Planned Laboratory Facilities

To meet the increasing global demand and desire for increased use of clean generation, alternative energy sources like photovoltaic, fuel cells, wind turbines and bulk energy storage devices are needed to meet growing requirements for clean energy. 

These technologies require an increasingly complex emphasis on systems integration in order to yield efficient, low-cost and high performance power required of today's power grid. Advanced approaches to managing the electricity delivery system and integrating these Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) into existing and evolving power system grids, can provide greater operational functionality and consumer participation– directly accelerating the adoption and integration of new DER technologies.

Planned Laboratory Facilities

Typical renewable energy resources generate Direct Current electricity which needs to be converted to Alternating Current for connection to the grid. The role of power electronic converters and controllers is not only to convert electricity to a suitable form, but is also responsible for ensuring that the distributed generation unit connected to the grid will not create problems that can impair the quality of the power supply and the safety of personnel and connected equipment.  

In order to achieve both efficiency and performance goals, most of the technologies used in DERs must include energy storage devices (ESD) whether or not the systems are connected to the grid.
The Need of Power Electronics for Interfacing Alternative Energy Sources To The Grid:   Each respective DER technology will have its own end-use and systems parameters that will drive the ultimate design of their interface with the grid.   Further emerging generations of Solar & Wind as well as higher performance energy storage systems will also benefit from the ability to interactively design and implement optimal integration and systems performance features, tuned to end-use and operational performance requirements.

Integration, Efficiency and Demand Response Protocols:  In addition to DERs, operational management of devices integrated with grid power can be an important part of leveling and predicting power demands on the grid.  As such, the integration of localized power usage data and control with DER can augment overall system management.  Specifically, by integrating intelligent Home Area Network (HAN) devices for load management into the grid, greater management can be achieved across the system.  This at least can offer that high energy consumption devices (e.g., home heating and air conditioning appliances) allow end-users to manage use based on localized economic and operational requirements.  Ideally, the HAN will communicate with grid, backed by extensive analytics and control algorithms, creating the potential for dynamic, granular demand response protocols, as well as for locally-based consumption models made aware of DER output and availability (e.g., local distributed power generation resources, available neighborhood energy storage, etc.).

Interconnection of DER:  Alternative energy systems integrated with power electronic converters could be operated in stand-alone or grid-connected modes.  The configuration of the power electronic converters depends on the energy sources available.  There can be more than one energy source block; each type may need different power electronics to manage performance, such as for an ESD of bi-directional power flow to enable charging and discharging of the storage devices.2  Some of the key capabilities of power electronics are:

  1. providing a continuous supply to the load with acceptable power quality. 
  2. managing the power flow between the energy sources, such as an ESD, the grid and the load. 

maintain the power factor of the unit within the permissible value as seen by the grid by controlling the active and reactive power flow. The amount of harmonics injected to the grid must be within the limits as imposed by the IEEE 519-1992 standard.

Generating Success

""The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion. It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider - and progressively better able to grasp any theme or situation"

-Alexander Graham Bell