In the past few years EPS team led by Dr. Arif Sarwat has been working on 11 funded projects; 5 of which are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and one funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). This list includes the NSF CAREER Award (see NSF CAREER tab). The EPS team research interests include smart grids, electric vehicles, high penetration renewable systems, storage and battery management systems, grid resiliency, large-scale data analysis, artificial intelligence, advanced metering infrastructure, and smart city infrastructure and cybersecurity.

The EPS team has been prolific in publishing their results with multiple best paper and most cited awards (see Publication tab).

The EPS team is one of the few to receive two grants from NSF on smart cities. EPS supports (Dr. Sarwat as the co-lead) the newly launched Masters in Energy & Cybersecurity education program. The EPS team of students includes 10 Ph.D., 04 Masters, 1 Postdoctoral researcher, more than 20 undergraduate students and multitudes of volunteers belonging to different colleges at the FIU.

Industries Maintaining Long-Term Relationship and Investing in PANDORAS and GENIE Labs

EPS has a long-standing partnership on renewable integration and research with FPL NextEra Energy and takes pride in being their primary research partner. FPL, the largest renewable installer in the world is also becoming America’s largest producer of solar energy among electric companies and further advances affordable, clean and reliable energy for all Floridians. FIU and FPL have joined hands to conduct research on the impact of high penetration RESs in reliability, stability and other pertinent issues of the distribution network. At the FIU-FPL Solar Research Center, Dr. Sarwat is driving efforts to maximizing the benefits from this unique collaborative opportunity. The collaboration with FPL is an investment of EPS group in transferring the research efforts into applications for industries and communities.

                

 

FPL-FIU Partnership

 

Proactive Analytics and Data Oriented Research on Availability & Security (PANDORAS) Lab

PANDORAS lab is equipped with high-end computer systems which are utilized to conduct research activities related to smart grid data, weather data, and telecommunications data. The lab is equipped with a large capacity data server, ten high powered workstations, a GPU server for accelerated machine learning, and a multi-panel wall screen for monitoring. These resources are applied in the development of the cyber security software, data synthesis, and grid edge analysis. The FPL/EPS partnership enables unique research through PANDORAS by the provision of real-world smart meter datasets along with the power grid topology.  Furthermore, the lab is equipped with the actual capabilities of Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS) as used by the utility.

GENIE (Grid Energy Intelligence Exploration Research Lab)

Genie lab is a state-of-the-art Control Room for AI-Renewable Microgrid and hardware-in-the-loop real-time simulations. GENIE Lab houses OPAL-RT, and LabVolt simulators along with the InTouch Wonderware system, thereby providing the capability to test, simulate, and validate inverters, batteries and other grid-based equipment

Active Research Projects at EPS

Dr. Sarwat’s Transformative and Game-Changing Patents(support from NSF CAREER: 1553494 & 1541108)

Dr. Sarwat’s work has resulted in multiple patents and patent filings. The following is a list of major patents recently awarded to EPS team.

  • Distributed Renewable Energy Grid Controller 
  • Wireless Power Electronics and Controls
  • Mobile Wireless Power Transfer
  • Electric Power Distribution Interruption Risk Assessment Calculator

Industrial and Federal Labs Partner with Dr. Sarwat

Numerous industries have partnered with Dr. Sarwat for his state of art research which have led him to develop game changing products in advanced technical areas. These entities work closely with Dr. Sarwat to materialize his vision and bring life to the technology he has developed at EPS.

FPL/Next Era has signed long term contracts with Dr. Sarwat to work on different technologies.

FPL is the largest power utility company under Next Era Energy, and they serve approximately 10 million people throughout Florida. Their reliable generation, transmission, and distribution of electrical energy throughout the state keeps Florida working and satisfied with high reliability and rapid response to disturbance. The integration of advanced battery systems into their grid is enabling improved solar PV generation adoption into the power grid in Florida, making FPL/NextEra renewable energy leaders.

FPL/ NextEra has funded more than $10M to Dr. Sarwat’s efforts with the industry:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Based Renewable Microgrid System Development: The SISGSR (Storage Integrated Smart Grid Stability and Reliability) is a Project for an AI based FIU Renewable Smart Micro grid.The facilities of this project will include a Grid-Tied 3MW/12MWh Battery Energy Storage Plant connected with the 1.4 MW PV Power Plant on Campus. FIU Photovoltaics will charge the battery, which will ultimately be used to power the Engineering Center. The Micro Grid will be capable of Operating in an islanded mode. One of the biggest challenges of this project is the Virtual Inertia Emulation and Frequency Regulation which will be completely controlled by Artificial Intelligence and the whole setup will be capable of working on its own.

  • Energy Power Reliability and Analytics Center(EPRAC) for High Penetration Distributed Renewable Resource Modern Grid System: Renewable energy,  is independently controlled and intermittent in nature. Hence, adapting the smart grid to include renewable generation sources, improving its energy delivery and efficiency, enhancing and maintaining its power reliability and quality, and ensure power availability with self-healing principles have emerged as the important cornerstones for the future smart grid renewable integration studies.

  • Advanced Research on Integrating Emerging and Existing System(ARIES): Many complex systems, both physical and in software, are necessary in monitoring and controlling the power grid for maximum stability and efficiency.  This project focuses on systems on the distribution side (>70kV) of the power grid which powers our homes, streets, and businesses. These are systems such as:Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) – A system which utilities use to collect data from devices on the grid, as well as perform actions such as remotely energizing or re-energizing lines using remote switches.

Dr. Sarwat’s students partake in internships and find employment at Top Labs

NREL: Dr. Sarwat’s has worked with NREL having graduate students completing internships at the world leading National Renewable Energy Lab.

