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Walter and Lalita Janke Innovations in Sustainability Science Research Fund

Optimized Integration of Hydrokinetic Energy for Remote, Networked, and Resilient Microgrids

  • PI: Yufei Tang, Ph.D
  • Department: Computer & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Award: $50,000 

TangProject Summary: The past half-century has seen explosive growth in the world population, with society’s numbers burgeoning from 2.5 billion in 1950, to 7.3 billion in 2015. During this same period, the population living in isolated communities dependent on diesel generation for electricity also increased, rapidly reaching 770 million. These remote communities face unique challenges associated with their low efficiency and often unreliable electrical power sources. Hydrokinetic power generatorThese small-scale power systems, also called microgrids, can release high levels of pollutants into the environment and generate electrical power at a high cost to the consumer. These higher costs are related to economies of scale and high fuel transportation costs. This results in high pollutant creating electricity being generated at many times the cost of electricity in urban areas, which directly impacts the quality of life locally and the environment. Fortunately, many remote communities are located along rivers or tidal flows and therefore have access to a reliable renewable energy source that, when efficiently harnessed, can reduce energy costs and pollution levels, as well as improve energy supply resiliency. To this end, this project supports fundamental research to address two major threats to public health and welfare, namely fossil fuel pollution and reliable electricity, by enabling the optimal integration of Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) generated power into remote, networked, small-scale microgrids for resilient energy supply. In this project, the PI and Co-PI’s research experiences and collaborations enable an interdisciplinary approach to support both the foundational aspect of this project and the application context.


 Last Modified 10/16/17