Sunday, January 23, 2022

Idaho researchers unveil enhanced electric power grid test bed

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A helicopter flown by Utah-based Sturgeon Electric strings transmission line throughout the Idaho National Laboratory Site as a part of the lab’s power grid test bed growth. February 2021. Credit: Idaho National Laboratory

It’s taken nearly 10 years to design and assemble, however researchers on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory have now energized and put into service one of many nation’s most complete electric power grid test beds.  

With investments totaling almost $40 million, the test  has been outfitted with trendy tools, versatile infrastructure and superior transmission and distribution capabilities consultant of a lot of the nation’s power infrastructure. The full-scale test grid permits consultants from throughout the and to develop and display applied sciences that enhance safety and improve resiliency.  

Located throughout the INL Site, the test grid is rated as much as 138 kilovolts. It consists of as much as 32 miles of reconfigurable distribution line, 16 miles of transmission line, full fiber-optic communications and transformers able to supporting demonstrations at 15, 25 and 35 kilovolts. Dotting the grid are 4 2,500-square-foot analysis pads designed to deal with massive items of apparatus for conducting power load testing, sensible grid assessments and power storage experiments. The total system is operated from a brand new, on-site command middle that includes up-to-date management techniques and real-time power administration tools that enable sections of the test grid to be remoted for particular high-risk demonstrations. An further 40,000-square-foot test pad and tools storage constructing will be accomplished in 2022.  

Idaho researchers unveil enhanced electric power grid test bed
Idaho National Laboratory researchers performed a full-scale cybersecurity experiment involving a cellular substation and a collection of protecting relays linked to the lab’s power grid test bed. July 2021. Credit: Idaho National Laboratory

“Real world testing and validation is a critical component of grid modernization efforts,” stated Patricia A. Hoffman, appearing assistant secretary of DOE’s Office of Electricity. “Optimized to represent the wide range of distribution system configurations found across the country, the newly energized grid test bed at INL enables greater flexibility in assessing new ideas and technologies to better advance innovation to protect the nation’s critical electric infrastructure. The enhanced test bed offers a collaborative environment for labs, industry, academia and the government to leverage shared resources and will be used to demonstrate cutting-edge technologies for vital advancements like distributed energy resources and grid-scale energy storage.” 

Recognizing the significance of dependable electric power to the nation, together with the threats posed by superior cyberattacks, the results of local weather change and atmospheric disruptions like  and geomagnetic phenomenon, INL officers outlined plans to construct the test grid in 2013. With assist from Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho and DOE’s Office of Electricity, preliminary funding to improve the grid arrived the next 12 months. Subsequent funding adopted for the subsequent 5 years, culminating with the development and energizing of the capstone transmission line. The last piece gives dependable power throughout the INL Site, whereas liberating up present traces for safety testing.   






“Protecting essential infrastructure, together with the electric grid, is one among our nation’s most essential priorities,” stated Rep. Mike Simpson. “The grid and cybersecurity experts at INL are among the best in the world, and I was pleased to support their vision to construct this grid and create a research environment that will benefit all Americans.” 

Idaho researchers unveil enhanced electric power grid test bed
An aerial view of Idaho National Laboratory’s principal analysis substation. October 2021. Credit: Idaho National Laboratory

The decade-long effort concerned many INL staff and native subcontractors together with the lab’s Facilities and Site Services and National and Homeland Security directorates, Idaho Falls-based Walsh Engineering and Wheeler Electric and the Utah workplace of Sturgeon Electric.  

For extra info, learn this factsheet.


New know-how reveals promise in detecting and blocking grid cyberattacks


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Idaho researchers unveil enhanced electric power grid test bed (2022, January 12)
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