National Capital Region | Virginia Tech

National Capital Region Highlights

Virginia Tech among nationally ranked universities in Grid Technologies Collaborative; group holds national conference in Arlington

The Grid Technologies Collaborative (GTC), an industry-university-government integrated research and development group launched in 2011 to advance the state-of-the-art in transmission and distribution system level power electronics technologies, met recently at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington for its 2013 National Conference.

Grid Technologies

Dushan Boroyevich (right) at breakout session

Representatives from Virginia Tech and four other nationally recognized universities -- Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and West Virginia University -- that form the U. S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory Regional University Alliance (NETL-RUA) were among more than 70 energy professionals in attendance at the conference.

The GTC engages in three primary activities: developing new grid-scale power electronics devices for emerging AC and DC electrical infrastructure, supporting systems and algorithms and demonstrating their economic value; educating the next generation of power electronics engineers through advanced curriculum at member universities and training programs for existing professionals; and partnering with industry and the public sector to advance the technology and demonstrate benefits of advanced power electronics through collaborative research and development, seminars, and workshops.

Grid Technologies

Wayne Honath addresses
conference attendees

Sanjay Raman, professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate vice president of the National Capital Region, started off the full day meeting with an overview of the Virginia Tech Research Center and its operations. He was followed by Gregory Reed, director of the Electric Power Initiative, associate director of the Center for Energy, and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, who provided an introduction to the NETL-RUA and the GTC.

Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary, U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, delivered the keynote address, describing the goals, accomplishments, and plans to address the energy needs of industry and the public, and the future of the 21st century electric grid.

Grid Technologies

Patricia Hoffmann gives
keynote address at conference

Following the keynote, conference attendees were divided into groups led by a representative from each of the five member universities. Each breakout session was aligned with a primary area of research in the development of the Next Generation Power Converter, the current research and development project of the collaborative. Presenting from Virginia Tech was Dushan Boroyevich, co-director, Center for Power Electronics Systems, and American Electric Power Professor, Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who spoke on Converter Functionality and Design.

The objectives of the breakout sessions were to define a future research agenda based on the assessment of work on the next generation power converter project; to identify possible government and industry partners to provide advice and direction and sponsor research; and to ensure alignment of future research plans with government and industry needs.

Grid Technologies

Some of the more than 70 academics
and energy professionals who
attended the conference

Wayne Honath, director of Program Development with the non-profit University Energy Partnership, said, "The first national conference of the Grid Technologies Collaborative brought together our research team with key representatives of the utility industry, manufacturers, and governmental bodies. This initial meeting will serve as the foundation for much of the future in power electronics research, and establishes important partnerships within the energy field. We were delighted to have a great turnout for our first conference, and will build on the knowledge and insight provided during the breakout sessions."

Posted July 10, 2013