The nation’s electric power grid is in a time of transformation. Advanced monitoring, measurement and control devices; integration of alternative energy resources; and price-responsive electricity customers are changing the traditional methods of electricity generation, transmission and distribution. Researchers in the Cullen College’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are developing the tools that will allow these “Smart Grids” to fulfill their potential, increasing power reliability while reducing costs for customers and providers alike.
A vast amount of data—more than 200 million reports per day in the Houston area alone—is already being generated by smart grid components such as smart meters. To take advantage of this data department researchers are conducting work in:
The power generated by renewable energy resources such as wind and solar is highly intermittent, depending on whether the wind is blowing or the sun is shining at a particular place and time. As a result, accounting for these sources in the electric power grid is extremely difficult. To address this challenge, researchers with the ECE department are:
Electric utility customers stand to benefit from Smart Grid technologies that will allow them to control when and how much electricity they use. Department researchers are conducting work that will allow them to reap these benefits. Their projects include: