SEAS Partners with ConEd on Smart Grid

The Center for Computational Learning Systems has developed a controller that will allow a smart grid to calculate the most efficient and reliable ways of delivering electricity to consumers.
Columbia researchers have developed a controller that will allow a smart grid to calculate the most efficient and reliable ways of delivering electricity to consumers.
Researchers at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University will work with Consolidated Edison Company of New York and others to demonstrate advanced Smart Grid technologies that will help build a smarter, more efficient, more resilient national electric grid. Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Con Edison $45 million for its Secure Interoperable Open Smart Grid Demonstration Project — one of 16 projects selected nationwide.
 
“These demonstration projects will further our knowledge and understanding of what works best and delivers the best results for the Smart Grid, setting the course for a modern grid that is critical to achieving our energy goals,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu in announcing the awards at a ceremony in Columbus, Ohio.
 
Roger N. Anderson (below), Doherty Senior Scholar at the Center for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia Engineering and at the University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has developed a patented controller technology along with senior staff associate Albert G. Boulanger that will be part of Con Edison’s smart grid project. The center is directed by David L. Waltz.
 
“We are trying to make the electric grid smarter, much more like the Internet, so that control systems can route power to where people need it, when they need it,” says Anderson. 
 
The center’s intelligent controller is an algorithm-based learning system that will allow the smart grid to calculate, on a minute-by-minute basis, the cheapest, most efficient and most reliable ways of delivering electricity to consumers. It will also allow the smart grid to anticipate and respond automatically to problem events such as weather changes and equipment failures in order to prevent power outages.

First published by Columbia's Office of Communications and Public Affairs

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