FREEDM Systems Center
Missouri S&T expertise leads to advanced developments for consortium
Missouri University of Science and Technology plays a key role in the Center with their development of the large-scale system simulation testbed, which integrates a variety of simulation models that include wind turbines, photovoltaic systems, residential loads and numerous power distribution system components, including new “smart” solid-state-transformers, “smart” fault-interruption devices, and advanced energy management controls. The large scale system simulation is one of three showcase testbeds developed by the Center, and S&T faculty is taking the lead on this aspect. This testbed, led by Dr. Mariesa Crow, the Fred W. Finley Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at S&T, will provide the primary proof of concept of the envisioned smart grid operation scaled to realistic levels. Drs. Jonathan Kimball and Mehdi Ferdowsi are also part of the testbed team.
The Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Center involves seven U.S. and European universities, headed by North Carolina State University, working together to transform the nation’s power grid into a distributed system - an Internet for energy - that will speed renewable electric-energy technologies into homes and businesses across the US. Formed in 2008 by a National Science Foundation grant, the goal of the FREEDM Systems Center is to revolutionize the nation’s power grid and speed renewable energy technologies into every home and business. The Center is also supported by a consortium of more than 45 industrial partners. The backbone of the Center’s work is developing technology that actively controls, distributes and stores electric power.
The solid-state transformer acts as an intelligent router that provides energy and power exchange via a distributed grid intelligence system (DGI). The DGI effort, essentially the ‘brains’ of the operation—the command and control center, is led by S&T computer science professor Dr. Bruce McMillin. The role of S&T is crucial to ensure that the future power grid is not only smart, but safe and secure. Working with McMillin are faculty and graduate students from Florida State University and University of Auckland, New Zealand.
“The Energy Internet is closer to reality because of the progress we’ve made. Our research, industry partnerships and education programs are getting attention from all over the world, and this is just the beginning. There’s much more to come.”
—Dr. Alex Huant, Director, FREEDM Center and Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
North Carolina State University