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With approximately 120 million homes and more than 5 million commercial buildings, the majority of our nation's electricity is used to power the built environment. Continuing advances in efficient and "smart" technologies, as well as onsite renewable energy, is changing the way power is used in homes, offices, and industries across the country.

With deep roots in advanced controls, energy analysis, and smart grid research, our expertise covers a range of key disciplines, including:

  • Transactive control
  • Building control systems
  • Data analytics and modeling
  • Energy storage
  • Grid cybersecurity

We support a vision where sensors, control systems, and other technologies work together to manage energy use. Tools that we've developed can coordinate electricity generation and consumption onsite, or "behind the meter". This expands the definition of connected buildings while improving efficiency and reducing costs and the impact on our grid.

  • Guide for Documentation and Validation of Energy Storage System Safety

    Guide for Documentation and Validation of Energy Storage System Safety

    Many energy storage technologies coming to market are relatively new and, as such, are not specifically covered by safety-related codes and standards. The newly released Energy Storage System Guide for Compliance with Safety Codes and Standards helps fill the gap by facilitating the documentation and validation of safety until current codes and standards can ‘catch up’ with the technology by providing the specific criteria applicable to newer energy storage systems.

  • PNNL-Led Campus Project Expands to Multiple Buildings

    PNNL-Led Campus Project Expands to Multiple Buildings

    Phase 1 experiments part of the PNNL-led Clean Energy and Transactive Campus project have been completed. This includes four PNNL experiments—one of which deployed diagnostic algorithms to nine buildings on the PNNL campus. The completed experiments have achieved all milestones and expectations, and are now being documented so that others can replicate them.

  • Air Conditioning That’s Out of This World

    Air Conditioning That's Out of This World

    Cutting air conditioning energy use by sending heat into outer space may not be such a far-out idea. Using new technology developed at Stanford University, PNNL researchers recently found that daytime radiative cooling—the physical process by which an object loses heat to another object of lower temperature—could reduce energy consumption of an office building by 30 to 50 percent.

  • ACEEE Served for Building Efficiency

    ACEEE Served for Building Efficiency

    The ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings continues to draw a diverse group of professionals from around the world—including a large contingent of PNNL researchers—to discuss building energy use and actions to reduce climate impacts. This year, more than 30 researchers from PNNL represented their research in the areas of residential and commercial buildings technologies, performance analysis, codes and standards, capturing savings, and smart buildings.

  • Emissions Calculator for Modern Grid Investments

    Emissions Calculator for Modern Grid Investments

    The use of "smart grid" technologies can impact carbon emissions—but by how much? A new Emissions Quantification Tool, developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, can estimate the answer to that question. The free, web-based tool enables utilities and industry to not only evaluate the environmental impact, but also the operational data to justify the investment.

  • IEEE Power & Energy Magazine’s May/June cover

    Transactive Times: Three PNNL Researchers Featured in Special Issue

    The May/June 2016 issue of IEEE's Power & Energy Magazine focuses on a topic that the grid gurus at PNNL hold dear: transactive energy. Three of PNNL's own leaders in the transactive energy continuum are featured in the issue, which may help demystify transactive energy and put it on the map as a novel approach for energy management.

  • DOE’s Patricia Hoffman Keynotes Energy Storage Symposium at PNNL

    DOE's Patricia Hoffman Keynotes Energy Storage Symposium at PNNL

    In May, experts gathered at PNNL to discuss the latest developments in energy storage at the 2016 Beyond Lithium Ion Symposium. DOE's Patricia Hoffman gave a keynote address, highlighting challenges and opportunities within the modern electricity sector.

  • If the Grid Becomes a Value Exchange, How Do We Assign Value to it?

    If the Grid Becomes a Value Exchange, How Do We Assign Value to it?

    In Transactive Systems (TS), value is exchanged between parties through a technology-enabled platform. When applied to electricity, this approach has the potential to provide critical flexibility to the grid, as well as increased value to individuals, buildings, and society. Researchers from PNNL and Navigant Consulting analyze this approach and offer insights and recommendations in a new report, Valuation of Transactive Systems.

  • Small Business Vouchers Further Clean Energy Technology

    New Method Shows Promise for Turning Energy Peaks into Valleys

    Early results from an experiment at PNNL strongly suggest that a new method known as Intelligent Load Control, or ILC, rapidly reins in a building's energy demand—without harming the comfort of building occupants. The results could help advance transactive energy concepts nationwide.

  • Pursuing Grid Flexibility, Avoiding Grid Lock

    Pursuing Grid Flexibility, Avoiding Grid Lock

    Distributed energy resources (DERs), like renewable solar photovoltaic and energy storage systems, are part of the answer to a more diversified power supply. But, the interconnection application process for bringing these new resources online has proven inefficient for both utilities and the owners of these systems. A new software tool, called GridUnity™, helps utilities cut application review times from months to only one and a half hours.

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