Thursday, May 16, 2013
Rajib Mikail, a 5th year doctoral student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University, won 2nd place in the 8th Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium. The symposium was held on March 19 at the McKimmon Center and was open to any graduate student from NC State. This year's symposium featured over 200 posters.
Mikail is a part of the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center and is being advised by Dr. Iqbal Husain.
This research project was funded by Nexteer Automotive, Saginaw, MI.
Rajib's research was on "Switched Reluctance Machine (SRM) for Electric Power Steering Application".
Abstract: Power steering creates the necessary torque assist for the driver while rotating the steering wheel. Electric motor is recently used in power steering for better steering feel. To meet the torque ripple and noise level according to the standard specification is a challenging step for power steering system design. Non-permanent magnet machines are the key focus of researchers and industries due to the cost and availability issues of rare earth permanent magnet. SRM is the only non-permanent magnet machine which is highly reliable and inherently fault tolerant for steering application. With the current design and control technology, SRM has unsuitable torque ripple and acoustic noise for steering application. In this project the machine was redesigned and a new controller algorithm is proposed and implemented experimentally to achieve the required torque ripple and noise performance. A novel current profiling approach covering the speed range of operation is proposed. In addition to the current profiling method a predictive current control method is analyzed to follow the current profiles with minimum error and desired switching frequency. With the achieved improvement SRM can be used on other torque ripple sensitive high performance applications.
Friday, March 8, 2013
The FREEDM Systems Center is pleased to announce the addition of the following companies as industry members:
Total - A global energy producer and provider with operations that span the oil and gas chain. One of their core commitments is the development of alternative energies such as solar, biomass, and nuclear power. http://www.total.com/en/home-page-940596.html
SAS - The leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. With innovative business applications supported by an enterprise intelligence platform, SAS helps 45,000 organizations improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. http://www.sas.com/
Toshiba - A diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products, spanning information and communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, and household appliances. http://www.toshiba.com/ind/
Sarda Technologies - A fabless power semiconductor company. Sarda?s products are used in dc-dc voltage converters for portable, enterprise, and consumer systems. Sarda?s highly efficient power semiconductors reduce power loss, increase system performance, and extend battery life while reducing system size, weight, and cost. http://www.sardatech.com/
Fairchild Semiconductor - A leading global provider of semiconductor technologies that address some of today?s most important technology challenges. Fairchild builds on a rich history of semiconductor innovation ? leveraging advances in packaging, proprietary technologies and experience in semiconductor design and manufacturing ? to deliver power and mobile semiconductor solutions for a broad range of applications. http://www.fairchildsemi.com/
Ford - A global automotive industry leader that manufactures and distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company?s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. Ford is working on developing hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles. They are also involved with Southern California Edison (another FREEDM member) on a project to examine how plug-in hybrids work with the electrical grid. http://corporate.ford.com/our-company
The Digital Grid Consortium - A not-for-profit corporation based in Tokyo, Japan with a mission to develop the next generation grid system, which will enable a market driven energy economy. The Consortium promotes and coordinates collaboration among members, to promote, educate, and advocate for the adoption of innovative digital grid solutions all over the world. http://www.digitalgrid.org/
Triangle Technology Ventures ? A small business committed to partnering with top-tiered government contractors to deliver Leading Edge Information Technology solutions to its clients. http://www.triangletechnologyventures.com/Home_Page.html
Earl Energy - A veteran owned and operated company that designs and builds generator hybridization products for the military and industrial customers. Their systems integrate a variety of energy storage technologies, including lithium ion batteries and ultracapacitors, to deliver significant fuel and maintenance savings. Their products are specifically designed for off-grid markets ? on the battlefield, at sea, and in remote locations where reliable electrical power is critical, expensive, and primarily reliant on diesel power generation. http://earlenergy.com/
Monday, February 18, 2013
Have you ever thought about where our energy will come from when there is no more oil, gas or coal?
Students at Cummings High School in Burlington are experimenting with what could become the energy of our future.
The students are getting a little help from engineering students from North Carolina State University.
Cindy Farmer tells us it?s a partnership that is definitely What?s Right with Our Schools.
New article is from myfox8.com. Read the article on their website at: http://myfox8.com/2013/02/14/whats-right-with-our-schools-cummings-high-school-and-ncsu-students-team-up/
Monday, January 28, 2013
We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Ning Lu has joined FREEDM. Dr. Lu is a new Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University.
From 2003 to 2012, Dr. Lu was a senior research engineer with the Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA. Her research interests are in the modeling and analysis of power system load behavior, with a focus on the smart grid technology implementation on power system distribution networks. Dr. Lu will be a great asset to the FREEDM team as the center works to transform the electric power system by introducing advanced power electronics, distributed energy resources, and control and communication technology to the grid.
Dr. Lu received her B.S.E.E. from Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China, in 1993, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electric power engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Dr. Lu is a senior member of the IEEE.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Dr. Alex Huang, the Progress Energy Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University and the Director of the NSF FREEDM Systems Center, has been selected as been chosen as an honoree at the 3rd annual Energy Leadership Awards by the Charlotte Business Journal.
The program recognizes individuals who have played a key role in making the Carolinas a global player in the energy industry.
Dr. Huang has been selected as one of 10 honorees.
He will be recognized at an awards luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte and in a Charlotte Business Journal special report on January 25, 2013.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
A new grant to North Carolina State University and several partners could make installing rooftop solar energy systems much less expensive and time consuming.
Researchers will use the five-year, $9 million grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to design solar energy systems and installation and connection procedures that require little or no customization by homeowners and installers. The systems would set up quickly and connect to the power grid easily, while still meeting building and electrical codes.
"The high cost and hassle associated with installing home solar energy systems is a major barrier to their widespread adoption," said Dr. Alex Huang, the lead researcher on the grant and Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the FREEDM Systems Center at NC State. "By developing standardized and easy-to-use technologies, we can significantly reduce the cost of these systems for homeowners, who would be able to install the systems themselves."
Today, much of what homeowners spend on solar energy systems goes toward supplier overhead, inspections, permitting, installation and other so-called "soft" costs. DOE estimates these costs at $2.50 per watt, a significant amount of money for systems that typically generate several thousand watts of power.
But by creating systems that "plug and play" - universal designs akin to USB interfaces in computers - the researchers believe they can drive these costs under $1 per watt. That means a homeowner installing a 5,000-watt solar energy system could save more than $7,500 in soft costs.
Researchers will use the grant to develop standardized panel mounting systems, communication technologies, electrical wiring designs, automated permitting systems, and other cost-cutting technologies. The group will work with codes and standards organizations, electric utilities, building and electrical inspectors, and consumers to tackle the real-world challenges faced by solar energy system installers and the local authorities that set installation rules.
Leading the project will be the FREEDM Systems Center, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center headquartered at NC State that is developing smart grid technologies. The NC Solar Center at NC State, which develops and demonstrates clean energy technology, is also a key player. Others involved include the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the University of Toledo, Isofoton, ABB and Quanta Technology.
The grant is part of DOE's SunShot Initiative, which seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with other sources of energy by 2020.