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. For the fall 2018 semester, the IPRO team will explore the need for creating a new approach to rebuilding devastated electrical grids, as Puerto Rico has experienced as a result of recent hurricane activity. In addition, we will continue to work with local community partners in their efforts to build urban renewable energy infrastructure and community solar projects.
During the course of the project, the IPRO team will develop an understanding of the current development of Smart Microgrids, AC and HVDC transmission systems, safe incorporation of renewable energy, energy storage and relationship between electric and thermal energy production, distribution, storage and use. We will advance our understanding of smart grid systems, fully develop a description of Smart Micro grids 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.
We are focusing on Puerto Rico in the spring 2018 semester and plan to continue that concentration in fall 2018. The Microgrid application in Puerto Rico is a broad topic. Currently we are looking for new methods to create energy on the island rather than relying on imported fossil fuels. This is in addition to renewable energy sources and new transmission and distribution systems that will greatly enhance the energy system in Puerto Rico. The concepts we are researching have application to many other regions in the world.