The United States electrical grid is undergoing a profound transformation due to trends in information technology, smart equipment, renewable energy systems and increasing sustainability goals. As the technical complexity of our electric grid increases, end users, electric generators and grid operators benefit in terms of response, asset management and efficient deployment of all types of electrical generation. This IPRO team will develop an understanding of the current development of Smart MicroGrids, HVDC transmission systems, safe incorporation of renewable energy and end-user behavior and acceptance of Smart Grid concepts.
Our objective is to further our understanding of smart grid systems, fully develop a description of Smart MicroGrids and research other new technologies currently in the conceptual development or design stages. This IPRO project will give all students an understanding about where a typical utility is headed in comparison to current practices. Over several semesters, this IPRO project develops concepts and work product that is reviewed by professionals, including IIT alums, on the staff in various departments within Sargent & Lundy.
This IPRO project will start the semester with a defined focus. The team will have access to previous semester materials, including work product and recommendations for next steps. Our goal for each semester is to build upon what has been accomplished during previous semesters. As a broad, contemporary electric power project, our aim is to develop a working knowledge of all technical and social trends and factors that influence innovations in electric power systems, including geographic, human, architectural/ engineering systems design, renewable energy, energy efficiency, business management and sustainability.
As an example, the defined focus for the spring 2017 semester has been established through a collaboration with Bronzeville Urban Development (B.U.D.). BUD has been developing an electric power service provider business model that is based on creating a microgrid on top of an abandoned rail right-of-way in Bronzeville. It is has not yet been determined whether this focus will continue for fall or whether Sargent & Lundy will define a new focus for the fall 2017 IPRO team.