Alex Q. Huang, Director North Carolina State University, Arizona State University, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, University of Missouri-Rolla Project Summary Our vision for the ERC for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems is an efficient electric power grid integrating highly distributed and scalable alternative generating sources and storage with existing power systems to facilitate a green energy based society, mitigate the growing energy crisis, and reduce the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. We believe the key to solving the energy crisis is not necessarily the renewable energy itself, but the infrastructure needed to deliver and manage large scale distributed renewable energy resources (DRER). The mission of the ERC for FREEDM Systems is to develop the fundamental and enabling technology to demonstrate the system and, through such development and demonstration, foster a revolution in innovation and technology in the electric power and renewable energy industries, providing long-term energy security and environmental sustainability for the U.S. Key Goals: Develop the fundamental knowledge base for the FREEDM system and provide fundamental breakthrough technology in energy storage and power semiconductor devices. Develop enabling technologies for subsystem and system demonstrations. Develop a 1MW FREEDM green energy hub system to power the ERC headquarters. Develop a diverse group of adaptive, creative, and innovative graduates who advance fundamental knowledge, enabling technology and engineered systems innovations in renewable electric energy delivery and management systems Develop long-term partnerships with middle and high schools, teachers, and students to enhance engineering content knowledge and pedagogical methods, bring engineering concepts into the classroom, involve pre-college students in research, and thereby increase the diversity and enrollment of domestic students in university engineering degree programs. Form long-term partnerships with large and small firms to speed the translation of ERC research into commercially viable products, stimulate formation of start-up companies based on ERC intellectual property, and involve students in all phases of the innovation process. Increase the diversity of the proposed Center?s leadership, faculty, and students to exceed academic engineering-wide national averages within the first five years of operation. Intellectual Merit: In addition to social, economic, and market challenges to be addressed by the ERC and by the power industry as a whole, barriers include needs for: new system theory for the paradigm-shifting FREEDM system; new high-frequency high-voltage power electronics based on wide bandgap materials; and significantly higher energy density storage technologies. Innovative development of such an infrastructure cannot be expected to occur in todays centralized model, where power companies seek only incremental solutions and research investments are suppressed to maximize profits. The systems approach required cannot be expected to occur through individual research projects with no common standards or test bed. To develop the FREEDM system, a multidisciplinary center of excellence is needed to pull together our nation?s top expertise in energy system theory, policy, renewable energy technology, energy storage technology, electronic devices, and communication. Broader Impacts include an increasingly diverse and innovative pool of U.S. engineers; mitigation of global warming; aversion of an energy crisis; innovation in renewable energy systems developed with industry leading to new products, companies, and jobs; integration of innovation in multidisciplinary training for graduate and undergraduate students; broadening participation in power engineering through integrated research activities for K-12 teachers and students; and improved faculty and graduate student skills in mentoring minorities and women.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC)
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Eduardo A. Misawa
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North Carolina State University Raleigh
United States
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