CIEE engages in a wide range of research projects to enhance and support California's electric grid, preparing it to meet the state's aggressive energy policy goals, including delivering significantly more renewable energy to consumers. Adequate, economical, and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity are essential. Without new technologies and solutions, today's grid will be challenged in meeting these demands. These projects advance new technologies and practices to expand the grid's capabilities and performance.

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Micro-Synchrophasors in Distribution Systems

Electric power “twists” as it moves through the grid. Micro-Synchrophasors in distribution systems let us directly observe this twist, a new parameter for monitoring the flow of power and grid stability. Micro-synchrophasors (µPMUs) measure the change in voltage phase angle – the amount of “twist” – as power flows down distribution lines. Data from a network of these ultra-high-precision devices each coupled to a power-disturbance recorder, give us new capabilities to gauge and control power flow. Learn more»

Plug-In Electric Vehicle Smart Charging in California (XBOS-V)

This interdisciplinary project focuses on controlling the charging of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) at residential and small commercial settings using a novel and flexible open-source, open-architecture charge communication and control platform. Learn more»

System Components that Improve Reliability, Performance, and Life

Transmission Load Modeling Research

Researches the impacts of the dynamic performance of air-conditioning equipment, adjustable speed drives, electronic equipment and other residential, commercial, industrial loads on voltage and dynamic stability performance of the western grid, and develop improved load modeling capability and associated performance tools and data. An extension of this project adds scoping studies of the impact of solar generation and possible solutions to mitigate the impact of residential air conditioners. Status: Completed 03/20/2010

Seismic Performance of Transformer Bushings

Develop test protocols to simulate appropriate earthquake conditions for transformer bushing assembly. Conduct laboratory testing for protocols, evaluate testing procedures, and develop recommendations for a rational qualification procedure to include in IEEE standards for manufacturer certification. Status: Completed 09/2010

Improved Seismic Performance of Substation Insulators

Determine breaking strengths and failure modes of substation insulators subjected to seismic stress. Develop new qualification procedures for revisions to IEEE Standard 693. Rigid porcelain and composite post insulators will be tested and analyzed.Status: Completed 11/2011

Concentric Neutral Degradation and Failure Analysis

To investigate models, sensing systems and other means for detecting, in advance of failure, the degradation of the concentric neutral conductors of underground power distribution cables.Status: Completed 12/2011

Underground Cable Fault Detection and Sensor-based Cables for Underground Reliability for Electricity Infrastructures

The aging of installed underground distribution cables is a looming issue facing electric utilities in California and throughout the U.S. A variety of technologies and tests are currently available to evaluate underground cables, but there is often little correlation between the diagnostic results and the actual deterioration. This project will evaluate existing diagnostic approaches used to detect or predict incipient failure and determine whether new innovative technologies can be utilized to improve diagnostic accuracy while reducing the costs. Status: Completed 06/2010

Transmission Infrastructure Research Project

Identifies future research activities related to equipment and devices which could facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources, increase the efficiency or capacity of the transmission infrastructure, and/or reduce emission of greenhouse gases that are directly associated with the transmission infrastructure. Status: Completed 07/2009

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Technology to Enhance Transmission System Capacity

Development of Fault Current Controller Technology Phase I

Evaluates the performance, cost effectiveness and reliability of each two different types of leading prototype fault current controllers and will consider the advantages of passive versus active devices. Phase II will field-test a second-generation high-temperature superconducting fault current controller technology. The outcomes will provide guidance for future development of higher voltage fault current controllers. Status: Will Complete 06/2011

Multi-Area Real-Time Transmission Line Rating (RTR) Study

Implemented monitoring technologies to produce real-time ratings (RTR) of transmission lines and evaluated the use of RTR to mitigate both the power transfer into a large multi-utility transmission area and the voltage constraints within a large area. Status: Completed 12/2008

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Application of Synchrophasor Measurements for Real Time Situational Awareness,
Diagnostics and Control

