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OWOE - Amazing Energy - universities
UCF's New Smart Grid Lab
A new engineering laboratory, the 660-square-foot Smart Grid lab, located in the Harris Engineering Center on UCF's main campus, opened in February 2016 and is intended to play a leading role in modernizing the nation's power grid. The lab will provide a real-world environment and hands-on experience using advanced technology - real-time digital simulation, hardware-in-the-loop testing, power system protection and more - for research faculty and about 220 students per year. "The lab will enable us to perform advanced smart grid research, develop curriculum and course offerings, partner with utility companies on their research and development projects, and collaborate with other universities," said Zhihua Qu, chair, UCF Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Smart Grid lab is the latest development in a national, multi-partner consortium that Qu leads, known as “FEEDER,” or the Foundations for Engineering Education for Distributed Energy Resources. FEEDER launched in 2013 with an initial grant of $3.2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy that brought together eight universities, eight utilities, 11 industry partners and two national labs. It has grown to more than 50 partners located nationwide from the east coast to California and as far as Hawaii. The partners are upgrading and sustaining the power grid though research and education. Researchers in FEEDER are analyzing the infrastructure inside the current grid to find ways to enhance its capacity and make it more efficient. They are also exploring ways to safely and efficiently process the amount of fluctuating energy currently fed into the grid from an increasing number of small, decentralized power producers, many of which generate power from renewable sources such as wind and solar farms. They are also envisioning and designing potentially new and better ways of integrating renewables.

For more information visit UCF's New Smart Grid Lab and the FEEDER Website.