With demand for electricity expected to grow nearly 30 percent by 2040, our nation's electric infrastructure needs substantial upgrades. Technological advancements that use information technology for greater sensing, communications, and control throughout the power system promise to make the current power infrastructure more effective and offer opportunities to improve overall performance through new, smart transmission, distribution, and generation assets.
PNNL is delivering the science, technology, and leadership to transform our nation's aging power grid into one that is clean, efficient, reliable, and resilient. Focused on the vital needs of the energy infrastructure, we are taking a system-wide approach to grid modernization to help realize the "smart grid" of tomorrow—where energy technology meets information technology through a network architecture as big as the Internet but faster, with unprecedented updates at all levels: generation, transmission, distribution, and end use.
Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium
The challenge to transform the U.S. power grid to meet the demands of the 21st century is daunting and urgent. To meet this challenge, the U.S. Department of Energy harnessed the scientific and technical power of its national laboratory system with the formation of the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium.
This strategic partnership between DOE and 12 of its national laboratories involves coordinating unique capabilities across collaborating institutions. Together, grid experts are developing the framework for U.S. industry and regulators to achieve a national power grid that seamlessly delivers clean and reliable electricity to people wherever they are, whenever they need it.
Congrats to Vince Sprenkle for being selected PNNL Inventor of the Year for Fiscal Year 2014. Sprenkle is recognized for innovation that has resulted in the creation of intellectual property or the potential to create intellectual property.
Smart Grid Today selected Carl Imhoff as one of 50 Smart Grid Pioneers. Imhoff was selected as a winner from exclusive interviews over the last 16 months about modernizing the electric grid around the world.
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark awarded Jakob Stoustrup with the Order of the Dannebrog, a Danish chivalric order. The knighthood has been bestowed upon Jakob for his extraordinary contributions to research and for his perseverance in dissemination of the results to industry.
Sodium-metal halide batteries are receiving growing attention and researchers at PNNL are studying a more economical, novel variant: the sodium–iron chloride (Na-FeCl2) battery. Experimental results show the capacity and energy density of intermediate temperature (<200°C) sodium-iron chloride batteries are comparable to their more popular nicke--based cousins; however, replacing nickel with iron could result up to a 61% reduction in cell materials costs.
The Pacific Northwest's commitment to grid modernization and energy storage drew federal and regional advocates to eastern Washington this spring for back-to-back events highlighting research partnerships and successes.