ASU researchers selected to develop energy technologies

Arizona State University researchers received a grant from the U.S Department of Energy to develop energy technologies, and the team will collaborate with Arizona Public Service to advance its work.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy awarded the researchers $3.1 million to develop “an integrated approach to develop sensor rich and learning ready distribution system models for dispatchable resources,” Dr. Anamitra Pal, co-principal investigator of the project and assistant professor at the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering,said.

Dispatchable resources are on-demand sources of electricity, meaning it can be turned on and off.

“Our project will form novel power system operational tools in order to ensure technological lead of U.S. in energy technologies,”Dr. Mojdeh Khorsand Hedman, assistant professor at the ASU School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, explained.

The project researchers will utilize the knowledge and resources of Arizona Public Service (APS), Arizona’s largest electric utility, to advance their research.

“[Principal Investigators] at ASU will closely work with Nexant Inc. and APS in order to enable the transition of the developed technology to practice,” Dr. Pal explained.

“APS involvement provides real-work experience, models, and information to guide the direction of the research. Solutions developed and evaluated in real world settings can provide an advantage over theoretical projects because these solutions are developed with the full range of operating conditions experienced by electric utilities every day,” Dr. Daniel A. Haughton, manager of distribution engineering of Transmission and Distribution Engineering at APS, said.

The utility company’s real-life experience with energy and energy technologies will provide helpful data, information and subject-matter expertise to the project researchers.  

“ARPA-E aims to support research in high-impact energy technologies that are cutting-edge and innovative,” Dr. Haughton said.

He added, “APS’s participation in this project will help support the growth of the emerging clean and renewable energy technologies like solar PV and energy storage, while enabling electric utilities to deliver an affordable and reliable product.”

The U.S. Department Energy allocated funds for multiple projects for its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. As part of the funding opportunity, OPEN 2018, the selected projects are to develop transformative technologies.

The ASU research team received the fourth-highest OPEN 2018 among those awarded to academic institutions.

“It is a clear indication that the research community is aware of the high-quality research that professors in the School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering in general, and the power area, in particular, do,” Dr. Pal explained.

Dr. Pal also noted the OPEN 2018 funding allowed the project to hire students who can contribute to the research.

Sierra Ciaramella

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