The Distributed Energy Communications and Controls (DECC) Laboratory offers a unique test bed for testing distributed energy resources, responsive loads, smart inverter and microgrid controls, communications and protection. The DECC is a systems integration laboratory and provides the whole solution to ORNL’s smart grid technologies. The DECC laboratory is connected to and is part of the ORNL campus distribution system and thus DECC testing offers “real-world” testing of these control schemes and technologies which a number of utility industry colleagues have indicated is needed to verify the control functions developed for these technologies. The DECC laboratory has evolved from the testing of a single smart inverter to multiple inverters and is capable of microgrid testing with on-grid and islanding capabilities as well. The DECC laboratory encompasses all areas including renewable and DER integration, building automation, EV/PHEV integration, mircrogrids, distribution automation, cyber security, simulation and testing, and data acquisition and analysis. The laboratory is leveraging sister projects to offer power flow control of the cable between inverter test systems so that the impedance can be varied and also our ownership and operation of the ORNL distribution system allows us to reconfigure and change system conditions for a broader range of testing.

R&D Activities:

  • Smart inverter controls and microgrid interoperation
  • SPIDERS – smart power infrastructure demonstration
  • Impact of fast PHEV chargers on the grid
  • Buildings integration

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy