Powernet researchers will develop and test the fully integrated end-to-end system in two connected laboratories and, ultimately, with a set of homes on a U.S. Navy base. One laboratory is in the engineering quad of Stanford’s main campus, and the other is the GISMo lab at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
The laboratories will use hardware-in-the-loop simulation. They will include physical energy assets—solar power generators, energy storage devices and home appliances—using Smart Dimmer Fuses and Home Hubs. They will also use virtual, heterogeneous homes. The Cloud Coordinator, in turn, will operate within a software platform simulating the broader grid, load forecasts and economic data necessary for system optimization in real time. Researchers will first test a small group of homes focusing on the physical integration of the system. Next, they will use a group of 10,000 simulated homes based on actual utility data.
The simulations will validate the physical and processing responses of the Powernet system to such changes as price fluctuations, deviations from generation and load forecasts, and dynamic consumption in individual homes. Researchers can control the virtual grid to test multiple and rapidly shifting scenarios. This system could also test proposed new policies and electricity rate structures to see if outcomes meet expectations.
After the hardware-in-the-loop simulations, Powernet will be tested with residents of a naval base. In this phase, the Cloud Coordinator will likely interact in real-time with the local utility and possibly the larger transmission grid operator.