System Architectures To Support Autonomous Energy Systems

System architecture is a critical workstream for NREL to ensure the realization of autonomous energy systems.

Managing heterogeneous elements of a highly distributed energy system requires holistic operation and communication architectures that seamlessly integrate dispersed controllers with newly developed algorithms and existing legacy systems—each of which could be of distinct ownership, platform, or manufacturer.

NREL has developed a federated architecture for secure and transactive distributed energy resource management. Methods to aggregate and coordinate the operations of different types of distributed energy resources and standard-based communication protocols for data exchange are both specified. NREL's Advanced Distribution Management System test bed and Real-Time Analytics for Bulk Grid platform provide unique research capabilities to study different use cases and evaluate types of system architectures before deploying them in the field. Use case studies will help reach the goal of designing all-encompassing and technology-agnostic architectures that are compatible with the many software platforms, energy hardware, and cyber networks in the market—and can bring these resources together to support bulk system functionality.


Fei Ding

Group Manager, Grid Automation and Control