Real Time Grid Reliability Management 2005

Developed and conducted a demonstration of two real-time software tools to provide a grid operator a display of information and alarms from a network of phasor monitoring units and analysis of voltage security. Performed a scoping study that examined and prioritized options for data collection to improve the load and generator models used by CAISO and its control member utilities. Status: Completed 02/28/2007

Real Time Grid Reliability Management 2006-2007

Developed new reliability real-time management tools and functional specifications for a commercial vendor to create production-quality versions of these tools for operations. Applications included the use of wide-area, real-time phasor measurements to display phase angle change and mode damping levels for low-frequency grid oscillations, and a voltage security analysis tool. Status: Completed 06/30/2008

A Business Case Study On Applying Phasor Measurement Technology and Applications in the WECC/CA Grid

Conducted a "business case" study for development and deployment of transmission phasor-measurement-based technology applications to develop a wider awareness and understanding by grid system operators, utility executives, regulators and policy makers of the public interest and business benefits of expanded research, development, field testing and deployment of the promising phasor measurement-based technology applications. Status: Completed 06/30/2007

Enhancement of Transmission State Estimation Results Using Real Time Phasor Measurement Data

Integrated phasor measurement data, along with the conventional power system measurements, into a utility Energy Management System to evaluate the improvement in the quality of power system state estimates. Status: Completed 12/31/2008

Oscillation Detection Analysis

Develop and apply advanced signal processing algorithms on phasor measurement unit (PMU) data for oscillation detection and analysis. It will include testing and validation procedures based on simulation data and field measurement data. A real-time prototype tool is to be developed for monitoring and analyzing power grid oscillations. Status: Completed 09/22/10

Application of Mode Analysis for Grid Operations (MANGO) on the Western Interconnection

Develop real-time oscillation modal analysis application of phasor measurements based on Modal Analysis for Grid Operation procedure. Enhance modal control of the Western Interconnection by operator controllable variables. Demonstrate a MANGO application for the Western Interconnection. Implement MANGO for use in California ISO and utilities' control rooms. Status: Completed 12/2010

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Operator Tools for Congestion Management and Control of Grid Operations

Critical Operating Constraints Forecasting for California Independent System Operator Decision Support

Developed a "Forward-looking State Estimator", which with the capability to look ahead for the next 24 hours, predict whether the system will be encounter critical operating constraints, and enable the California ISO to simulate various import scenarios to best mitigate a predicted potential problem. Status: Completed 08/30/2008

WECC Wind Generation Modeling

Validate existing WECC wind turbine models and develop methods to use these individual models to develop an aggregated model of an entire wind farm increasing the reliable operation of the California electric delivery system. Status: Completed 08/31/2008

Wide-Area Energy Storage and Management System to Balance Intermittent Resources in the California ISO

Develop principles, algorithms, market integration rules, functional design and technical specifications for a wide-area storage and intermittent energy exchange management systems. This is to mitigate intermittent loading and fast ramps from increasing renewable generation. Evaluate large energy storage (sodium sulfur battery) options for the California IO ancillary service market. Status: Completed 09/30/2010

Day Ahead Regulation Requirement Prediction Tool

Develop specifications, algorithms, computer codes, and graphical interfaces for a grid operator online analysis tool to predict hourly regulation requirements for the following 24 hours. Provide decision support for operator problem mitigation. Status: Completed 08/2011

Developing Tools for Online Analysis and Visualization of Operational Impacts of Wind and Solar Generation

Develop specifications, algorithms, computer codes, and graphical interfaces for two grid operator online analysis and visualization tools to monitor wind generation power ramping requirements. Predict unexpected transmission system impacts of intermittent generation on congested paths, voltage levels, and reactive power margins. Provide decision support for operator problem mitigation. Status: Will Complete 11/2011

Transmission Operations Research Project

Identifies future research activities related to transmission operations which could facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources, increase the efficiency or capacity of transmission operations, and/or reduce emission of greenhouse gases that are directly associated with the transmission operations. Status: Completed 07/2009

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Intelligent Grid Protection System

