ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
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Living laboratory for sustainable building research

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Living Laboratory

The growing national interest in sustainable homes and alternative energy sources has spurred several research efforts tackling the technology problems from different perspectives.

The Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES) is developing two testbed/laboratories for its research in power electronics energy management of sustainable buildings.

The center is developing a "living lab" to provide a testbed for the energy systems of a sustainable home of the future and a DC-based electric power system.

Four rooms in the CPES laboratories are being converted into a conference room, library/lounge, kitchen, and utility room. Students, faculty, and staff will use the rooms for normal daily functions.

The experimental laboratory will be powered by a power-system testbed supplied by multiple renewable energy sources, including a 3.5 kW turbine generator, a 5kW PV solar panel system, lithium-ion battery bank for energy storage, and a plug-in hybrid car with bidirectional energy flow.

The electrical system has both a high-voltage DC bus for HVAC, simulated kitchen loads and major appliances and a low-voltage bus for telecommunications, computers, and LED lighting.