Automated, self-healing goal: NC State University smart grid research center
Raleigh, NC – North Carolina State University (NCSU) received formal endorsement on its Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center from ABB . More than 65 utility companies, electrical equipment manufacturers, alternative energy start-ups and other established and emerging firms are part of this global partnership; ABB was said to be the initial supporter.
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The announcement came during GridWeek 2008, a U.S. Department of Energy conference in Washington, D.C., aimed at advancing smart grid initiatives. “Dr. Alex Huang, progress energy distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State, said he’s pleased the university is leading the research and that ABB serves as a partner “as we help to create the smart grid of the 21st century.” Huang, also the new FREEDM Center director, added that the project could not have been accomplished without the resources of its partners.
Automated grid, heal thyself
“Smart grid” refers to a range of technologies and operating procedures that will make today’s power system into a largely automated grid, applying greater intelligence to operate, monitor, and even heal itself. One of the latest Gen-III Engineering Research Centers (ERC) established by the National Science Foundation in 2008, the Center will partner with universities, industry, and national laboratories in 28 states and nine countries to develop technology to revolutionize the nation’s power grid and speed renewable electric-energy technologies into every home and business. The Center is supported by an initial five-year, $18.5 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. FREEDM ERC is one of five new ERC’s awarded by the NSF’s Generation Three ERC Program. An ERC award is one of the largest, most prestigious awards granted by NSF.
Core universities of the FREEDM Center are NC State University, Arizona State University, Florida A&M University, Florida State University, and Missouri University of Science and Technology. Core international universities are RWTH Aachen University in Germany and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland.
ABB will continue to financially support and play a role in the Smart Grid initiative. NCSU Centennial Campus is next to ABB’s Power Products and Power Systems North American headquarters. Over the past year the company has been involved in parallel research and development activities through its Corporate Research Center to compliment the work at FREEDM.
– Control Engineering News Desk
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