DOE awards $1.4 million to train future synchrophasor engineers


Projects at seven colleges and universities around the U.S. will receive awards from the Department of Energy to better prepare the electricity industry workforce of the future in synchrophasor technology.


The DOE believes the use of synchrophasor data from Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) is a promising tool to monitor modern electric power systems, and identify and respond to deteriorating or abnormal grid conditions more quickly. It points out that more than 800 PMUs are being installed at strategic locations across the nation's transmission system, thanks to Recovery Act funding.


But the problem is, says the DOE, "only a limited number of professionals, researchers and students have the knowledge and expertise to understand and analyze the high-speed, time-synchronized data that will be generated by the deployment of these devices."


The $1.4 million in funding will try to correct that deficit by providing researchers and students with access to data provided by their utility collaborators and creating an opportunity for academic institutions to collaborate with other stakeholders to expand their graduate and undergraduate engineering curricula in grid dynamics, process simulation, control and analysis tools. Students and researchers will receive hands-on simulator-based training experience and learn how commercial-scale power plants and systems respond dynamically to grid oscillations and system disturbances, and to stress from high power demands.


The DOE says the awards are also intended to facilitate the development of curricula and skills needed for better understanding of the complex conditions of the smart grid environment.


The projects receiving funding are:

  • Washington State University (Pullman, WA): A Collaborative Educational Program on Synchrophasor Applications for Smart Electric Grid. 
    DOE share $200,000; recipient share $1,173,612. 
  • North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC): Development of a Multi-User Network Testbed for Wide-Area Monitoring and Control of Power Systems Using Distributed Synchrophasors. 
    DOE share $200,000; recipient share $50,000.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) (Chicago, IL):IIT-Industry Collaboration: Synchrophasor Engineering Research and Training. 
    DOE share $200,000; recipient share $50,001.
  • University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY): Advancing Synchrophasor Applications and Training through Academic-Industry Collaborations.  
    DOE share $199,978; recipient share $142,160.
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, VA): Data Mining and Playback of Hybrid Synchrophasor Data for Research and Education. 
    DOE share $199,995; recipient share $50,024.
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX): Collaborative Industry-Academic Synchrophasor Engineering Program. 
    DOE share $199,951; recipient share $50,000.
  • Clemson University (Clemson, SC): Clemson University’s Synchrophasor Engineering Education Program. 
    DOE share $200,000; recipient share $50,000
Filed Under