PEIA - Pacific Energy Innovation Association
7:15 – 8:45 am, Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
Vancouver Community College, Room 240, 250 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC
Cost: $20 Pay Cash at Door – Student Rate: $10
Or “Five Pack” for $75 (see details below)
The AC Electrical Grid: Transitions into the 21st Century
Speaker: Dr. José R. Martí, Complex Systems Integration Laboratory, The University of British Columbia
The electric power system infrastructure is at a crossroads in the twenty-first century. After a hundred years of development of Tesla/Westinghouse’s synchronous AC generation and transportation systems, the grid has evolved into a complex system-of-systems upon which the nation’s critical infrastructures heavily rely (Canada identifies ten critical infrastructures: Energy, Water, Food, Financial, Communications, Transport, Health, Safety, Order, Government, and Defence). A disruption in this system (power blackouts) can have extensive consequences.
Despite the complexity of the electrical grid, availability of electricity has become ubiquitous, to the point that, in modern societies, it is taken for granted. This has been true inasmuch as price has been reasonable, availability has not been a concern for the general population (despite behind-the-scenes wars), service continuity has been excellent, and environmental effects have been ignored. Monopolistic ownership and technical prowess have made the grid “transparent” to the user.
In the twenty-first century this will be different. Cost and environmental impact will no longer be ignored and continued availability of cheap electricity will no longer be a given. The twenty-first century will be defined by a higher level of public awareness and the grid will become “one more concern”. The traditional paternalistic grid will be broken down not by regulation (unsuccessful, as mandated in the 90’s) but by the need to use local energy resources, like solar, wind, and other renewables. Distributed ownership of generation, and user awareness of consumption, will become the norm.
This presentation will discuss the technological advances that made electricity transparent (in advanced societies), in the twentieth century, and the challenges on technology and user awareness under the new constraints of renewable energy resources and environment preservation, in the twenty-first century.
Dr. José Martí is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the
University of British Columbia. He has over 25 years of experience in real time computer simulation
of large electrical networks using parallel processing techniques.
He received a Masters degree in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and a Ph.D. degree in Electric and Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
He is a registered Professional Engineer in British Columbia, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and a Fellow of the CanadianAcademy of Engineering.
He is the leader of UBC’s Complex Systems Integration Laboratory developing real time simulation tools for optimization and decision support in complex integrated physical and human environments. Current work includes
the development of a system of systems simulator that integrates the interdependencies and flow of resources among multiple critical infrastructures (e.g., power system, water system, transportation system, ICT system, etc.). This tool is currently being applied in three broad areas: 1) Analysis and design of integrated energy (heat and electricity) systems with multiple sources of conventional and alternative generation, considering cost, GHG, and sustainability; 2) Development of energy self-sufficient economically prosperous communities; and 3) Development of the Disaster Response Network Enabled Platform (DR-NEP) for real time world-wide access to decision support tools to minimize loss of human lives and optimize system recovery during large disaster situations.
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