Roberto Rojas-Cessa Research

Roberto Rojas-Cessa
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering



Controlling the Delivery Energy and Power

We investigate methods for attaining a fine control of energy delivery to loads in a microgrid. The framework is inspired by how the Internet manages to deliver digital information to different end-host/users. Here, we aim to digitize energy and to control the delivery through a grid that operations as a data network. Our approach to a controllable-delivery grid, as a digital grid, can have many different variations: a) The control of energy and power consumption and generation by using data communications as a control plane. b) The application of Internet of things (IoT) to an energy grid to allow each device and system to become addressable, which in turn enables us to transmit energy that has embedded addresses so that the grid becomes an Internet of Energy (IoE).

 c) An approach that adopts approaches a) and b) plus the addition of being able to deliver finite amounts of energy to integrate a digital energy grid, where energy is delivered upon request, and within the capacity of the power grid.

We have investigated this topic and have designed three different testbeds to demonstrate each approach. Among these devices, the access power points (APPs) outstands. An APP that serves as an interface between the Internet and the power lines so that loads, or appliances, become communicative loads that interact with the service provider. Also, we have designed an energy packet switch (EPS), for the first time that can provide the features of the three different approach plus the aggregation and delivery of energy coming from different energy sources and deliver the finite amounts as requested by demanding loads.

Figure 1 Concept of a power network using a data network to manage power distribution.

Figure 2. Testbed using a data network for controlling power delivery to AC loads.