The distributed center for Energy Storage and Power Electronics (ESPE) leverages a network of researchers at different universities involved in energy-related research, ranging from new electrical energy storage devices and power management to the novel sensors and power control devices that will be needed to enable more energy efficient and "smart" electrical energy transmission on both small (homes, buildings, microgrids) and large scales (overall electric utility grid).
While ERI members will ultimately determine strategic directions for ESPE, representative focus areas include:
- Large scale power electronics devices to enable a distributed architecture using an IT-enabled "energy network" or "smart grid";
- Power electronics for integration of power delivery and utilization management of Distributed Energy /Renewable Energy sources (such as Wind/PV/Geothermal/other) including retail/personal energy systems within the home (e.g. appliances, PHEVs, etc.)
- Energy storage management (batteries, flywheels, thermal) using novel techniques, as applied to grid, home and office energy needs, e.g. power-leveling for macro and micro-grids, plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs), back-up storage for PV systems and data centers, etc.
Key overarching technical challenges within these focus areas include the development of solid state devices with high voltage/current handling capabilities, bi-directional power electronics for interfacing renewable energy including PV at the home/office and smart grid, improved performance and lower cost methods for controlling parallel groups of energy storage cells (potential application of wireless sensors), including optimization of battery charging efficiency and battery life.
Example ESPE research focus areas include:
- Novel electrical energy storage devices
- Integrated electrical storage systems & power management
- High/medium voltage power electronics for the grid and microgrids
- Power electronics for renewable energy (e.g. solar) applications
- Sensors/power electronics for smart homes, buildings and cities
- Performance optimization for small/large scale systems with integrated energy storage
SRC's Energy Research Initiative (ERI) ended on 2015-12-31.
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