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Grid

Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology

In today's increasingly electrified world, power conversion--the process of converting electricity between different currents, voltage levels, and frequencies--forms a vital link between the electronic devices we use every day and the sources of power required to run them. The projects that make up ARPA-E's ADEPT program, short for "Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology," are paving the way for more energy efficient power conversion and advancing the basic building blocks of power conversion: circuits, transistors, inductors, transformers, and capacitors.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Building Reliable Electronics to Achieve Kilovolt Effective Ratings Safely

Recent advances in hardware for handling direct current (DC) electricity have created an opportunity to greatly improve the efficiency, security, and safety of the U.S. power system while supporting new industries and grid design options. There remains, however, a significant technology gap in the safety and protection mechanisms required to mitigate potentially damaging faults in these systems. The projects that comprise ARPA-E's BREAKERS (Building Reliable Electronics to Achieve Kilovolt Effective Ratings Safely) program will develop novel technologies for medium voltage direct current (MVDC) circuit breakers, applicable to markets including electrified transportation, MVDC grid distribution, renewable interconnections, and offshore oil, gas, and wind production. Project teams will either develop transformational improvements to conventional DC circuit breakers (i.e., mechanical, solid state, hybrid) or construct circuit breakers based on completely novel designs. These systems must achieve program goals of handling a voltage between 1 - 100 kV DC and power above 1 MW at extremely high efficiencies and fast response times.

Creating Innovative and Reliable Circuits Using Inventive Topologies and Semiconductors

Development of advanced power electronics with unprecedented functionality, efficiency, reliability, and reduced form factor will provide the United States a critical technological advantage in an increasingly electrified world economy. The projects that comprise ARPA E's CIRCUITS (Creating Innovative and Reliable Circuits Using Inventive Topologies and Semiconductors) program seek to accelerate the development and deployment of a new class of efficient, lightweight, and reliable power converters, based on wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors. CIRCUITS projects will establish the building blocks of this class of power converter by advancing higher efficiency designs that exhibit enhanced reliability and superior total cost of ownership. In addition, a reduced form factor (size and weight) will drive adoption of higher performance and more efficient power converters relative to today's state-of-the-art systems. Past ARPA-E programs have focused on challenges associated with fabricating WBG high-performance switching devices. Program developments led to a new generation of devices that operate at much higher powers, voltages, frequencies, and temperatures than traditional silicon-based semiconductor devices. CIRCUITS projects will build on these earlier ARPA-E programs by designing circuit topologies optimally suited for WBG attributes to maximize overall electrical system performance. Innovations stemming from CIRCUITS projects have the potential to affect high-impact applications wherever electrical power is generated or used, including the electric grid, industrial motor controllers, automotive electrification, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, solar and wind power systems, datacenters, aerospace control surfaces, wireless power transfer, and consumer electronics.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.    

Green Electricity Network Integration

The projects in ARPA-E's GENI program, short for "Green Electricity Network Integration," aim to modernize the way electricity is transmitted in the U.S. through advances in hardware and software for the electric grid. These advances will improve the efficiency and reliability of electricity transmission, increase the amount of renewable energy the grid can utilize, and provide energy suppliers and consumers with greater control over their power flows in order to better manage peak power demand and cost.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.

Grid Optimization (GO) Competition

ARPA-E's Grid Optimization (GO) Competition comprises a series of prize challenges to accelerate the development and comprehensive evaluation of new software solutions for tomorrow's electric grid. Key areas for development include but are not limited to optimal utilization of conventional and emerging technologies, management of dynamic grid operations (including extreme event response and restoration), and management of millions of emerging distributed energy resources (DER).Challenge 1The first challenge of the GO Competition is an algorithm competition to develop solutions to the electric power sector's security-constrained optimal power flow (SCOPF) problem. Optimal power flow requires determining generator settings that best enable power to be routed to customers across a complex grid in a reliable and cost-effective manner. Algorithms will be tested on complex, realistic power system models, and participants will be scored on how well their algorithms perform relative to other competitors'. Winning teams will efficiently find a minimum-cost solution to the SCOPF problem.Additional challenges are planned beginning in 2019 in topics including DERs, intermittent resources, storage, grid resilience, grid restoration, grid dynamics, and cyber threats.

Generating Realistic Information for the Development of Distribution and Transmission Algorithms

The Generating Realistic Information for the Development of Distribution and Transmission Algorithms (GRID DATA) program will fund the development of large-scale, realistic, validated, and open-access power system network models. These models will have the detail required to allow the successful development and testing of transformational power system optimization and control algorithms, including new Optimal Power Flow (OPF) algorithms. Project teams will take one of two tracks to develop models. The first option is to partner with a utility to collect and then anonymize real data as the basis for a model that can be released publically. The second approach is to construct purely synthetic power system models. The program will also fund the creation of an open-access, self-sustaining repository for the storage, annotation, and curation of these power systems models, as well as others generated by the community.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.

Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science

The IDEAS program - short for Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science - provides a continuing opportunity for the rapid support of early-stage applied research to explore pioneering new concepts with the potential for transformational and disruptive changes in energy technology. IDEAS awards, which are restricted to maximums of one year in duration and $500,000 in funding, are intended to be flexible and may take the form of analyses or exploratory research that provides the agency with information useful for the subsequent development of focused technology programs. IDEAS awards may also support proof-of-concept research to develop a unique technology concept, either in an area not currently supported by the agency or as a potential enhancement to an ongoing focused technology program. This program identifies potentially disruptive concepts in energy-related technologies that challenge the status quo and represent a leap beyond today's technology. That said, an innovative concept alone is not enough. IDEAS projects must also represent a fundamentally new paradigm in energy technology and have the potential to significantly impact ARPA-E's mission areas.

Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems

The Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES) Program aspires to enable renewables penetration at the 50% level or greater, by developing transformational grid management and control methods to create a virtual energy storage system based on use of flexible load and distributed energy resources (DERs). The challenge is to cost-effectively and reliably manage dynamic changes in the grid by leveraging these additional grid resources, while maintaining customer quality of service. The expected benefits include reduced periods of costly peak demand, reduced energy waste and increased penetration of renewable energy production. The NODES Program will bring together different scientific communities such as power systems, control systems, computer science, and distributed systems to accelerate the development of new technologies enabling active control of load and DERs in coordination with the grid.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Open Funding Solicitation

In 2012, ARPA-E issued its second open funding opportunity designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received more than 4,000 concept papers for OPEN 2012, which hundreds of scientists and engineers thoroughly reviewed over the course of several months. In the end, ARPA-E selected 66 projects for its OPEN 2012 program, awarding them a total of $130 million in federal funding. OPEN 2012 projects cut across 11 technology areas: advanced fuels, advanced vehicle design and materials, building efficiency, carbon capture, grid modernization, renewable power, stationary power generation, water, as well as stationary, thermal, and transportation energy storage.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.  

Open Funding Solicitation

In 2015, ARPA-E issued its third open funding opportunity designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received more than 2,000 concept papers for OPEN 2015, which hundreds of scientists and engineers thoroughly reviewed over the course of several months. In the end, ARPA-E selected 41 projects for its OPEN 2015 program, awarding them a total of $125 million in federal funding. OPEN 2015 projects cut across ten technology areas: building efficiency, industrial processes and waste heat, data management and communication, wind, solar, tidal and distributed generation, grid scale storage, power electronics, power grid system performance, vehicle efficiency, storage for electric vehicles, and alternative fuels and bio-energy.
For a detailed technical overview about this program, please click here.

Open Funding Solicitation

In 2018, ARPA-E issued its fourth open funding opportunity, designed to catalyze transformational breakthroughs across the entire spectrum of energy technologies. ARPA-E received thousands of concept papers for OPEN 2018, which hundreds of scientists and engineers reviewed over the course of several months. ARPA-E selected 45 projects for its OPEN 2018 program, awarding them $112 million in federal funding. OPEN 2018 projects cut across ten technology areas: building efficiency, distributed generation, electrical efficiency, grid, grid storage, manufacturing efficiency, resource efficiency, transportation fuels, transportation energy conversion, and transportation vehicles.

Performance-based Energy Resource Feedback, Optimization, and Risk Management

Optimal utilization of all grid assets requires a fundamental shift in grid management rooted in an understanding of asset risk and system risk. Existing management practices were designed for a grid consisting of and fully reliant on conventional generation assets. Present operational and planning practices do not acknowledge or leverage the true capabilities and associated challenges of emerging assets. A novel risk-driven paradigm will allow emerging assets to be trusted and relied upon to provide the critical products and services necessary to maintain an efficient and reliable grid, thereby breaking the persistent reliance on conventional generation technologies. PERFORM seeks to develop innovative management systems that represent the relative delivery risk of each asset and balance the collective risk of all assets across the grid. A risk-driven paradigm allows operators to: (i) fully understand the true likelihood of maintaining a supply-demand balance and system reliability, (ii) optimally manage the system, and (iii) assess the true value of essential reliability services. This paradigm shift is critical for all power systems and is essential for grids with high levels of stochastic resources. Projects will propose methods to quantify and manage risk at the asset level and at the system level.

ABB, Inc.

Economical Data-Fused Grid Edge Processor (EDGEPRO) For Future Distribution Grid Control Applications

ABB Inc. will design a low-cost, secure, and flexible next-generation grid service platform to improve grid efficiency and reliability. This technology will merge advanced edge computing, data fusion and machine learning techniques for virtual metering, and create a central repository for grid applications such as distributed energy resource (DER) control and others on one platform. The united platform will consist of four functional layers: (1) communication including data collection and exchange, (2) data processing and distributed state estimation, (3) data standardization and storage, and (4) hosted grid applications designed to enable large-scale deployment of DERs and more flexible grid control. ABB's approach will integrate and maximize emerging technologies in the transition to a decentralized and distributed electric grid.

