The North American electric grid today is witnessing the fastest pace of change since its creation about one hundred years ago. States such as California have seen a substantial rise in the amount of energy generated from PVs on rooftops. These renewable energy resources, being intermittent, can potentially destabilize the grid when scaled up to the level of the entire grid. EVs are being added at a significant pace in California thereby increasing the load on the grid at various times of the day. While they may be considered as a load, their batteries may be exploited as battery energy storage system (BESS) devices thereby becoming an asset to compensate for the instability resulting from intermittency of renewables. The continuous decline in the cost of solar PV and lithium ion batteries for EVs is expected to further propel their growth, resulting in further increase in complexity of balancing the demand and supply of electricity. Management and control of each of these DERs – generation, storage and consumption – is a major research area for the SMERC. The integration of advanced technologies, consumer preferences and innovative pricing models to address the above opportunities and challenges would achieve a modern grid that allows for higher penetration of renewables, increase in the number of electric vehicles, higher energy efficiency, improved grid security and resiliency, and, reduced outages. The talk will present two relevant projects at SMERC: (i) $120M DOE-funded SGRDP on EVs and DR, (ii) CEC funded project, in collaboration with Southern California Edison, on integrating DERs in a micro-grid, enabled with control system.
Dr. Rajit Gadh is a Professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA, and the Founding Director of the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center (SMERC), and Wireless Internet for Mobile Enterprise Consortium (WINMEC). His research interests include Smart Grid Architectures, Smart wireless communications, sense and control for Demand Response, Micro Grids and Electric Vehicle Integration into the Grid, Mobile Multimedia, Wireless and RFID Middleware, RFID and Wireless sensors for Tracking Assets, RF-sensor-control interfaces,and Visualization. He has over 150 papers in journals, conferences and technical magazines, and, 3 patents. He has a PhD degree from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master from Cornell University and a Bachelor from IIT Kanpur. He has taught at UC Berkeley, was a Full Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did his sabbatical at Stanford University for a year. He has won several awards from NSF (CAREER award, Research Initiation Award, NSF-Lucent Industry Ecology Award, GOAL-I award), SAE (Ralph Teetor award), IEEE (second best student-paper, WTS), ASME (Kodak Best Technical Paper award), AT&T (Industrial ecology fellow award), Engineering Education Foundation (Research Initiation Award), William Wong Fellowship award from University of Hong-Kong, etc., and other accolades in his career. He is on the Editorial board of ACM Computers in Entertainment Publication and the CAD journal.