GridOPTICS™ Capabilities

GridOPTICS™ Capabilities

GridOPTICS™ Capabilities

GridOPTICS™ offers data, computation and visualization tools, including the GridOPTICS™ Software System (GOSS), a middleware framework that integrates grid applications with sources of data—and facilitates communication between them.

Along with GOSS, three other GridOPTICS™ tools —VOLTTRON™, GridPACK™ and the Framework for Network Co-Simulation (FNCS)— are open source and available for public use. More information about these and other GridOPTICS™ capabilities are described in more detail below.

Data Tools

Power Networking, Equipment and Technology (powerNET) testbed, a tool to assist with and accelerate research and development for power system technology. Technology description and video (

VOLTTRON™, an intelligent agent platform for the smart grid, buildings, and more. Technology description, video and fliers (

GridOPTICS™ Software System (GOSS), a component of the GridOPTICS™ tool suite, is a middleware framework that enables the deployment of new applications for the future power grid. This resource integrates grid applications with sources of data and facilitates easy communication between them. Such a capability provides a foundation for developing a range of applications that will improve grid management. GOSS is an open-source, vendor-independent middleware framework designed specifically for the power grid. GOSS is available on GitHub at
GOSS Video

Framework for Network Co-Simulation (FNCS)
FNCS —pronounced "phoenix"— is a federated co-simulation platform that merges communication (data) simulators with distribution and transmission simulators. This resource makes it possible to model and design more effective smart grid hardware and other tools, ultimately improving grid efficiency and performance. FNCS capabilities have been tested in case studies, including a smart grid application that calculates the cleared price of electricity; the tool successfully co-simulated transmission, distribution and communications network simulators. FNCS is open source and available at:
FNCS Video
FNCS Flier

GridMW is a scalable and flexible data management middleware to mediate enormous amounts of data from sensors and applications in future smart grids. A uniformed API allows applications to access real-time power grid data. The capability makes possible the integration of a large number of diverse applications, and still provides quality of service guarantees.
GridMW Poster

Data Curation
This capability facilitates improved understanding of grid data through tools for exploratory analysis of historical data, identification of events of interest, and efficient access to events. The capability features algorithms that identify erroneous events and generate a clean version of the data, which serves as a basis for identifying useful events of interest. In addition to historical information, the algorithms can be applied to streaming data. The capability also includes an event repository that records metadata about specific events for fast retrieval, and a custom API to answer specific queries.
Data Curation Poster

Computation Tools

GridPACK™ - Grid Parallel Advanced Computational Kernels
GridPACK™ is a software framework that harnesses advanced computing to simplify the development of programs that model the power grid. The toolkit's various modules help move model development from the workstation level to the advanced computing realm, while seeking to eliminate some of the lower-level details and complications typically involved in programming on parallel computers. The basic concept behind GridPACK™ is that power engineers should spend more time focusing on rapid development of their models and applications and less on trying to deal with data exchanges and partitions and similar issues pertinent to parallel computing. GridPACK™ has gained funding from the U.S Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability for ongoing development. GridPACK™ is open source and available at
GridPACK™ Flier

Power Model Integrator (net interchange scheduling)
The Power Model Integrator software is based on Bayesian Model Aggregation and utilizes sophisticated statistical analysis to combine multiple energy forecast models and help power system operators more accurately predict future electricity needs. In testing in an electric transmission environment, the technology has demonstrated a significant —approximately 30 to 55 percent— reduction in energy forecast errors, which could lead to substantial cost savings. The Power Model Integrator received an R&D 100 Award in 2015.
PNNL news release:
2015 IEEE paper:
PMI Flier

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) models
Scalable aggregation models representing the characteristics of distributed energy resources were developed. The models help inform design of power grid services provided by distributed resources, and related policies, as well as generation, transmission and distribution system planning and operation studies. This serves to remove technical barriers by enabling the simulation of functionalities of DERs, and speeding up the design and implementation process of the smart grid.
DER Flier

Market Design Analysis Tool (MDAT)
Power market design plays a critical role in the outcomes related to power system reliability and market efficiency. However, translation of market rules and designs into the complex mathematical market clearing mechanism is not a trivial process. MDAT examines the implications of power market rules on market outcomes. This allows users to translate market design specifications in the market clearing mechanism, develop the optimal market design to achieve a desired future state of the power grid and make optimal market rules and policy recommendations. MDAT is useful for academia, industry, regulatory bodies and policymakers to evaluate and compare the impacts of existing and proposed market design on market outcomes.
MDAT Flier

Future Power Grid Control Paradigm
Decentralized robust controllers allow operators the capability to look-ahead and predict power system operations in real-time to take preventive actions as opposed to being reactive. This capability enhances overall system reliability through improved transient stability performance over a wide range of operating conditions; more small-signal stability by increasing system damping; and improved voltage stability. Further, the capability is vigorous against variability and uncertainty caused by high penetration of renewables.
Future Power Grid Control Paradigm Flier

Visualization Tools

Multi-Layer Data Driven Advanced Reasoning Tool for Smart Grid Integrated Information Systems (M-DART)
M-DART is an intelligent alarming tool that provides decision support capabilities for alarm management and multi-domain data integration, which support situational awareness for power system operators, and improve grid management efficiency and reliability. In an alarm situation, M-DART collects data from multiple sources, applies capabilities to “reason” about the data and associated factors, supplies operators with information about the contributors to the alarm, and helps inform decisions and actions.
M-DART Flier

Advanced Visualization
The need for Advanced Visualization is reflected in a grid increasingly populated with distributed energy resources. Add to this the 24-hour on-call planning environment, and the situation demands effective integrated modeling and simulation capabilities, along with a practical feedback loop from power grid operators and planners to modelers. This capability offers a suite of advanced visual analytics tools that connects to power grid simulations and real-time systems to display dynamic data, measurements, and results in intuitive, comprehensible visualizations. The tools are configurable to different power grid challenges and may be integrated with existing tools and systems.

Decision Support/Common Operating and Response Environment (CORE™)
The underlying research for this capability addressed challenges in inter-organization collaboration among power grid entities to improve system reliability and contingency response and mitigation. The effort focused on the communicative aspect of inter-organization collaboration and resulted in the development of the CORE™ grid communication tool. The CORE™ tool would enable grid entities to participate in distributed trainings, equip them with capabilities to conduct more efficient communication audits, and help transition the industry into new communication practices for inter-personal and inter-organizational collaboration.
CORE™ Decision Support Flier

Shared Perspectives
Shared Perspectives enables neighboring organizations, such as different electric utilities, to more effectively partner to solve outages and other grid problems. Shared Perspectives provides a means for organizations to safely stream information from different organizational service areas; the technology then combines and aligns this information into a common, global view, enhancing global situation awareness that can reduce the time it takes to talk through a problem and identify solutions. The technology potentially offers applications in other areas, such as disaster response; collaboration in the monitoring/assessment of real-time events (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes); as well as military uses.
Shared Perspectives Video

GridOPTICS™ Enabled by the Future Power Grid Initiative at PNNL
Last Update: October 2016 | © 2016 GridOPTICS™