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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2017-07-07 15:05:26
  • Article ID: 677582

Engineers Win Energy Department Grants to Help Develop a Reliable, Resilient Power Grid

AMES, Iowa – Two Iowa State University electrical engineers have won grants totaling $2.6 million to help the U.S. Department of Energy improve the country’s power grid.

 

The Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability recently announced seven grants totaling nearly $10 million over three years for early stage research projects designed to help utilities more effectively add solar farms, wind turbines, combustion engines and energy storage systems to the grid – collectively known as distributed energy resources.

 

These resources “are becoming an increasingly important part of America’s energy mix, and improving sensing and monitoring and modeling will be critical to integrating them into the grid,” said Patricia Hoffman, the acting assistant secretary for the electricity delivery office.

 

Here’s more about the two projects led by Iowa State engineers (with final grant amounts subject to negotiation):

 

  • $1.4 million from the Energy Department (plus $350,000 in cost-share funding) to a project led by Zhaoyu Wang, an Iowa State assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

 

Wang and other researchers will develop real-time monitoring and modeling of modern power grids, including renewable energy sources, using smart sensors and big-data techniques. The goal is better grid models for utility companies resulting in better system control, reliability and integration of renewable energy.

 

Project partners include Argonne National Laboratory, Iowa State’s Electric Power Research Center, Siemens Industry, Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative, Alliant Energy and Cedar Falls Utilities.

 

  • $1.2 million from the Energy Department (plus $300,000 in cost-share funding) to a project led by Venkataramana Ajjarapu, Iowa State’s David C. Nicholas Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

 

Ajjarapu and his collaborators will address the challenges of adding high levels of intermittent and variable power sources to the grid, mainly wind and solar power. The project is designed to develop advanced grid models that address the reliability and control problems associated with variable energy sources and help utilities understand what kind of delivery guarantees they can make.

 

Project partners include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Commonwealth Edison Co., Alliant Energy, Siemens and PJM Interconnection.

 

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Greater than the sum of its parts

Argonne scientists and their collaborators have developed a new model that merges basic electrochemical theory with theories used in different contexts, such as the study of photoelectrochemistry and semiconductor physics, to describe phenomena that occur in any electrode.

A prize-winning measurement device could aid a wide range of industries

Companies dealing with liquids ranging from wastewater to molten metals could benefit from a prize-winning device developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University.

After 150 years, a Breakthrough in Understanding the Conversion of CO2 to Electrofuels

Using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, Columbia Engineers are first to observe how CO2 is activated at the electrode-electrolyte interface; their finding shifts the catalyst design from trial-and-error paradigm to a rational approach and could lead to alternative, cheaper, and safer renewable energy storage.

Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals

Water molecules line up tiny particles to attach and form minerals; understanding how this happens impacts energy extraction and storage along with waste disposal.

X-Rays Uncover a Hidden Property That Leads to Failure in a Lithium-Ion Battery Material

X-ray experiments at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have revealed that the pathways lithium ions take through a common battery material are more complex than previously thought.

Graphene helps protect photocathodes for physics experiments

Argonne researchers have used thin sheets of graphene to prevent photocathode materials from interacting with air, which increases their lifetimes. Photocathodes are used to convert light to electricity in accelerators and other physics experiments.

Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow

First direct measurement show how heavy particles containing a charm quark get caught up in the flow of early universe particle soup.

Seeing Between the Atoms

New detector enables electron microscope imaging at record-breaking resolution.

The Next Phase: Using Neural Networks to Identify Gas-Phase Molecules

Argonne scientists have developed a neural network that can identify the structure of molecules in the gas phase, offering a novel technique for national security and pharmaceutical applications.

Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene

New method can make films of atomically thin carbon that are over a foot long.


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JCESR renewed for another five years

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced its decision to renew the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub led by Argonne National Laboratory and focused on advancing battery science and technology.

Binghamton designated as NextFlex New York Node for flexible hybrid electronics initiative

NextFlex has designated Binghamton University to be the New York "Node" for its flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) initiative. As the NextFlex New York Node, Binghamton will design, develop and manufacture tools; process materials and products for flexible hybrid electronics; and attract, train and employ an advanced manufacturing workforce, building on the region's existing electronics manufacturing base.

First Particle Tracks Seen in Prototype for International Neutrino Experiment

The largest liquid-argon neutrino detector in the world has just recorded its first particle tracks, signaling the start of a new chapter in the story of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). DUNE's scientific mission is dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of neutrinos, the most abundant (and most mysterious) matter particles in the universe.

Tais Gorkhover Wins LCLS Young Investigator Award for Pioneering Novel X-ray Imaging Methods

Tais Gorkhover, a principal investigator with the Stanford PULSE Institute, will receive the 2018 LCLS Young Investigator Award, granted to early-career scientists in recognition of exceptional research using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free-electron laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

ORNL, United Kingdom Lab Partner on Nuclear Energy Research

The United Kingdom's National Nuclear Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have agreed to cooperate on a wide range of nuclear energy research and development efforts that leverage both organizations' unique expertise and capabilities.

Nat Fisch receives Fusion Power Associates' Distinguished Career Award

Feature describes lifetime career award for PPPL physicist and professor Nat Fisch.

Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator Expands Focus to Include the Food-Water-Energy Interconnection

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is expanding its program to advance technologies that address the interconnection of food, water and energy.

Graham George receives Lytle Award for contributions to X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Graham Neil George, professor and Canada Research Chair in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) at the University of Saskatchewan, has been chosen to receive the 2018 Farrel W. Lytle Award for his outstanding contributions to synchrotron science at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

UIC company develops hybrid air-conditioning system with help from DOE

NETenergy, a clean tech startup company based on technology developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago and licensed from UIC, will commercialize its unique hybrid, super-efficient air-conditioning system with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.The $500,000 grant was awarded to NETenergy's partner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as part of the DOE's Technology Commercialization Fund.

STAR Team Receives Secretary's Achievement Award

The Brookhaven Lab scientists, engineers, and support staff who run the Solenoidal Tracker (STAR) experiment at the Lab's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) received one of 17 Achievement Awards presented by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry at the Secretary's Honor Awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. August 29.


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Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals

Water molecules line up tiny particles to attach and form minerals; understanding how this happens impacts energy extraction and storage along with waste disposal.

Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow

First direct measurement show how heavy particles containing a charm quark get caught up in the flow of early universe particle soup.

Seeing Between the Atoms

New detector enables electron microscope imaging at record-breaking resolution.

Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene

New method can make films of atomically thin carbon that are over a foot long.

Discovered: Optimal Magnetic Fields Suppress Instabilities in Tokamak Plasmas

U.S. and Korean scientists show how to find and use beneficial 3-D field perturbations to stabilize dangerous edge-localized modes in plasma.

New Electron Glasses Sharpen Our View of Atomic-Scale Features

A new approach to atom probe tomography promises more precise and accurate measurements vital to semiconductors used in computers, lasers, detectors, and more.

Getting an Up-Close, 3-D View of Gold Nanostars

Scientists can now measure 3-D structures of tiny particles with properties that hold promise for advanced sensors and diagnostics.

Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Matter

Particle flow patterns suggest even small-scale collisions create drops of early universe quark-gluon plasma.

Tuning Terahertz Beams with Nanoparticles

Scientists uncover a way to control terahertz radiation using tiny engineered particles in a magnetic field, potentially opening the doors for better medical and environmental sensors.

Carbon Nanotubes Give Two Excitons for the Price of One

Efficient generation of photon pairs from modified carbon nanotubes shows path to new types of light sources.


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