October 28, 2009 — Smart-grid equipment donated by Dominion Virginia Power has been installed in the ECE power engineering lab. The equipment, worth more than $400,000, is being used in research on the U.S. power infrastructure.
The four units are large, 3 feet by 8 feet each, cost upward of $140,000, and have been installed in the power engineering laboratories in Whittemore Hall.
Virginia Tech has a long history of power engineering excellence and has one of the largest and oldest power programs in the country. The first smart grid technology, phasor measurement units (PMUs) now being used worldwide to improve reliability of power grids, was built at Tech. ECE researchers also deployed the first national network, the Frequency Monitoring Network (FNET), to monitor frequency of the power grid.
Dominion's donation was previously featured in the 2009 Annual Report.