Participating Institutions

The DOE-ESS Program collaborates with a variety of technology transfer partners from industry, utility companies, academia, and government agencies. These collaborations include cost-shared R&D projects, development of codes and standards, and information dissemination activities.

The collaborations include Federal projects with the US Coast Guard and the US Navy. State programs include the California Energy Commission (CEC), the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA), and others.

Following is a partial list of the ESS Program’s network of current and past partners:


In addition to these direct, DER-related facilities, the ESS Program has access to other, highly sophisticated Sandia departments, which include testing, analysis, basic materials development and processing, and complex modeling. Computerized environmental testing, (e.g., vibration, shock, or spin), abnormal testing, such as fire or crash, and safety testing are also available.

At Sandia, the ESS Program has designed and tested thermally-activated batteries, active and reserve ambient-temperature primary batteries, rechargeable batteries, and other power sources for specific ordnance, aerospace, and commercial applications. Commercial applications range from advanced batteries for electric vehicles and consumer use to large battery systems used by electric utilities for load leveling and other applications.

Sandia facilities can fabricate developmental and prototype thermal and ambient-temperature lithium batteries. The staff is experienced in processing electrochemical active materials and fabricating piece parts, and we build developmental batteries for evaluating new designs, plus the effects of material or process variations. DOE has approved Sandia as a back-up supplier of thermal batteries, and we have successfully used this capability. It stands ready if the need arises.

Sandia’s Distributed Energy Technology Laboratory (DETL) tests techniques and technologies that will enable clean, reliable and abundant distributed energy generation and transmission, including extensive inverter test capability. The DETL is a fully instrumented, configurable, controlled, utility-interconnected test bed for study of a variety of issues that might be raised by utilities concerning the interactions of multiple, distributed sources of various technologies.

Currently, in partnership with electric utilities, Sandia is developing detailed utility modeling at the distribution level (~10kV), where new DER will have its most immediate effect. Models of power-electronics-based DER are also being developed to be compatible with the distribution system analysis tools presently used by utilities.

The behavior of DER when grid power is lost is a major concern for utilities. Sandia addressed this issue during the development of IEEE Std. 929-2000 “Recommended Practice for Utility Interface of Photovoltaic (PV) Systems”. We provided laboratory test support for the development of this standard, which is being used by Underwriters Laboratory as a test protocol for “non-islanding inverters.”

Sandia’s extensive capabilities and facilities for evaluating government and commercial advances in battery performance and storage capabilities, plus DER applications, place our ESS Program in the forefront for addressing the ever-increasing importance of energy reliability on both the national and global fronts.