Smart Grid Lab
The Smart Grid concept includes the application of advanced computer, communications, and power technologies to obtain a highly automated, responsive, and resilient transmission and distribution infrastructure. One of the biggest concerns for power consumers is consistency; this is obtained through making the system stable so electricity is received at a constant frequency, and by ensuring that voltage is a constant and within limits. Smart grids possess demand-response capacity to help balance electrical consumption with supply as well as the potential to integrate new technologies for renewable energy, and to enable energy storage devices and the large-scale use of electric vehicles.
The Burns & McDonnell K-State Smart Grid Lab is a natural extension from using simulators to study the communication network and the power grid. It is one of the first facilities to test how emerging software-defined networking technology can more efficiently manage, distribute, use and secure electrical power. The lab provides results that are more realistic and will be able to teach students about how the systems actually work. The lab is a hands-on learning environment for students in the ECE department. The lab is used for many of our senior-level design courses, including our power systems and computer networking courses. Our students have also used the laboratory and its capabilities for research projects involving power systems and power systems protection. The lab offers real world experience vital to students’ success after graduation.
The lab has received financial support from Burns & McDonnell, which is an international, engineering, architecture and consulting company based in Kansas City, Missouri. FishNet Security, a Kansas-based information security provider, has donated, integrated and managed software-defined networking equipment.
The Smart Grid Lab is part of the Electrical Power Affiliates Program.