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Energy Systems Integration News

Photo of six people standing at a table with various containers of pet food.

NREL's ESI program sponsored a pet food drive this month as part of NREL's Charitable Giving Campaign. Photo courtesy of Judy Will, NREL

November 2015

Welcome to Energy Systems Integration News, NREL's monthly recap of the latest energy systems integration (ESI) developments at NREL and worldwide.

Have a news item we should include in our next issue? Email us at

In This Issue


Don't Miss Our January Workshop on Distributed Optimization and Control of Power Systems

Interact with leaders from academia, national laboratories, and industry at the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) during our workshop on frontiers in distributed optimization and control of sustainable power systems on January 27 and 28.

The broader objective of the workshop is to address challenges in distributed control and optimization of future power systems within the context of developing a system-level understanding of emerging paradigms. An additional aim of the workshop is to promote the cross-fertilization of recent findings, advance foundational science for next-generation power systems, and facilitate technology-to-market transfer and industry adoption.

Preregistration is required, space is limited, and spots are filling quickly.

View the tentative workshop agenda and register for the event to reserve your spot.

Learn About NREL's Newest Release of the National Solar Radiation Database on December 8

NREL is hosting a free webinar onTuesday, December 8,from 1011 a.m. MST,to debut the latest release of the National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB), the foremost public resource for solar data for the United Statesand beyond, as it has recently expanded to cover a growing list of international countries.

The NSRDB is a serially complete collection of meteorological and solar irradiance data sets. The data are publicly available at no cost to the user and provide foundational information to help solar system designers, building architects and engineers, renewable energy analysts, and many others to improve and expand solar energy technologies.

There have been substantial improvements in solar data collection and modeling technologies throughout the NSRDB's more than25years of existence. As better technologies became available, NREL migrated to these new technologies and updated the NSRDB. In this new update, the NSRDB changed from using mainly empirical modeling and data collected at stations to using a physics-based modeling approachcalled the Physical Solar Model (PSM). Using this model, the new NSRDB provides data for the years from 1998 to 2014 and comprises 30-minute solar and meteorological data for approximately 2 million 0.038-degree latitude by 0.038-degree longitude surface pixels (nominally 4 km2). The area covered is bordered by longitudes 25 W on the east and 175 W on the west, and by latitudes 20 S on the south and 60 N on the north. Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) data sets are also included with this release.

Register for the webinar.

Presentations Available from Last Month's High-Penetration PV Workshop at the ESIF

Download materials from NREL's workshop on October 22 and 23 on ways to safely integrate more photovoltaics (PV) onto the grid. Presenters from industry, vendors, academia, NREL, and the U.S. Department of Energy participated in the workshops, bringing a broad perspective to the discussions.

Access presentations from the workshop.

Just Released: WWSIS Phase 3A Report on Low Levels of Synchronous Generation

The latest research in NREL's Western Wind and Solar Integration Study (WWSIS) was published this month as an extension of last year's WWSIS Phase 3which found that with good system planning, sound engineering practices, and commercially available technologies, the Western Interconnection can withstand the crucial first minute after severe grid disturbances with high penetrations of wind and solar on the grid.

The new work, Western Wind and Solar Integration Study Phase 3A: Low Levels of Synchronous Generation, focuses on the impact of low levels of synchronous generation on the transient stability performance in one part of the region in which wind generation has displaced synchronous thermal generation under highly stressed, weak system conditions.

Conducted by NREL and General Electric, the study shows that the integration of large amounts of wind generation in an exporting region with the associated displacement of substantial thermal generation is technically feasible. It is possible to have transient stability problems, particularly if the system is unduly stressed. For the conditions studiedwhich included highly stressed power flow conditions, high wind and solar generation levels, and the vast majority of major coal generation in the region offlinesystem stability can be maintained with available wind power plant controls and limited, standard technology grid support.

Download the report for the full details and conclusions.

Model Predicts Life Span of Major Utilities' Large-Scale Energy Storage

Electric vehicle manufacturers, solar and wind energy generation companies, and utilities need to know how to use batteries most effectively and how long they will last in the field.

Two leading U.S. utility providers, Southern California Edison and Next Era Energy, are using NREL's Battery Life Predictive Model to select long-lasting energy storage systems capable of reliably balancing grid electricity demands. The model accurately calculates lifetime, considering complex combinations of real-world factors such as climate, duty cycle, and grid fluctuations.

Get the Full Story on the New Hydrogen Fueling Station at the ESIF

A recent NREL news feature details the new fast-fill hydrogen fueling station that was dedicated last month at the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF)and how NREL research is pushing hydrogen research further along.

Get the full story.

NREL's Kroposki Attends Electric Vehicle Interoperability Symposium in Italy

Last month, Dr. Ben Kroposki, Director of NREL's Power Systems Engineering Center, attended the international symposium Towards a Transatlantic E-Mobility Market. This meeting was coordinated around the grand opening of the new Electric Vehicle (EV) Interoperability Center at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy.

Dr. Kroposki presented on progress in the U.S. Department of Energy's Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium and how interoperability work should be coordinated with the European Union (EU). The EV Interoperability Center is being coordinated with a similar facility at Argonne National Laboratory. There was considerable discussion on EU-U.S. collaboration on e-mobility and good discussion on potential collaborations. Dr. Kroposki also met with leaders in the JRC on a variety of potential research topics, including hydrogen sensors, battery technologies, solar technologies, and grid integration.

Contact Dr. Kroposki for more information.

ESIF HPC System Expansion Complete, Call for Allocations Open

As mentioned last month, Peregrine, the flagship high-performance computing (HPC) system at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), recently expanded to have an additional 1,152 nodes, each of which have two of the new Intel E5-2670v3 Xeon "Haswell-EP" processor chips and 64 GB of memory. These new nodes bring the aggregate peak performance of Peregrine to 2.2 PetaFLOPS. The new nodes are integrated into the system's high-speed Inifiniband network as two 576-node "scalable units," which increases the maximum number of CPU cores that a single job can use from 6,912 cores to 13,824 cores.

This expansion nearly doubles the number of node hours available for project allocations. To request an allocation of computer time on Peregrine, fill out theNREL HPC Allocation Request formand submit it

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ESI in the U.S. and Around the World

Presentations Available from iiESI Thermal Energy Workshop in Korea

Download presentations from last month's International Institute for Energy Systems Integration (iiESI) workshop on thermal energy storage in Korea. iiESI is a global institute aimed at tackling the challenges of energy systems integration through collaboration and education.

The Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Enabling Thermal Energy Flexibility in Integrated Energy Systems workshop was held October 2122, 2015, at the Korea Institute of Energy Research in Daejeon, Korea. The workshop included participants from Korea, Japan, Europe, and the United States and enabled the sharing of international experience on ESI, with a focus on ICT-enabled heat and electricity systems. Presentations and discussions covered commercial operation, business strategy, and research. See theworkshop agenda and presentations.

Watch for upcoming issues ofEnergy Systems Integration Newsfor more iiESI updates.

SEPA and ADS Join Forces

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid (ADS) announced this month that they will join forces, reflecting SEPA's recent move to expand its mission from a focus on utility integration of only large-scale and distributed solar to a broader view including a suite of distributed energy resources.

Get the full story from SEPA.

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Who's Who at the ESIF

See Who Visited the ESIF in October

Recent visitors to the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) include:

You can tour the ESIF, too. Contact us today to schedule your own ESIF visit.

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