December 19, 2011 {authors} {/authors}

UCLA partners with Korea on smart grid R&D

Funding comes from DOE and Los Angeles Water and Power

{authors} By UCLA partners with Korea on smart grid R&D {/authors}

By Jesse Berst,

UCLA's highly regarded Smart Grid Energy Research Center (SMERC) has partnered with the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) to collaborate on research and the development of new technologies with the goal of developing a strong smart grid at the international level.

SMERC, part of UCLA's engineering school, was created to develop and test new smart grid technologies, with major funding from DOE and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. "UCLA is like a little city – Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale are not much bigger," said Rajit Gadh, SMERC director and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering specializing in wireless smart grid technology. "With a city like UCLA, we can test our concepts very quickly, as well as conduct very interesting tests."

The 10-year partnership with the South Korean institute will involve using three campus buildings as an experimental lab to evaluate how wireless sensing and control systems can help with the development of a smart grid. The facilities are being retrofitted with cutting-edge sensors and smart meters that can, among other things, determine and adjust the amount of power a room will need during specific times of the day – as well as manage appliances, lighting, heating and air conditioning equipment in response to energy prices or power availability on the grid.

Dr. Jung-in Choi, a Korean university professor who came to UCLA on sabbatical, said "I think UCLA's Smart Grid Energy Research Center is one of the most active research institutes in the smart grid field today. In particular, I have been most interested in the open architecture platform for the smart grid – Dr. Gadh's WINSmartGridTM in particular. KIER needs an open architecture platform technology, and I thought a partnership between KIER and SMERC would be beneficial for both."

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