Center for Power Engineering
Center for Energy and the Global Environment
The World Institute for Disaster Risk Management
Representative Power Projects
Arun G. Phadke, Director
Robert P. Broadwater
Jaime De La Ree
The Center has been involved in promoting close cooperation
with colleagues in Europe, particularly with universities in
Grenoble, France and Lausanne, Switzerland. Three short courses
for practicing engineers from electric power engineering companies
throughout Europe were developed, with more than 50 students
participating. Virginia Tech faculty also helped organize a workshop
in Grenoble in January 2000 with more planned in the summer of
The Center has been instrumental over the past two years in establishing
The International Institute for Critical Infrastructures (CRIS).
The Institute is led by program directors from The University
of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), EnerSearch, AB (Sweden), LEG/ENSIEG/INPG
(France), Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong), the Swiss
Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland) and Virginia Tech.
The Institute is managed through an Executive Council, elected
by members of the CRIS General Assembly, which is presently comprised
of the President (Arun Phadke, VT), Secretary General (Hans Ottosson,
EnerSearch Industrial Research Consortium, Sweden), and four
Program Directors. The General Assembly, consisting of affiliated
industrial members, affiliated research organizations, universities
and institutes of technology from all over the world, currently
lists approximately 20 members. The next meeting of the CRIS
Executive Council will be in December 2001.
CRIS research projects promote developments in the three critical
infrastructures (power, communications, and computer) in such
a way that they will serve the needs of each other in an integrated
fashion. By bringing together experts in these three disciplines
they will be able to join forces to develop systems for the future,
combining the capabilities, opportunities, and goals for research
in these three disciplines into a unified vision. The expertise
in these fields exists in many institutions around the world,
and the institute is developing a strategy, which will tap into
this pool of expertise across national boundaries.
Accomplishments and activities in the distribution area include
the development of a phase prediction program that estimates
the phasing of laterals from start-of-circuit measurements and
customer loading. Electrical distribution circuits consist of
main feeders which have ABC phases and laterals which have only
one or two phases, such as an A phase or AB phases. Knowing the
phasing of laterals is important to many engineering functions
as well as power restoration functions during emergency conditions.
The program is currently being used by Detroit Edison.
Engineering design in electrical calculations often focus on
a particular approach, such as placing capacitors to improve
voltage profiles or phase balancing to improve efficiency. However,
capacitors also affect efficiency and phase balancing affects
voltage profiles. An integrated design capability has been developed
that allows such design calculations to work together to achieve
an "integrated design." This work is being reported
in an IEEE paper and is in its very early stages.
In the area of power system equipment diagnosis and monitoring,
an artificial intelligence-based transformer diagnosis system
has been developed for the electric power industry and has been
put on the Web (www.powerIT.vt.edu) for access all over the world.
The system can be used for off-line and on-line fault monitoring
and prediction. Also, in collaboration with the Photonics Laboratory,
research is underway to develop a fiber optic sensor-based transformer
partial discharge monitoring system.
A study of transformer failures in pumped storage plant GSU transformers
is in progress for the Taiwan Power Company. Another power electronics
application effort, supported by NSF, is a study of the dynamic
performance of the superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES)
in stabilizing power system oscillations.
In the area of Information Technology (IT) applications, we are
developing a comprehensive Power System Information Network architecture
based on Internet (including Intranet/Extranet) and IT to enable
seamless, flexible, cost-effective integration and access of
information and communication in the power industry. As a test
system, a small real-time information subnetwork will be developed
to link 18 control centers in the eastern part of the United
States and gather real time information for power transfer path
calculations and congestion control functions. Also, in the area
of Information Technology (IT) applications, a Virtual hospital
is being developed for power equipment diagnosis and information
In the areas of Power System Protection we have continued our
research related to hidden failures in Protection Systems and
their impact on wide-area disturbances. A methodology to identify
hidden failures in wide-area disturbances has been developed
and the effect of hidden failures in the degradation of wide-area
disturbances has been highlighted. A topic related to this research
was featured as the keynote paper in the European Power System
Protection Conference 2000. The researchers have been invited
to present advances in this area at the upcoming conference in
for Energy and the Global Environment
Saifur Rahman, Director
Million Solar Roofs. CEAGE Researchers at the Alexandria Research
Institute are executing a first-year plan of education, research
and outreach to support innovative ways to address Virginia's
energy needs and environmental challenges.
The Center for Energy and the Global Environment (CEAGE) conducts
research in the areas of energy efficiency, environmental impacts,
electricity restructuring, distributed resource support for the
information technology industry, intelligent systems, and geothermal
heat pumps. During the last year, the center has been involved
with educational and technology development projects, in Virginia
and around the world.
CEAGE researchers are working to develop the digital library
network described on page 34. Another project relating to working
engineers and business persons involves identifying bottlenecks
and opportunities for higher level SBIR funding of Virginia companies.
The study identified barriers that prevented successful phase
progression and commercialization. Another community education
project promotes the installation of ground-source heat pump
systems for the heating and cooling of K-12 school buildings
throughout Virginia. In addition, a modular, web-based course
is being developed for undergraduate students on renewable energy
and the global environment. Two additional projects include:
· Innovative Approaches to Providing Electric Power as
a Critical Infrastructure Element for High-Technology Economic
Growth in Virginia. This project focuses on Virginia's ability
to provide the high-quality power and security of electricity
supply demanded by mission critical facilities of high-tech industry.
· Greenhouse Gas Pollution Prevention Project. Sponsored
by the Louis Berger Group, Inc. CEAGE assisted this client in
a USAID-sponsored mission to India by conducting an on-site Training
Needs Assessment (TNA) for higher civil services non-government
organizations in India, on opportunities for integrating energy
development and climate change goals.
Research Projects in the Power Area
A Joint Research Project ATCS Evaluation
Security Mapping and Reliability Index Evaluation
Damage Assessment, Control, and Restoration of the Electric Power
Grid Following Catastrophic Disturbances
Energy Research Group Program
Innovative Technologies for Defense Against Catastrophic Failures
of Complex, Interactive Power Networks
Workshop: Precise Phasor Measurements in Power Systems
Technical and US Marketing Assessment of EUROSTAG
Generation and Use of Electricity and Their Impacts on the Environment
Integration of Energy Storage Systems and Modern Flexible AC
GOALI-VT/BWX Technologies Joint Research Project
Geothermal Heat Pumps for Energy$mart Schools in Virginia.
Virginia Million Solar Roofs and PV4VA: Combining Resources for
Solar Energy Education, Research, and Outreach.
Greenhouse Gas Pollution Prevention Project in India.
Innovative Approaches to Providing Electric Power as a Critical
Infrastructure Element for High-Technology Economic Growth in
A Case Study to Identify Bottlenecks and Opportunities for Higher-Level
SBIR Funding of Virginia Companies.