Dynamic Smart Energy and Power Systems Research
January 13, 2012
Jack Brouwer, Ph.D.,
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of California, Irvine
The National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) is working with Southern California Edison on the Irvine Smart Grid Demonstration (ISGD) project with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. We are advancing Smart Grid technologies, controls, and integrated systems that will allow greater amounts of renewable power, increased electricity use for vehicles, increased consumer choice and participation in energy markets, while providing high reliability and increasing the sustainability of the electric grid network. Development, implementation and testing of the ISGD will occur over the next four years and will encompass new distribution infrastructure and smart grid components installed throughout the UCI campus and the surrounding City of Irvine. We are also working with several partners, including Toyota, CTG Energetics, and Southern California Edison to develop understanding and control strategies for a "Renewable-based Energy Secure Community" (RESCO) with funding from the California Energy Commission. In this project the UCI campus energy infrastructure is being used to discover, deploy and study the energy infrastructure of future communities that include high levels of renewable power use. Because renewable power is intermittent and not coincident with demand it must be appropriately balanced with novel building design and controls, local clean power generators and energy storage. These complementary resources are being integrated and controlled to study novel ways to meet the instantaneous power balancing and power quality requirements of future communities.