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Buildings-Grid Integration

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.

  • PNNL’s Clean Energy and Transactive Campus project

    VOLTTRON™ User Community Expands Overseas

    Researchers from the Korea Institute of Energy Research are collaborating with PNNL and using VOLTTRON™ to expand their energy management testbed in South Korea. The institute wants to create a community level energy management system using transactive control, similar to what PNNL is doing with the Clean Energy and Transactive Campus project.

  • Karan Kalsi

    Kalsi Selected for Caltech Appointment

    Karan Kalsi will serve as a Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The year-long appointment is expected to start September 1 and is the latest in a growing number of collaborative activities between PNNL and Caltech.

  • VOLTTRON Team Recognized by PNNL Director

    VOLTTRON™ Team Recognized by PNNL Director

    The 2017 Award for Exceptional Team Achievement in Science & Technology went to PNNL's VOLTTRON™ team. The VOLTTRON™ team is recognized for creating a software platform for distributed control and sensing and successfully transitioning this platform to multiple vendors to implement energy efficiency, diagnostics, and transactive energy methods.

  • Researcher Michael Poplawski

    Power Over Ethernet — Power Over Lighting

    A recently published report—authored by PNNL lighting research engineers Jason Tuenge and Michael Poplawski—represents the first part of a DOE study to explore the energy reporting capability of commercially marketed power over ethernet connected lighting systems, which may become a data-collection platform that enables greater energy savings in buildings and cities.

  • Building Controls Measures Can Reap Substantial Energy Rewards

    Building Controls Measures Can Reap Substantial Energy Rewards

    By taking basic steps to improve operational systems within offices, schools, and commercial structures, U.S. energy consumption could decrease so dramatically that it would equate to 12 to 15 million Americans stopping their energy use altogether. This potential outcome is one finding from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's groundbreaking study, "Impacts of Commercial Building Controls on Energy Savings and Peak Load Reduction."

  • Meazon's wireless metering system

    Wireless Metering Challenge

    To overcome the cost barrier associated with installing metering systems, researchers at PNNL developed and led the DOE Low-Cost Wireless Metering Challenge. The Challenge spurred market introduction of a low-cost, wireless system that measures electricity use at various locations in a building and communicates data wirelessly to a local collection point, resulting in the system developed by Meazon.

  • Regional Project Reveals the Potential of Transactive Control

    Regional Project Reveals the Potential of Transactive Control

    Recent results from two PNNL experiments show promise for advancing both the "clean" and "transactive" aspects of energy management—at the intersection of buildings, the power grid, and distributed energy resources.

  • Ahmed Elected to Third Term on International Association of Management of Technology Board of Directors

    Ahmed Elected to Third Term on International Association of Management of Technology Board of Directors

    Osman Ahmed was re-elected to the International Association for Management of Technology (IAMOT) Board of Directors.

  • Grid Smart: Special Issue Features PNNL Transactive Energy Expertise

    Grid Smart: Special Issue Features PNNL Transactive Energy Expertise

    Widespread communications, distributed energy resources, and new control paradigms present both a challenge and an opportunity when it comes to energy use and management. The December 2016 issue of IEEE's Electrification Magazine focuses on transactive energy, an emerging energy management approach to bridge this divide, with contributions from several PNNL staff.

  • ASME Special Issue on Buildings of the Future

    ASME Special Issue on Buildings of the Future

    With a nod to outside-the-box thinking for productivity, human health, and efficiency, Volume 139, Issue 1 of ASME's Journal of Solar Energy Engineering featured research from the Department of Energy’s Buildings of the Future project.

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