Grid Integration & Resilience
Grid integration is the practice of electrical power system planning, operation and interconnection that enables cost-effective and reliable use of distributed energy resources (DER).
Renewable DERs includes solar, wind, and energy storage systems. They bring unprecedented challenges to grid stability and reliability as a result of their intermittent availability. DERs are interfaced with the grid through power electronic converters, so control of power electronics converters plays an important role to address the challenges faced by the grid. Accurate models are required to predict power generation and power demand, which are influenced by weather conditions.
- Battery storage including Lithium-ion, Zinc, Lead-Acid, Sodium-Sulfur, Sodium Metal Halide and Flow batteries
- Wind turbines including Double-fed, permanent magnet and synchronous turbines
- Solar (Monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film technologies)
- Hydrogen Fuel Cells using the polymer electrolyte chemistry and other fuel cell technologies like direct methanol, alkaline, solid-oxide and molten carbonate fuel cells.
- Weak grid characterization and modeling
- Grid forming power electronic inverters using VF, droop, and other novel control techniques
- Cyber security research of mitigation and effects of DoS, DDoS, MITM attacks and blockchain technology
- Large Scale grid monitoring and secure big data management and storage
- Advanced grid and microgrid controls using conventional technologies and advanced AI/ML techniques
Texas Tech researchers have strong research interests in the following areas:
- Grid integration and microgrids
- Evaluation of power devices for power electronics & pulse power applications
- Power systems and microgrids
- Monitoring and data fusion for smart grids
- Building energy systems connected to the grid
- Electrical energy smart grid technologies and smart structural systems
- Utility power systems and transformer design
- Energy systems, renewable energy, smart grids, and microgrids
- Grid resiliency, research, education, and integration of renewables
Infrastructure & Facilities
- Texas Tech 108-Converter SYNDEM Smart Grid Testbed: A world-class large-scale facility: 100% power converter-based power system testbed with 108 reconfigurable, reprogrammable converters
- Hurricane Resilience Research Institute (HuRRI) is a multi-institution research center focused on helping the Gulf Coast better prepare for and mitigate the damage and loss of lives from hurricanes and other severe storms. The Hurricane Resilience Research Institute draws upon the strengths of its six participating universities, from flood mitigation and hurricane modeling to public policy. Research focuses on five major areas: prediction, assessment, mitigation, protection, education, and rebound.
- Global Laboratory for Energy Asset Management & Manufacturing (GLEAMM): GLEAMM was established thanks to a $13 million investment by the State of Texas.
Texas Tech, in partnership with Group NIRE, will leverage this investment to test,
certify, research, develop and support the manufacturing of new electrical grid technologies
and next-generation power electronic devices for public and private partners. Much
of this testing and certification will take place at the Reese Technology Center,
a shared field-testing site between Texas Tech and Group NIRE, located just west of
Lubbock, Texas. GLEAMM works closely with X-Fab, Texas on silicon carbide semiconductor
manufacturing, Monolith Semiconductors on silicon carbide design and National Instruments
on smart microgrid and distributed generation technologies and systems.
- Assets include: 150 kW of monocrystalline solar panel installation, 900 kW wind farm interconnection (SNL), 500 kW Diesel generator, 1 MW remote-controllable electronic load, 180 kW reactive load, 48 kW lead-acid battery storage, 30 kW electric vehicle simulator and a 20kW data center critical load.
- Center for Pulsed Power & Power Electronics (P3E) has three primary research areas: Plasma, Pulsed Power, and Power Electronics.
- Collaborative activities with external partners (e.g., utility company, Sandia National Laboratory, Reese Technology Center, US Army Research Laboratory, etc.)
- Modeling the grid; modeling components of the grid
- Emerging strength: understanding cyber-security in relation to the grid