US national laboratories enter five-year smart grid challenge


The US Department of Energy (DoE) has signed a five-year deal to conduct research and development and test innovative energy technologies and hardware.

Three DoE national laboratories will partner with Siemens to enhance the technological, scientific, educational, and industrial development of power electronics needed for a reliable and economic power supply in the 21st century.

The national laboratories include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Research scientists will share information and resources, and co-develop technologies to accelerate the integration of distributed resources including smart inverters for solar panels, batteries, and electrical vehicles with the main grid.

For instance, Siemens will provide its Software Defined Inverter technology, for the three national laboratories to test and validate its use to optimise grid-connected microgrids and energy storage systems.

Involved parties will host scientific workshops, lectures, and symposia, as well as co-written publications and journal articles.

Ulrich Muenz, head of corporate technology research group at Siemens, said technologies to be developed and tested will “… ensure that the power grid of the future is more resilient, secure, and capable of supporting distributed and low-carbon power generation assets.

 “Collaborating with the Department of Energy’s U.S. National Laboratories and co-creating with the nation’s energy community is crucial to modernising and enhancing America’s energy infrastructure.”

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Nicholas Nhede
Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.