Distributed Energy Resources (DER) are becoming ever smarter and more versatile. Energy professionals around the world have come to realize that DER can be utilized to provide both low-cost power and advanced grid support (ancillary) services.Researchers have engaged with one another to better understand how to dynamically control DER for the betterment of local grids. To facilitate this effort, 24 countries (plus the European Commission) have come together to form the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN). National laboratories and research institutes from fourteen of these countries, including project leader Sandia National Laboratories in the U.S., formed the Smart Grid International Facilities Research Initiative (SIRFN). As stated on the SIRFN web page, SIRFN’s goal is to “give participating countries the ability to evaluate pre-competitive technologies and systems approaches in a wide range of smart grid implementation use cases and geographies using common testing procedures.”
Joint Research on Smart Inverters and Storage
In early 2015, Sandia and the SunSpec Alliance formed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to develop a smart inverter test framework to stretch the boundaries of DER power control and enable automated testing of solar inverters around the world. Combining Sandia’s power engineering expertise with the software, standardization, and automation capabilities of SunSpec, this project is delivering a smart inverter testing solution that is easy to access, adaptable to a wide variety of use cases and grids types, and that is internationally applicable. The initial results of the Sandia/SunSpec collaboration are described here.
Smart Inverter Testing Resources
As this project progresses, important elements will be made available for downloading:
- Open source Sandia/SunSpec Smart Inverter Test Scripts
- Open source software to enable users to develop their own automation systems
- California Rule 21 Smart Inverter Test Protocols
Additional resources will be posted here as they are developed and delivered.
Support for SIRFN members
To accelerate the effort, this project provides participating SIRFN research institutions with access to the SunSpec System Validation Platform (SunSpec SVP).
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