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.

Multiple efforts in the area of smart grid implementations are ongoing and there the benefits are measured by making the system more reliable, secure and sustainable. The benefits from smart grid implementation have many times maximally only linked with smart meters. However, smart grid is much more than applications that derive from advance metering infrastructure. To attain higher levels of reliability, security and sustainability more work to be done. To achieve higher levels of reliability, security and sustainability more research is ongoing/planned on the issues such as how the penetration of renewable mix onto grid affects the reliability of the grid, benefits of injecting power at right point, ruggedness of smart grid equipment under natural disasters, design and implementation of applications such as Vehicle to Grid, Micro distributed generations and low voltage PV Integration. For detailed information please click on ‘Projects’. Various initiatives are being researched, demonstrated and implemented at the EPS.

Mission Statement of EPS

“Bring interdisciplinary team of researchers, industry partners and community to address challenges in energy, power, environment and policy making; design & develop inventive solutions, to train next generation professionals with industry and state collaboration on education and research.”

Best paper Award Presented to Dr. Arif Sarwat and his Students at the Resilience Week 2017

Dr-Sarwatand-EPS

Three researchers from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering were recently presented with a Best Symposium Paper Award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Resilience Week in Wilmington, Delaware.

Arif Sarwat, associate professor and director of both the FPL-FIU Solar Facility and Energy, Power & Sustainability group (EPS); Longfei Wei, doctoral student and researcher from the EPS Lab; and Aditya Sundararajan, doctoral student and researcher from the EPS Lab were the authors of the winning paper, titled A Distributed Intelligent Framework for Electricity Theft Detection Using Benford’s Law and Stackelberg Game.

Sarwat and his team’s research proposes a distributed intelligent framework for electricity theft detection. Using big data analytic and game theoretic methods, Sarwat and the researchers from the EPS group address the increasing concerns of smart meter energy consumption tampering and fraud. The work was validated using real-world datasets to enhance its applicability. Co-authors of the winning paper include Saroj Biswas, professor of Temple University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Erfan Ibrahim, center director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Best paper Award Presented to Dr. Arif Sarwat and his Students at the Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean energy 2017

Another Best Paper award was announced for the EPS group this past July at the 2017 Advisory Board & Editorial Board Meeting of Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy (MPCE) held in Chicago, Illinois. Arif Sarwat, Mohammadhadi Amini, Alexander Domijan Jr., Aleksander Damjanovic and Faisal Kaleem were presented with the MPCE Best Paper Award for the best paper in the MPCE journal in 2016 for their work titled, Weather-based Interruption Prediction in the Smart Grid Utilizing Chronological Data.

The research presented in the paper shows the development of a tool that can predict in short and long term the number of failures and power interruptions that could happen on an electric smart grid system in a region. The Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy is committed to presenting academic achievements in the fields of modern power systems and clean energy by international engineers and researchers.

Internship Story

Name: Longfei Wei

Hometown: Tangshan, Hebei Province, China

What is your major? Electrical and computer engineering

Where did you intern? I interned at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) located in Lemont, Illinois. Lemont is a suburb of Chicago.

What did you do there? I worked as a computational engineer for the Energy System (ES) Division, which conducts applied research to strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and enable energy independence and national security. During the internship period, I mainly worked with ANL research professionals to test the renewable energy resources, especially solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind in the current power system, and collect their power measurement data. Using the information collected, we developed machine learning algorithms to forecast the future renewable energy generation and detect the abnormal events for the system protection and self-healing. The result will be announced in ANL’s annual report.

How did you get your internship? In the first year of my doctorate, I worked as a volunteer for the 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) International Conference on smart grid communication organized by my supervisor, Arif Sarwat, associate professor for FIU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Luckily, I had a meeting with several scientists from ANL. We were still in contact after the conference and they were helpful for research discussion. In fall 2017, I found the internship information on the ANL website and submitted my application.

What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process? Except for traditional industry internship opportunities, the national laboratory is another good option for the undergraduate/graduate students who want to participate in cutting-edge research and develop a skill set for the next stage. For example, the Department of Energy’s (DoE) national laboratories provide various internship opportunities every year, such as the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program, Student Research Participation (SRP) program and Professional Career Internship (PCI) program. In addition, participating in academic conferences is an important way for students to connect with professionals in a specific field. Be confident to voice your opinion and demonstrate your work.

What projects did you work on? Due to the nature of intellectual property, I cannot discuss specific projects, but I can discuss what I did in general. I worked with several ANL scientists for a DoE project regarding the distributed energy resources (DERs) in the current power system. First, we collected and preprocessed the large-scale DER datasets including solar, wind and battery bank for analysis. Then, we would formulate the mathematical models and machine learning algorithms for optimizing, operating and managing the DERs. Finally, the formulated models can be trained using the preprocessed dataset. Our work will be delivered to industry companies for real-world simulation and evaluation.

How did your internship connect back to your coursework? The internship project at ANL was related to implementing a variety of electrical engineering operation mechanisms and machine learning algorithms to derive the high penetration of renewable energy resources in the future power system, which fits well with my courses and dissertation work in the current power system operation. Moreover, the internship provided me with an opportunity to extend the knowledge and concepts learned from the electrical and computer engineering courses to the real world.

What was the coolest thing about your internship or that happened during your internship? This winter, Chicago had the largest amount of snow fall since 2015, and my car parked outside was always and completely covered by snow. Now I have obtained the skill set to live in a city with a real winter.

What did you like most about your experience? The best experience of being an intern at ANL was working with the research professionals besides the professors. They are smart and helpful. Since we had a similar education background and research area, we could have an in-depth discussion of the current project. We also shared a passion for the NBA, traveling and Chicago lifestyle.

What did you learn about yourself? The knowledge gained and skills acquired through this internship are things that complemented and enhanced the education I’ve obtained at school. I began to apply my academic knowledge to the industry. More importantly, I confirmed that the research field I am pursuing is where my passion is. It was great to see funding from the Department of Energy increase in this area. More and more students and scientists began to join in this cutting-edge research. Therefore, I would like to continue my current work and research after graduation.

How did the position increase your professional confidence? Working with the top research scientists in ANL through this internship helped me feel more comfortable and confident for my future work and even career plan. First, this internship provided me with technical and soft skills that are required in the job search. For example, having access to the most advanced power system equipment and software at ANL increased my confidence. Plus, I have a clearer understanding of the current development and future of my research area, which makes me more confident in my career planning.

How did you expand your professional network? First, by participating in the annual IEEE general meeting in my research area, which was a good opportunity to meet with research professionals and industry experts from around the world. Secondly, the activities organized by local industry companies gave me support to get access to the culture of a company. For example, the FIU solar project helped me to get to know a lot of industry experts at FIU and I found out about renewable energy areas in Florida.

How did it help you prove yourself in the “real-world?” The internship made me realize that I can work with top scientists at ANL. It also reminded me that I am not done. There is more to do to get to where I want to be and to achieve my personal goals.

For Further Information, Please Contact

DR. ARIF SARWAT
Email: asarwat[at]fiu[dot]edu
Director of the FIU-FPL Solar Research Power Plant
&
Energy, Power & Sustainability (EPS)
Phone: (305)348-4941