GridLAB-D™ Getting Started

Getting started with GridLAB-D™ can be challenging. Not only are you trying to understand and incorporate multiple domains of simulation and modeling techniques, but having to simultaneously deal with a text-based model and execution from a command line. And while most of the GridLAB-D™ resources and documentation are maintained on the GridLAB-D™ GitHub or Shoutwiki sites (and there is a lot of it), it can be a bit challenging to sort through and identify what is the most useful.

Here are a few places to get started:

New Users

We have a number of resources for getting new users onboarded, depending on what is best for you.

Walkthrough: This guide to using GridLAB-D™ is intended to help those who are at least slightly familiar with distribution systems to establish a foundation that will allow them to use GridLAB-D™ in their work. It is not intended to be comprehensive as GridLAB-D™ contains many models with many parameters, but rather to address some of the more important and popular features. The guide will not only address practical issues such as how certain models function but also more general topics exploring the architecture of GridLAB-D™.

Online Webinars: This is a series of webinar tutorials that were developed to describe the principles and standard usage of the major modules in GridLAB-D. While the material is a bit out-of-date (2012), it is still mostly applicable as we try to maintain backwards compatability. The material includes YouTube videos, along with PowerPoint presentations, demonstaration models, and example cases.

Tutorial: An alternative to the "walkthrough" that gives a bit more detail about certain core elements and goes into some of the design considerations, but is not as wide ranging in terms of developing models. This is a good transition from a 'new user' to a 'new developer'.


Prerequisites: Developer prerequisites for GridLAB-D™, including conventions and release processes.

Guide to Programming: Designed to walk a developer through some of the key elements of GridLAB-D™ development. This does not go into the theory of the design, but rather focuses on what might facilitate the tasks of a programmer.

How to Write Modules: Describes some of the necessary components for a successful object and/or module, including some of the inner workings of time synchronization, structures, and GLD property calls.

Users or developers can always ask us questions on our help forums. We try to monitor them on a regular basis to answer a wide range of questions.