“Multiport Power Electronics Interface: A Key Technology for
Sustainable Energy Processing”
Dr. Babak Fahimi, UT Arlington
The electric power grid is undergoing a similar path to that of wireless communication. Concepts such as peer-to-peer energy transfer, decentralized generation, security at power and cyber levels, marketing and optimal dispatch have attracted considerable attention in research and development of microgrid and sensor intensive flexible power systems also known as the smart grid. Multiport power electronic interface (MPEI) embodies an intelligent energy-management system acting as a flexible tandem between a finite inertia power system (local-area power network) and the utility grid. This system not only guarantees an ideal platform for integration of renewable energy sources and energy storage elements, but also allows for intelligent energy management and condition monitoring. Enabled by a wireless communication device, MPEI promises to incorporate time-of-use price of electricity, ambient conditions and consumer consumption portfolio in making decisions regarding purchase, sales, storage and scheduling. Highlights of this groundbreaking technology will be discussed, and future research possibilities will be explained. Highlights of other ongoing research projects as well as educational plans will also be shared.
Babak Fahimi received PhD in electrical engineering from Texas A&M in 1999. He received the Richard M. Bass Young Power Electronics Investigator Award from the IEEE Power Electronics Society in 2003, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2004, the Ralph-Teetor Educational Award from SAE in 2008, a Fulbright scholarship in 2010 and a German academic exchange international fellowship for 1993 to 1995. He holds three patents and has nine pending. He is an associate professor of electrical engineering at UT Arlington, where he founded the research and educational program on renewable energy systems and vehicular technology. He is the co-author of more than 180 scientific articles, he is a senior member of IEEE, and he is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.