NREL conducts research and development (R&D) of distributed energy power electronics in the areas of hardware, controls and optimization, and testing and analysis.
- Design and construction of various power electronics converters such as photovoltaic inverters, battery chargers, and new converter topologies
- Development of low-cost, reliable modular power electronics building blocks and advanced controller hardware
- Component selection, design, and development of complete power electronics solutions such as microgrid, stand-alone hybrid power systems, and grid-tied distributed energy resources (DER) systems.
Controls and Optimization
- Development of power electronics controllers in various firmware platforms and programming languages
- Development and implementation of advanced control functionalities such as VAR control, voltage regulation, stand-alone/grid connected operation, IEEE 1547 capability, MPPT, battery control, smart grid functions, and microgrid operation
- Development of system-level control algorithms for hybrid power systems dispatch, load management, and resource optimization
- Creation of a hardware controller platform optimized for control of grid-connected power electronic systems that can be easily tailored to any need.
Testing and Analysis
- Power quality, pre-standards grid-compliance, efficiency, and other performance testing of DER components and systems
- Performance analysis, control, and functional verification of energy storage converters and systems.