UCF Wired to Teach Digital Power Grid

Originally published in the Orlando Sentinel
Kevin Spear
March 1, 2017

Matt Aberman demonstrates Siemens’ software

Grids are getting brainier or more computerized and capable of swifter decisions and actions than those that humans can now handle. That’s why the giant engineering firm Siemens has invested $750,000 to open a small but highly wired classroom at the University of Central Florida to teach students how to run a digital grid.

Seated at a computer in another classroom, Matt Aberman, a graduate student in electrical engineering demonstrated Siemens’s software.

Aberman showed how students will have simulated control of UCF grid factors that include weather, output of a small power plant, the cost of electricity from Duke Energy and a campus that serves the nation’s second largest student body. Aberman said the classroom’s simulated controls of a grid are cutting-edge but many of the features are used by industry now. “That’s going to want to make students want to engage and learn,” he said.

UCF’s Foundations for Engineering Education for Distributed Energy Resources (FEEDER) is one of three consortia in GEARED’s Distributed Technology Training Consortia (DTTC) under the leadership of Dr. Zhihua Qu, University of Central Florida SAIC Endowed Professor and Chair.

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Image: Kevin Spear