Arizona State University

Sensor Enabled Modeling of Future Distribution Systems with Distributed Energy Resources

Arizona State University will develop learning-ready models and control tools to maintain sensor-rich distribution systems in the presence of high levels of DER and storage. This approach will include topology processing algorithms, load and DER models for system planning and operation, distribution system state estimation, optimal DER operational scheduling algorithms, and system-level DER control strategies that leverage inverter controls' flexibility. The project will alter distribution system operation from today's reactive, load-serving, and outage mitigation-focused approach to an active DER, load, and outage-managed, market-ready approach.

Arizona State University

Stochastic Optimal Power Flow for Real-Time Management of Distributed Renewable Generation and Demand Response

Arizona State University (ASU) will develop a stochastic optimal power flow (SOPF) framework, which would integrate uncertainty from renewable resources, load, distributed storage, and demand response technologies into bulk power system management in a holistic manner. The team will develop SOPF algorithms for the security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) problem used to manage variability in the electric grid. The algorithms will be implemented in a software tool to provide system operators with real-time guidance to help coordinate between bulk generation and large numbers of DERs and demand response. ASU's project features unique data-analytics based short-term forecast for bulk and distributed wind and solar generation utilized by the advisory tool that generates real-time recommendations for market operators based on the SOPF algorithm outputs.

AutoGrid, Inc.

Highly Dispatchable and Distributed Demand Response for the Integration of Distributed Generation

AutoGrid, in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Columbia University, will design and demonstrate automated control software that helps manage real-time demand for energy across the electric grid. Known as the Demand Response Optimization and Management System - Real-Time (DROMS-RT), the software will enable personalized price signals to be sent to millions of customers in extremely short timeframes--incentivizing them to alter their electricity use in response to grid conditions. This will help grid operators better manage unpredictable demand and supply fluctuations in short time-scales--making the power generation process more efficient and cost effective for both suppliers and consumers. DROMS-RT is expected to provide a 90% reduction in the cost of operating demand response and dynamic pricing programs in the U.S.

Bigwood Systems, Inc.

Global-Optimal Power Flow (G-OPF)

Bigwood Systems is developing a comprehensive Optimal Power Flow (OPF) modelling engine that will enhance the energy efficiency, stability, and cost effectiveness of the national electric grid. Like water flowing down a hill, electricity takes the path of least resistance which depends on the grid network topology and on grid controls. However, in a complicated networked environment, this can easily lead to costly congestion or shortages in certain areas of the electric grid. Grid operators use imperfect solutions like approximations, professional judgments, or conservative estimates to try to ensure reliability while minimizing costs. Bigwood Systems' approach will combine four separate analytical technologies to develop an OPF modeling engine that could markedly improve management of the grid. As part of this project, Bigwood Systems will demonstrate the practical applications of this tool in partnership with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

Boston University

Transmission Topology Control for Infrastructure Resilience to the Integration of Renewable Generation

The Boston University (BU) team is developing control technology to help grid operators more actively manage power flows and integrate renewables by optimally turning entire power lines on and off in coordination with traditional control of generation and load resources. The control technology being developed would provide grid operators with tools to help manage transmission congestion by identifying the facilities whose on/off status must change to lower generation costs, increase utilization of renewable resources and improve system reliability. The technology is based on fast optimization algorithms for the near to real-time change in the on/off status of transmission facilities and their software implementation.

California Institute of Technology

Scalable Real-Time Decentralized Volt/VAR Control

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is developing a distributed automation system that allows distributed generators--solar panels, wind farms, thermal co-generation systems--to effectively manage their own power. To date, the main stumbling block for distributed automation systems has been the inability to develop software that can handle more than 100,000 distributed generators and be implemented in real time. Caltech's software could allow millions of generators to self-manage through local sensing, computation, and communication. Taken together, localized algorithms can support certain global objectives, such as maintaining the balance of energy supply and demand, regulating voltage and frequency, and minimizing cost. An automated, grid-wide power control system would ease the integration of renewable energy sources like solar power into the grid by quickly transmitting power when it is created, eliminating the energy loss associated with the lack of renewable energy storage capacity of the grid.

Cornell University

GridControl: A Software Platform to Support the Smart Grid

Cornell University is creating a new software platform for grid operators called GridControl that will utilize cloud computing to more efficiently control the grid. In a cloud computing system, there are minimal hardware and software demands on users. The user can tap into a network of computers that is housed elsewhere (the cloud) and the network runs computer applications for the user. The user only needs interface software to access all of the cloud's data resources, which can be as simple as a web browser. Cloud computing can reduce costs, facilitate innovation through sharing, empower users, and improve the overall reliability of a dispersed system. Cornell's GridControl will focus on 4 elements: delivering the state of the grid to users quickly and reliably; building networked, scalable grid-control software; tailoring services to emerging smart grid uses; and simulating smart grid behavior under various conditions.

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