Dr. Kevin Wedeward, chair of the electrical engineering department, is leading Tech’s partnership with the University of Hawaii. The two universities officially started the project May 1, with a $500,000 grant from the federal Department of Energy.
“We’re interested in understanding the impact of renewable resources on the energy grid,” Wedeward said. “Wind power is less predictable because the variability of input. How does that affect the grid?”
Tech’s portion of the research involves modeling various scenarios, based at the Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis, or ICASA. Staff researcher Michael Smith, two undergrads and two graduate students are gathering historic wind data from Hawaii and modeling a simulated power grid that mimics Hawaii’s infrastructure. Once the models are built, they will run various scenarios on Tech’s supercomputer, Exemplar.