December 3, 2012

ARPA-E announces multimillion dollar Micro-Synchrophasor Project

Alex McEachern, President of Power Standards Lab, announced a new ARPA-E project on micro-synchrophasors.
A prototype micro-synchrophasor instrument from Power Standards Lab will be used to study distribution system stability in Smart Grids and distributed generation.
ALAMEDA, CA - The Advanced Research Project Agency of the U.S. Department of Energy (ARPA-E) has announced a multimillion dollar project to deploy a new PSL-developed measuring technology called "micro-synchrophasors". The project will study stability of electric distribution systems during Smart Grid deployments, with an emphasis on photovoltaic power, wind power, and other distributed generators.
The project team is led by Dr. Carl Blumstein of University of California Berkeley's CIEE (California Institute for Energy and Environment), and includes the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Power Standards Lab.
Alex McEachern will lead the Power Standards Lab team, which is based in Alameda, California.
CIEE's Dr. Carl Blumstein will lead the ARPA-E micro-synchrophasor project.
Dr. Alexandra von Meier, Co-Director, Electric Grid Research Program at CIEE, is the Technical Lead on the project.
According to McEachern, the new microPMU™ instrument from Power Standards Lab will measure the electrical "twist" along a distribution line to determine exactly how the power is flowing.
"In principle, it's similar to a phasor measurement unit used for transmission system stability, but it's optimized for distribution systems with much more precise angular resolution and much lower installed cost," said McEachern. "The microPMU is based on PSL's established PQube® instrument technology, so we expect it to simultaneously measure ultra-precise phase angles, and capture a full range of power disturbances, and record precision power flow."
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced this project as one of 66 cutting-edge research projects selected by ARPA-E to seek out transformational, breakthrough technologies. (These projects have been selected for negotiation of awards.)
According to ARPA-E, the selected projects have the potential to produce game-changing breakthroughs in energy technology, and may even form the foundation for entirely new industries.
McEachern said that Power Standards Lab has independently developed the prototype micro-synchrophasor, and will be responsible for testing and certifying its performance during this project. PSL will also be responsible for commercialization, McEachern said.
Further information: Alex McEachern, President, Power Standards Lab,, TEL ++1-510-522-4400 ext 0
Power Standards Lab
2020 Challenger Drive
Alameda, California 94501 USA