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Research Tracker

This tool is intended for researchers and program managers to quickly find research projects around the country that are relevant to their work. The four organizations who provided content for this purpose represent the largest energy efficient buildings research portfolios in the country. These organizations each provided the content that they were comfortable sharing publically. Therefore, upon clicking on a particular project, it is possible that certain pieces of content are not present. Where possible, a point of contact is provided so that specific questions can be directed to that person. We welcome your comments! If you would like to provide any feedback on this tool (positive or constructive) please email basc@pnnl.gov.

This renewable-based direct current (DC) microgrid will connect on-site generation with loads and provide a low cost, energy-efficient solution to save costs. Solar PV will be directly connected to energy-efficient DC lighting, DC energy storage systems, and ventilation on a 380 V DC bus to form a DC building microgrid. This microgrid system proposed for the Honda Distribution Center in Chino, California reduces the need for inverters for PV and rectification equipment in the loads, thus improving the overall utilization of solar energy by 7-10% as compared to conventional AC systems, while lowering component complexity and costs.

The project uses climate change simulations to produce modeled conditions that disrupt electricity system generation, renewable capacity potential, and demand for the years of 2030, 2040, and 2050. The combined effect of these impacts is then simulated on the electricity system using an integrated electric grid modeling platform.

This project will demonstrate cost-competitive ZNE design strategies that combine occupant needs with technology solutions to create new pathways for residential ZNE communities. The project's goals are cost effectiveness for the customer, affordability, overcoming customer apprehension, establishing a track record of new technology for builders, enabling distribution grid integration, creating a planning process for ZNE communities, evaluating community solar and evaluating the impact of future changes to ZNE cost effectiveness. This project will also aim to understand the operation and energy use of the unregulated loads.

An engineering study will be undertaken to determine the necessary specifications for the district heating loop. A site survey will be conducted to identify the ideal site for the central biomass plant. This will ideally be a location that has a significant load in close proximity as well as other loads reasonably close. The plant will be sized to meet some initial loads. Some of the initial major loads identified include the Wild Center Museum, the Sunmount Complex and an elementary school. A detailed analysis of the heating and cooling loads will be undertaken to determine the size of the initial plant. The piping route and specifications will be determined as well. As all of the characteristics come together, the work will be put out to bid to the relevant contractors. The project will also involve determining the source of funding of the district heating loop.

This project will develop co-optimization strategies for distributed energy resources (DERs) to maximize customer and system value under existing CPUC-approved retail and California Independent System Operator (California ISO) wholesale tariff structures, future market structures and pricing, and the transactive energy pricing signals developed under agreement EPC-15-054. The project will test and configure two DER portfolios: a) one consisting of large retail customers and schools using battery energy storage, solar photovoltaics, and integrated load management, and b) the other consisting of hotels using passive thermal energy storage and energy efficiency. Both will be coupled with integrated load management, to respond to price signals as well as develop operational strategies that provide best practices for wholesale integration subject to the identified retail and wholesale tariffs and operational constraints.

The purpose of this project is to fund research that will reduce the stress on current water infrastructure in California. Research will include: (1) development of high water recovery desalination processes for non-traditional waters, (2) characterizing the potential for non-traditional water use in California, (3) development of recycled water scenarios for electricity generation, and (4) improving the characterization of California's snowpack.

The purpose of this project is to fund research that will reduce the stress on current water infrastructure in California. Research will include: (1) development of high water recovery desalination processes for non-traditional waters, (2) characterizing the potential for non-traditional water use in California, (3) development of recycled water scenarios for electricity generation, and (4) improving the characterization of California's snowpack.

The Pacific Northwest (PNW) Smart Grid project is a five-year demonstration led by Battelle and partners including BPA, 11 utilities, two universities, and five vendors. The cost is $178 million ($89 million private, $89 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded). The project will include 60,000 metered customers in five states. The project aims to substantially increase smart grid asset installation in the region by purchasing and installing smart grid technology. The project goals are to facilitate integration of wind and other renewables, quantify costs and benefits, develop two-way communication protocol, and advance interoperability standards.

Columbia University, with partners Lucid, Siemens, and Microsoft, has developed a technology that encourages occupants to change their electricity use by reducing their load or shifting usage to non-peak hours. By utilizing a human-in-the-loop approach and occupant feedback strategies, this sub-metering and feedback technology can reduce residential energy use by at least 30%.

This project will explore the benefits and opportunities of Total Charge Management, where electric vehicle charging is managed across multiple charging events to maximize vehicle load flexibility. The project will test how flexible electric vehicle load can be if managed across a driver's daily or weekly charge events. This flexibility will utilize several pricing mechanisms to estimate the benefits of the Total Charge Management approach. The research will develop and evaluate advanced vehicle telematics for utilities and grid operators to align vehicle battery status, driver mobility needs and grid conditions. Collaboration between the grid and the driver can yield a charging load profile that minimizes energy costs by aligning daily and weekly charging events to best meet grid needs.

The Recipient will develop Transactive Load management (TLM) signals, expressed in the form of proxy prices reflective of current and future grid conditions, and implement software to calculate such signals. These signals will be designed to provide customers sufficient information to optimize their energy costs by managing their demand in response to system needs. The signals will be transported via proven and available protocols and networks for use by projects that will test the efficacy of the TLM signals using the demand response projects awarded under agreement EPC-15-054.

This project is based on initial research done under TIP 50 and 51. The fraction of power electronic loads is expected to increase over the next decade. The project will evaluate the impact of power electronic loads on power system stability, including dynamic voltage stability, damping of power oscillations, and frequency response. The project will look at a wide number of power electronic loads, such as VFDs, consumer electronics, and electric vehicle charges. The project will simulate, test, and evaluate various designs that make electronic loads friendly to the power grid. This project is coordinated with a larger nationwide US Department of Energy (DOE) Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) project.

The proposed project investigates using highly controllable resources, such as energy storage and demand response, located in BPA served distribution networks with the goal of providing technical and economic benefits to BPA such as:
1. Congestion management
2. Equipment upgrade deferrals
3. Increased system reliability, and
4. Assistance in developing a strategy to manage increasing amounts of distributed generation.

This project is being pursued due to a timely confluence of several projects already under way. The University of Washington (UW) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) funded research project, Energy Positioning: Control and Economics, is developing techniques to optimize use of the energy storage (ES) and demand response (DR) assets to support transmission network operations and determine the economic value of such optimization. The Snohomish PUD is making an investment in ES and DR assets supported by Washington State, which will be managed by an advanced control and optimization system. These assets will provide a valuable real-world proving ground for the UW research and technology to be developed in this project.

SLAC is working with partners Kisensum and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to develop a VOLTTRON Testing Took kit that will enhance the VOLTTRON Open Source platform that is currently under development by adding testing tools. This makes VOLTTRON more accessible and available to small and medium facility owners by allowing for quick analysis of the potential of behind-the-meter storage, integration of renewables and responsiveness to the wholesale energy process.