The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) opened a new Systems Engineering Building, which will make possible more capabilities for researchers to tackle challenges in grid modernization, buildings efficiency and renewable energy integration.
The LEED Gold-certified facility houses power grid and buildings control rooms, testing platforms and a number of laboratories to address a broad range of energy challenges. The facility also features the latest in industry software and real-time grid data with access to advanced computational capabilities that allow researchers to design, test and evaluate tools and concepts in a setting that mirrors current industry conditions.
The facility also houses PNNL’s Building Operations Control Center to better integrate grid and buildings research, for example designing and testing new buildings control strategies that would increase energy efficiency while reducing strain on the grid.
The Systems Engineering Building also houses the Power Electronics Laboratory, which provides dedicated lab space for PNNL’s electric vehicle charging, energy storage and controls research. The adjacent outdoor pad provides space to connect to even larger assets, such as utility-scale energy storage units and commercial-grade roof top air conditioners.