ORNL: Dr. Sarwat’s has attended the Artificial Intelligence town hall meeting at Oak Ridge National Lab, and his Ph.D. graduate Aditya S. now works as a full time research at the lab.

   

1.4 MW live solar grid at FIU-FPL solar Research center

FPL-FIU Solar Research Center- EPS received a $7.65 million collaborative project with the FPL as part of which high-end research that is conducted on many aspects of large-scale PV integration into the smart grid. As part of this project, a 1.41MW solar PV power plant has been commissioned and is currently live, generating power, at the Engineering Center, since May 2016. Dr. Sarwat serves as the Director for FPL-FIU Solar Research Center. Furthermore, EPS has access to 3MW distributed solar generation in Daytona. Real-time data of a wide range of parameters including solar irradiance, temperature, wind speed, humidity, and 46 smart PV inverters is continuously being collected and transferred to the Command and Control Center located at the Engineering Center campus under Dr. Sarwat’s supervision.

             

Grid connected Renewable Power Plant at FIU.                                                         PANDORAS facility.

Top-Notch Companies Hire EPS Students

More than 50 students have graduated under Dr. Sarwat and each graduated student is hired at a top company which include the likes of National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Applied Physics Laboratory – Johns Hopkins University, Florida Power & Light, WSP USA, GEIRINA, Acuity Brands, and Quest Global. Many EPS students, including researchers at the undergraduate and graduate levels perform internships with various industry partners and many join with FPL/NextEra. FPL/NextEra has become FIU college of Engineering’s largest hiring source thanks to Dr. Sarwat.

Aditya Sundararajan pursued his Master’s and Ph.D. at the Energy, Power & Sustainability (EPS) Group in FIU’s ECE department.Under the mentorship of Dr. Sarwat, Aditya published his research in renowned journals and conference proceedings during the course of his degrees on machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics for challenges in smart grid situation awareness and renewable integration. Aditya  has joined Oak-Ridge National Lab as a R&D associate staff member.

Yemeserach Mekonnen received her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Florida International University. She was the recipient of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship and NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship. Yemeserach has interned with NASA Johnson Space Center under the Human Research Directory as a space system hardware engineer. She has also interned as an electrical engineer with The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, CA, supporting the Electronics and Power system and Civil and Commercial group. Yemeserach has joined Applied Physics Laboratory – Johns Hopkins University after the graduation.

Avinash Jeewani joined the EPS in Fall 2018 as a Master’s student . He started to work on cybersecurity solutions with a smart grid and further expanding his domain to simulation and synthetic data for critical infrastructure, reliability analysis of grid system, renewable energy generation predictions and gaining some knowledge in Power Systems. Environment and structure at the EPS helped a lot in learning with high-tech systems and the availability of huge datasets.He joined AICINEXT as a Machine Learning Engineer.

Jonathan Sarochar graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from FIU in Fall’2019. His journey  at EPS  led to his first published research led him to delve into areas such as data mining, machine learning, Python, familiarity with utility ADMS software, smart city structure and utility roles, and more—all relevant, practical skills which ultimately secured him a position in the industry. He is currently pursuing a part-time Masters in Computer Engineering under the mentorship of Dr. Arif Sarwat. He is also working at FPL.

Juan Sanfiel has been a member of the EPS Lab since January 2018 as an undergraduate. During his time as an undergraduate he has been working on a bidirectional charging module for electric vehicles. Juan is continuing his studies, pursuing a Master’s Degree while working in the EPS lab. His research interests are renewable energy and power generation/distribution.

Alexander Hernandez received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry at FIU. He worked as a Graduate Research Assistant pursuing his M.S in Electrical Engineering, while under the supervision of Dr. Sarwat. His research involved battery management systems, and their application on various energy storage devices. He has experience in embedded systems and C/C++ programming languages. He is interested in the field of batteries, especially in large scale applications for electric vehicles and grid related infrastructure. Currently he is undecided between a potential job opportunity or to continue his PhD.

We have three dedicated labs for research and testing purposes. Access to data, state-of-art software and cloud-based data management server allows for effective analytics and predictive modeling.The Center for Proactive Analytics and Data-Oriented Research on Availability & Security (PANDORAS) shown in is equipped with multicore central and general-purpose graphical processing units (GP-GPUs) integrated over a secure, isolated network. The EPS has a prototype of 9-bus test-bed system from LabVolt integrated with PV characteristics. EPS conducts processing at all levels- descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive, and cognitive- to understand and offer actionable insights into different scenarios of the grid in near real-time. Such processing models will help the utilities with planning and decision-making at their command and control centers as well.

Research Areas At EPS

  • Smart Grid
  • Smart City
  • High Penetration Renewable Resilient communities
  • Data Analytics
  • Machine Learning  and Artificial Intelligence for Wireless networks.
  • Wireless Cellular and 5G networks
  • Internet of things
  • Critical Infrastructures
  • Cybersecurity
  • Grid Reliability
  • Cyber-Physical Systems
  • Battery Technologies
  • Renewable Microgrid

                                                                                             

 

EPS is determined to break new grounds in research, education, and power distribution by bringing a wide-ranging approach into the way energy is produced and delivered. EPS lab is aspiring to bring clean, efficient, reliable, sustainable, and safe energy solutions to its clients.

OUR FUNDING PARTNERS

Open Post Doc Position at EPS Lab, FIU

Energy Power & Sustainability (EPS) group at FIU invites application for a postdoctoral data-oriented research position in the EPS lab, FIU. Applicants must have knowledge of machine learning, deep learning, Artificial Intelligence and big data analysis. Read more here.