The Next-Generation Simulation Software

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GridLAB-D™ is a new power distribution system simulation and analysis tool that provides valuable information to users who design and operate distribution systems, and to utilities that wish to take advantage of the latest energy technologies. It incorporates the most advanced modeling techniques, with high-performance algorithms to deliver the best in end-use modeling. GridLAB-D™ is coupled with distribution automation models and software integration tools for users of many power system analysis tools.

GridLAB-D™ was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) under funding for Office of Electricity in collaboration with industry and academia. Version 4.0 for Win32, Win64, and several 32/64 bit Linux/MacOS implementations was released in September 2017. See Downloads to get the latest version.

What is GridLAB-D™?

GridLAB-D™ is a flexible simulation environment that can be integrated with a variety of third-party data management and analysis tools. The core of GridLAB-D™ has an advanced algorithm that simultaneously coordinates the state of millions of independent devices, each of which is described by multiple differential equations. The advantages of this algorithm over traditional finite difference-based simulators are: 1) it handles unusual situations much more accurately; 2) it handles widely disparate time scales, ranging from sub-seconds to many years; and 3) it is very easy to integrate with new modules and third-party systems.

At its simplest, GridLAB-D™ examines in detail the interplay of every part of a distribution system with every other. GridLAB-D™ does not require the use of reduced-order models for the aggregate behavior of consumer or electrical systems, which averts the danger of erroneous or misapplied assumptions. It becomes an essential tool that enables industry and government planners to design more effective and efficient programs to manage load growth and improve system reliability.

Who should use GridLAB-D™?

Today's distribution power system simulation tools, while powerful and effective at what they do, are not always able to provide all of the analysis capabilities needed to study the forces driving change in the energy industry. The combined influence of fast-changing information technology, novel and cost-effective DER, multiple and overlapping energy markets, and new business strategies result in very high uncertainty about the success of these important innovations. GridLAB-D™ addresses common concerns expressed by utility engineers, regulators, various stakeholders, and consumers.

Learn more about GridLAB-D (PDF 2,829KB).

How does GridLAB-D™ work?

GridLAB-D™ incorporates an extensive suite of tools to build and manage studies and analyze results, including:

  • agent-based and information-based modeling tools that allow users to create detailed models of how new end-use technologies, distributed energy resources (DER), distribution automation, and retail markets interact and evolve over time
  • tools to create and validate rate structures, examine consumer reaction, and verify the interaction and dependence of programs with other technologies and wholesale markets
  • interfaces to industry-standard power systems tools and analysis systems
  • extensive data collection tools to permit a wide variety of analyses.