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Hybrid Autonomous Electric Power System Testbed

Year: 2008
Fig. 1. The experimental testbed facility is implemented in electrically and thermally self-contained cabinet.
Energy and sustainability have become collective concerns that are motivating many research, education and outreach programs. It is beginning to be recognized that the development and demonstration of advanced power electronics technologies provides one of the largest opportunities for more efficient energy utilization and versatile energy generation.

Over the past two years, CPES has embarked on implementing of an electric power system for future self-sustained, green-energy, zero-emission applications that can demonstrate how power electronics can enable energy savings, protect environment, and improve people's life. The testbed incorporates representative renewable sources, power converter-based loads, and grid-interfaced controllable distribution network, in order to evaluate system-level impact of CPES-developed technologies and utilize the unique CPES team-capability to conduct research on large and complex systems in a comprehensive and efficient manner.

The testbed is constructed as a self-contained, 3 kW, autonomous hybrid power system for data communications in remote locations. It is also a scaled-down representative of generic electronic power distribution system typical for wide range of applications such as: future homes, data centers, hybrid electric cars, aircraft, and ships. The laboratory implementation includes solar photovoltaic source simulator and ac grid connection as energy sources, lead-acid batteries, battery charger, ac transfer switch, dc-ac inverter, and mixed ac-dc power distribution with computer-controlled measurement and supervision as the energy management system. The system is designed to provide uninterrupted energy supply to the data servers and air-conditioning as electrical loads. In addition to detailed measurement, characterization, and performance evaluation of integrated power electronics converters, the testbed construction also initiated new power electronics research activities on system architectures and control, power/energy management, and system integration, which are anticipated to have large impact on society.

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