Scoping Study of Intelligent Grid Protection Systems

Assessed the need for, and value and nature of, public interest research in intelligent system protection technologies for inclusion in the EGR portfolio. Status: Completed 03/31/2008

Advanced Protection Systems using Wide Area Measurements

Develop and evaluate 3 protection system enhancement tools using wide area measurements to minimize the inappropriate triggering of protection systems: use of "voting" to supervise backup relays, alarming when system impedance levels encroach upon trip characteristics of protective systems, and adapting out-of-step generator protection based on real time system conditions. Status: Completed 09/2010

Application of Advanced Wide Area Early Warning Systems with Adaptive Protection

Previous research has indicated that the use of wide area synchrophasor measurements can be of significant value in reducing the likelihood of false trips by protection systems and reducing the likelihood of protection systems contributing to a cascading blackout. This project will co-fund a DOE- sponsored demonstration of synchrophasor based protection systems and a protection information tool for visualization of results, to be performed by PG&E and SCE under actual electric system conditions. Status: Will Complete 09/2012


Adaptive Relaying Technology Development

Propose schemes for overall automatic supervision of back up relays to minimize false triggering associated with cascading blackouts. Develop algorithms that detect early power loss and corrective action. Investigate the use of wide area phasor measurements to adjust relay settings in real time. Develop a method to damp low frequency grid oscillations when few details are known by characterizing the system with phasor measurements and stabilizers as control mechanisms. Status: Will Complete 02/2012

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System Planning for Investment Decisions

California Transmission Congestion Assessment

Documented the scope and magnitude of the congestion problems facing the State of California and reported on the challenges in forecasting, with the goal of providing an essential building block for developing a congestion planning methodology in future research. Status: Completed 12/31/2007

Transmission Cost Allocation Methodologies

Documented case histories for addressing the cost allocation problem and developed new methods and approaches that will advance the planning tools for making these investment decisions and providing better information for stakeholder involvement in decisions, including sharing in the cost of transmission projects. Status: Completed 08/31/2008

Transmission Probablistic Congestion Forecasting

Developed and applied a mathematical approach using probabilities to more accurately describe load and generation time dependence and forecasting uncertainties to be used to predict congestion in California. Status: Completed 05/31/2008

Transmission Technology Research for Renewable Integration

This research produced a technology development roadmap for achieving an electric transmission infrastructure functionally capable of integrating the renewable generation capacity required to meet the RPS goals of California. Status: Completed 10/31/2008

Extreme Events

Phase I will develop, and test in a small-scale network model, the science and conceptual framework and advanced mathematical techniques needed for the complexity of multiple component and system failures in a transmission system, e.g., the "N-20"N equivalent analysis. Results might include identification of critical corridors, event frequency and probability, and superior operational response strategies. Phase II will apply Phase I methodologies to realistic network models to test their practicality. Status: Completed 03/2009

Transmission Planning and Environmental Research Project

Identifies future research activities related to transmission planning and environmental issues, which could facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources through improved technologies or methodologies for the upgrading, siting, construction, and installation of transmission equipment, or to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases. Status: Will Complete 11/2011

Energy Storage Vision 2020

This research will determine the current status of energy storage technology and identify related issues, research gaps, barriers, and opportunities as well as specific targets or milestones and specific actions necessary for development and deployment of energy storage technologies in California. The ultimate goals are to establish a 2020 Energy Storage Vision for California, to develop scenarios for how energy storage may be applied throughout California’s electric power system, and to estimate the costs and benefits of such a vision as compared to a scenario without deployment of energy storage.Status: Completed 08/2011

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Technology Spanning Research

Transmission Research Program

Research a set of ten different transmission technologies in the areas of infrastructure, real time operations, transmission planning and environmental. Status: Completed 02/28/2012

Transmission Research Program Technology Transfer

Activities related to communicating results and advancing the technology transfer of the ten transmission related projects performed under the Transmission Research Program. Includes workshops, presentations, publications, demonstrations, and other forms of information transfer. Status: Completed 02/28/2012

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