Campus as a Living Lab allows ECE researchers to use UBC’s infrastructure as a test bed for smart grid technology and makes it easier for ECE to collaborate with industry partners. Canada Research Chair, Professor Ordonez, is employing the Campus as a Living Lab concept as he develops the next generation of power converters.
“Energy generation (done right) must work like a fine-tuned ecosystem that integrates with the environment seamlessly. The objective is to maximize green energy capture, utilization, and storage and provide a reliable power supply to end-users. “
To do this, the research program is developing power converters that are basically intelligent systems. Through Campus as a Living Lab Prof. Ordonez’s research is being tested within the infrastructure of the University in partnership with Alpha Technologies and Corvus Energy.
Professor Ordonez and his research team are using a geometric modeling technique to gain insight into the behavior of power converters. They are also working to modify the topology of components in the energy system. By combining topologies, architecture, components and controls they are able to put together very complex energy systems. Each of Prof. Ordonez’s graduate students contributes to the research program.
Ignacio Galiano is using a geometric domain defined by electrical variables to describe the behavior of power converters. This is used to obtain outstanding transient performance and stability.
Francisco Paz is designing power converters for intermittent and distributed, renewable energy sources to control the energy provided to suit the power needed by devices. Optimizing energy extraction is also a research focus for this research team through smart algorithms and new power converter topologies.
Improved Battery Efficiency
Existing electric vehicle chargers have difficulty restoring a completely discharged battery. By adding one component Navid Shafiei can significantly improved the performance in a charger.
Wireless Power Transfer
Samuel Robert Cove is working with very thin, planar, spiral windings that can be used to charge mobile devices wirelessly. By slightly changing the geometry of windings Robert has made improvements of size and efficiency. Now the research team is working to make the system larger.
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