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tennessee technological university

Center for Energy Systems Research

Smart Grid

Smart Grid


means many things to many people but lets say it is an electric power system that employs modern power electronics, advanced instrumentation, secure communication, and information technologies so that it is robust against disturbances with the least likelihood of blackouts and is efficient in energy transfer between sources and loads at the lowest cost to consumers. The grid should also provide quality power to various loads and accommodate wind, solar and other alternative power generation and storage options. To achieve these objectives, research is needed to develop innovative technologies and tools in the areas of transmission, distribution, energy storage, power electronics, cyber security and instrumentation. The Smart Grid Team will conduct research on the following problems:
  • Optimum and Stable Operation: Develop and test algorithms for accurate power system state estimation and control using PMU (phasor measurement unit) measurements for optimum operation; Design real-time stability assessment techniques to be used as load management and load shedding; Power marketing;
  • Efficient Integration of Sources and Loads: Design advanced power electronic circuits and techniques for integration of renewable energy sources to power systems and improve power quality;
  • Resilient and Secure Communication: Design wireless communication systems to facilitate two way communication between consumers and control centers and to implement real time power market;
  • Ageing and Lifetime issues: Age determination based on condition rather than years in service; Estimation of leftover life of critical components (e.g. transformer) in the grid under stressed conditions to permit economical and efficient routing of power
  • Accurate Instrumentation: Design of advanced PMUs, smart meters and other instruments;
  • Protection against disturbances and threats: Improve protection using digital instrumentation, communication and switch gear; and
  • Information Technology Applications:

Grand Challenges

  • Make the grid self-healing from power disturbance events.
  • Enable active participation by consumers in demand response.
  • Operate the grid resiliently against physical and cyber attacks.
  • Provide quality power for 21st century needs.
  • Accommodate all generation and storage options in the grid.
  • Optimize assets and operate the grid efficiently.