Colorado State University

Dan Zimmerle



Daniel Zimmerle

Senior Research Associate, Electric Power Systems Laboratory

Mechanical Engineering




Research Interests

Clean energy systems, Grid integration of renewable energy resources, Energy solutions for the developing world, Multi-domain system modeling & simulation, Microgrids & islanded power systems, stochastic behavior and related controls, program management


Daniel Zimmerle is a Senior Research Associate in the Energy Institute @ Colorado State. Zimmerle leads research programs for remote community microgrids and the integration of distributed generation into power systems. Additionally, Zimmerle has been (or is) PI on four major studies of methane emissions in the natural gas supply chain, and leads the CSU METEC test facility for the ARPA-E MONITOR program. Prior to CSU, he served as the Chief Operating Officer at Spirae, Inc. and worked 20 years at Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies including experience as both a division general manager and R&D manager. He has lead organizations in several business areas, including computer systems, test systems, and consumer products. Organizations included personnel in the US, Ireland, Singapore and other countries.

He holds a BSME and MSME from North Dakota State University.

Click here for a complete list of publications

Current Projects

Use of short-term forecasting to improve microgrid performance

Control algorithms that utilize short-term cloud forecasting to maximize the penetration of photovoltaic systems in off-grid diesel systems.

Smart Village Microgrids (SVM) for rural electrification

Control development and system integration to support micro-utilities in rural areas of the developing world.  Taking a holistic approach that combines electrification with social sciences, economic development, water systems and health improvement.

Improved system models for electro-mechanical systems 

Development and verification of improved engine models for off-grid and industrial applications, including mining, drilling and hydraulic fracturing.   Includes model development, experimental verification of models, and improved modeling methods.

Estimation of methane emissions from natural gas gathering, processing, transmission, & storage

Three large projects that include field measurements and statistical modeling of emissions.  Producing a ground-breaking update of emission rates and utilizing more robust stochastic modeling methods than previously utilized.  Additional project seeks to reconcile bottom-up and top-down estimates of emissions from an O&G production basin.

  • Control systems for microgrids with high-contribution renewable energy: Cooperative project looking at how to standardized interface between microgrid controllers and microgrid system components (with Peter Young and Sid Suryanarayanan). 
  • Develop methods that allow large system simulations to be split between laboratory facilities, including hardware-in-loop components.
  • Microgrid power systems for military bases, in cooperation with NREL.  Develop transient models of off-grid base power systems.  Provide RFQ and RFP support for facility renovations to support island operation for continental bases and renewable resource upgrades for remote systems.

Energy Institute Member Organizations

Center for Energy and Behavior Center for Energy Development and Health Center for Energy Water Sustainability Center for Laser Sensing and Diagnostics Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics Center for the New Energy Economy Electric Power Systems Laboratory Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory Industrial Assessment Center Institute for the Built Environment Rural Energy Center Sustainable Biofuels Development Center