a Pulsed Load

      Patent Application filed 01/19/18: Cell Level Micro-Dual Active Bridbe Controller for Precise Energy Storage Management

      Patent Application filed 02/28/18: Block Copolymers including Poly(phenylene) and Methods Thereof

      Patent Application filed 03/05/18: Halo-Containing Anion Exchange Membranes and Methods Thereof

      Patent Application filed 03/20/18: Systems and Methods for Active Damping Control of Inter-Area Oscillations in Large-Scale Interconnected Power Systems

      Patent Application filed 03/20/18: Systems and Methods using Collaborative Controls to Maintain Anti-Islanding Standards