UConn Receives NSF Award to Improve Power Grid Technology

Energy efficient high voltage power transmission technology for renewable integration.

UConn was recently awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation grant to create a new research center dedicated to advanced electrical power grid technologies.

The University of Connecticut Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures will add a new research dimension to the existing NSF Industrial University Cooperative Research Center on High Voltage/Temperature. As a part of the program, the new UConn center will collaborate with industrial partners that are invested in improving the electrical grid.

“The demand for electric power in the United States continues to increase. To meet that demand we will develop new, high voltage and high temperature solutions to enhance the capacity and power flow control of the electrical grid,” said Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Yang Cao, the director of the new center.

UConn will join forces with the existing high voltage/temperature center members- the University of Denver, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Michigan Technological University- to create and study next generation high voltage materials to improve the efficiency and reliability of the power infrastructure.

“UConn’s expert faculty, together with industry partners specializing in high voltage engineering and power system asset management, will address these pressing concerns,” said Cao.

The UConn center has brought together an interdisciplinary group of a dozen researchers across UConn Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, led by Cao and co-director Rampi Ramprasad, a Materials Science and Engineering professor. Researchers at the center will work with industry leaders committed to advancing electrical power technology including Eversource Energy, General Electric, Marmon Utilities and Underground System Inc.

“This new center will develop advanced technologies that will improve power grid reliability and the management of different aspects of the power system,” said Ken Bowes, Eversource Vice President – Transmission Performance and Eversource Energy Center Executive Committee member. “The researchers will pursue the development of new high-voltage materials and structures that will allow for more efficient energy conversion, transmission and distribution, as well as more precise power flow control. Resilience in harsh environments, and easier integration of renewable energy sources, are important advances for the electric utility sector, aerospace companies and other industries.” Eversource will fund a project through the new center to improve the grid reliability against geomagnetic disturbance induced by solar storms.

To learn more about partnering with the University of Connecticut Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures, please contact Associate Professor Yang Cao.


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