Who We Are
Grid Systems Technologies Advanced Research Team (GridSTART) is a group of leading renewable energy integration experts specializing in islanded power systems and advanced micro-grid solutions.
HNEI’s GridSTART (Grid System Technologies Advanced Research Team) focuses on the efficient and effective integration of renewable energies into the power grid. GridSTART advances solutions and technologies for the Asia-Pacific region by analyzing, modeling, and field deployment and verification.
HNEI’s GridSTART utilizes a laboratory equipped with PV systems, inverters, and power grid simulation tools in addition to the electric grid in the field as a living laboratory to tackle renewable energy grid integration issues and provide solutions.
HNEI’s GridSTART is conducting a renewable energy integration study for Thailand in collaboration with Thai power system operator, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). Renewable energy intermittency impacts and mitigation strategies are under evaluation with the Thai utility using advanced power system simulation tools.
HNEI’s GridSTART Sky Imaging Systems is a flexible, robust, and inexpensive system that is designed to forecast solar power. The device is furnished with a 360° camera; irradiance, temperature, humidity sensors; an on-board computer; a micro controller; and a PV powered battery.
HNEI’s GridSTART Power Monitoring Systems offers a high-tech, flexible research-to commercialization platform including such features as voltage and current measurement, numerous communications options, GPS-based timing, and powerful processing capabilities for real-time data analysis.
- Advanced Conservation Voltage Reduction Development & Demonstration
Demonstrate conservation voltage reduction as an effective way to save energy due to energy and peak demand reductions in voltage level.
- Advanced Real-Time Grid Energy Monitor System (ARGEMS)
Develop a low-cost device and system that can provide enhanced situational awareness allowing tighter, localized coordination of distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar photovoltaics.
- Bi-Directional EV Charging Demonstration Project
Develop and evaluate the performance of novel algorithms to optimize the charge/discharge of shared fleet vehicles, which will help to inform University consideration of various options.
- Dynamic Load Bank for Islanded Grid Solutions
Demonstrate a reliable and inexpensive means to prevent the baseload diesel generators from operating below their minimum dispatch level during periods of high solar generation.
- EGAT Renewable Integration Study
Conduct a renewable energy integration study, in collaboration with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, for Thailand and enhance the professional capacity of its engineers in advanced study methods and tools.
- Fast Frequency Response Battery on a Low-Inertia Grid
Evaluate fast frequency response of a BESS on the island of Molokaʻi, which could impact industrial standards for metering and frequency measurement during electrical transients on low-inertia grids.
- Grid-Scale Battery Testing
Evaluate three grid-tied Battery Energy Storage Systems addressing different issues arising increasing renewable energy penetration levels. Facilitates the discovery of benefits and unexpected adverse consequences arising from this technology on isolated grids.
- Load and PV Data Synthesis
Synthesize a full set of disaggregated solar photovoltaic and customer load data from a limited number of field measurements to enable more realistic distribution feeder modeling and state analysis for circuits with high distributed PV penetration.
- Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i Installation Energy Security Plan
Support MCBH in completing its Installation Energy Security Plan to enhance installation energy resilience and improve mission assurance.
- NELHA HOST Park Microgrid Analysis
Determine the feasibility and benefits of modifying the current energy system at NELHA’s HOST Park to enable it to operate as a microgrid connected to HELCO’s electric grid system or as a stand-alone facility.
- Solar Power Forecasting
Develop advanced forecasting methods and technologies to predict solar photovoltaic power generation from minutes to days ahead.
- U.S. India Collaborative for Smart Distribution with Storage (UI-ASSIST)
Foster international collaboration around smart grids, particularly distribution systems and microgrids with solar photovoltaics and energy storage.
- Sustainable Grid Platform with Enhanced System Layer and Fully Scalable Integration (2017-2020)
Supported the long-term goal of designing highly scalable technologies for distribution systems to operate reliably and securely with extremely high penetration of distributed energy resources.
- Smart Grid Inverters for High-Penetration PV Applications (2011-2015)
Integrated grid management functionality software and standards-based communications hardware and software to develop and demonstrate use of a “smart grid inverter.”
- Maui Smart Grid Demonstration (2008-2014)
Developed and validated the use of smart grid technology to reduce peak demand and facilitate the integration of intermittent renewable technologies.
