CMPE 293 Monitoring And Control In Electric Power Distribution “Smart Grids” And “Micro-Grids” 

The monitoring and control of electric power distribution systems, in current utilities, presents exciting research opportunities in the applications of sensor networks, distributed control and optimization.  Distribution systems now have increasing deployment of renewable generation within them, presenting interesting challenges to operations (“demand response”), voltage profile, power quality and possibly system stability.  Development and wider deployment of “micro-grids” that can balance generation and loads, while maintaining a tie to the utility grid when their demand does not match supply, adds further opportunities and complexity.  Eventually the current tightly-coupled power grid could evolve to become a loosely-coupled federation of micro-grids, but many problems must be solved to allow these micro-grids to quickly connect and disconnect from the utility grid.  Graduate students in EE or CE with some  background in electric circuits, control systems, or data networks and optimization would be the intended audience for this course.