University of Texas at Dallas professor Babak Fahimi has developed a prototype electronic interface for routing renewable energy sources to the power grid and electrical storage facilities. Fahimi says that developing mechanisms for integrating control of energy harvesting, storage, and dispatch has been a key challenge of producing such technology.
"Our Multi-Port Power Electronic Interface guarantees optimal energy harvesting from solar panels and wind turbines," he says. "This converter utilizes an adaptive controller to optimally increase efficiency and reliability for each operational condition while performing energy management algorithms to ensure the best performance." The converter works in remote areas because it can be controlled and monitored wirelessly.
Fahimi says the interface would also be ideal for use by small to medium-sized businesses, large residential buildings, and shopping centers that want to invest in renewable energy. He plans to conduct field tests in Texas and California in early 2011.
From University of Texas at Dallas
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