Partnerships & Funding
GridSTART serves to integrate HNEI efforts across all its technology areas and has developed strong partnerships with state, federal, and international agencies, organizations, and businesses, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Its funding sources include the Office of Naval Research (ONR) via the Asia-Pacific Research Initiative for Sustainable Energy Systems (APRISES) and Asia-Pacific Regional Energy System Assessment (APRESA); the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) administered through the Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawai‘i (ARL-UH); the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); the State of Hawai‘i via the Energy Systems Development Special Fund (ESDSF); the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI); and private industry sources such as Hitachi, Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Skills, Technical Capabilities, and Resources
Development, testing, and evaluation of advanced grid architectures, enabling policies, and new technologies and methods for effective integration of renewable energy resources and power system optimization with a great expertise focusing on the following areas:
- Grid Modernization Planning and Technologies
Advanced energy control systems and architecture, micro-grids, distributed energy resources, load control, advanced function inverters, energy storage, electric vehicle grid applications, communications design and testing, data center and cloud infrastructure design and testing, etc.
- Power Systems Planning
Renewable and conventional generation resource expansion, transmission and distribution system modeling, techno/economic analyses, etc.
- Power Systems Operation
Generation commitment, dispatch, and optimization, renewable energy integration, operational constraints and mitigation, etc.
- Energy Policy
Policy and regulatory design and guidance including energy legislation, executive orders, utility regulatory structures and rules, energy assurance plans, operations reliability, grid code development, emergency response and resilience, etc.
- Power Systems Engineering and Standards
Transmission and distribution infrastructure, overhead and underground equipment, energy system technologies performance testing, etc.
- Project Management and Execution
Generation and transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure permitting, environmental review and assessment, project scope and budget development and execution, project resource contracting and management, etc.
– Leon Roose*, Specialist & Chief Technologist
– Marc Matsuura*, Senior Smart Grid Program Manager
– Damon Schmidt, Energy Regulatory and Policy Analyst
– Thai Tran, Junior Power System Engineer
– Silas Oliviera de Toledo, Junior Power System Engineer
– Dax Matthews, Assistant Researcher, Renewable Energy Resources Forecasting
* Prior electric utility company senior management and staff
– Kevin Davies, Assistant Researcher
– Saeed Sepasi, Assistant Researcher
– Jonathan Kobayashi, Research Associate
– Yan Chen, Post-Doctoral Fellow
– Quynh Tran Post-Doctoral Fellow
– Ai Oyama Research Technical Writer/Translation Specialist
GridSTART’s Advanced Power System laboratory is equipped with PV systems, inverters, and power grid simulation systems in addition to the electrical grid in the field as a living laboratory to tackle renewable energy integration issues on grids and provide solutions.
GridSTART’s Advanced Power System laboratory architecture.
- Grid-tied and off-grid AC Test Bed
Accessible at the AC test stations. Comprised of the three AC test buses:
– 1Φ/3Φ 0~520 VLL AC grid simulator bus served by the Chroma 61830 30 kVA Regenerative Grid Simulator
– 3Φ 208Y/120 V AC bus served by a 225kVA transformer
– 1Φ 240/120 V AC Bus served by a 100kVA transformer
- Off-grid DC Test Bed
Accessible at the DC test stations. Rated at 600 VDC. Can be powered either by the direct output of the rooftop PV array or by the 30 kVA grid simulator configured for DC operation.
- Chroma AC/DC Regenerative Grid Simulator 30 kVA (Single-Phase or Three-Phase)
- Opal RT 5600 Real Time Simulator
For model-based design, rapid control prototyping, hardware-in-the-loop test and can be connected to the 30 kVA AC/DC Grid Simulator for Power-Hardware-in-the-Loop test.
- A 35.3 kW rooftop photovoltaic system
Connected to four advanced PV inverters equipped with grid support functions serving three equipment test bays.
– Fronius Single-Phase Inverters (8.2 kVA)
– Fronius Three-Phase Inverters (12 kVA)
- Advanced Real-Time Grid Energy Monitor System (ARGEMS)
- Chroma Programmable AC/DC Load (4.5k VA)
- Chroma High Precision Power DC Electronic Load (600 V/420 A/6 kW)
- DC Power Supply
- Chroma AC Power Source 12 kVA (2 quadrant)
- Eagle Eye AC Load Bank 1 00 kW (1 or 3 phase)