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Power Systems Modeling Projects

Photo of power block prototype and advanced controller inside a power inverter cabinet.

Power block prototype and advanced controller.
Photo by Joshua Bauer, NREL

NREL researchers work with industry and stakeholders to create power systems models. Modeling power systems is important for product research and development. For example, researchers have developed renewable energy inverters which convert energy from sources such as photovoltaic arrays and flywheels and make them available for use in the electric grid.

California Energy Commission Inverters

With California Energy Commission funds, NREL partnered with industrial companies Semikron and National Instruments to develop a Modular 50 kilowatt Power Block and Advanced Power Electronics Controller inverter system. This inverter system can be used for various renewable and distributed energy systems including:

  • Photovoltaics
  • Small wind
  • Batteries
  • Fuel cells
  • Flywheels.

The advantages of this solution include greater economies of scale, ease of operability through a wireless interface, and scalability.