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Reliable solar: powering communities

In the first international R&D effort of its kind, the Lab and collaborators are providing affordable ways to get reliable renewable power on the electric grid.
January 30, 2014
Reliable solar: powering communities

The Los Alamos Smart Grid project is a collaborative endeavor to test out grid technologies and standards, and to capture the data that describes the most successful configurations and approaches.

Energy sustainability is a daunting task: How do we develop top-notch innovations with some of the world’s most powerful technology without consuming excessive energy or creating waste?

How to supply communities with renewable energy without expensive grid fluctuations?

Power fluctuations cost the nation about $100 billion annually. How to keep the grid stable yet utilize renewable energy sources? How to reduce fluctuations (say, from a cloudy day) and efficiently distribute the power?

In the first international R&D effort of its kind, the Laboratory collaborated with Los Alamos County and Japan to providing affordable ways to get reliable renewable power on the electric grid.

The group converted a county landfill to house two solar arrays connected to a battery system, creating enough stable power to energize 2,000 homes in the community.

The study includes a “smart home” constructed to test appliances and systems that work with the grid to optimize energy use and efficiency.

The Lab is also developing a simulator to determine ways to incorporate wind power into the grid and guide better distribution

Our solutions are attracting worldwide attention by integrating innovative energy system applications into a working utility company; these real-world innovations could lead to development of international standards that would enable adoption of renewable energy sources globally.



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