July 2020 Technical Society ZOOM meeting!

12 Jun

When the power grid goes down, that is not the time to be reading by candlelight and trying to decide what to do.

The technical Society speaker on July 13, 2020 will be Dr. Leon Tolbert who will speak on the Reconfigurable Power Grid Emulator . The meeting will be on ZOOM starting at 11:55 AM.

Replay Zoom Meeting:

Dr. Tolbert conducts research in utility applications of power electronics including microgrids, interface with renewable energy sources, medium voltage multilevel converters incorporating silicon carbide power devices, and electric vehicles.  

This presentation will describe a power electronics based hardware testbed that can emulate an electric grid’s generation, loads, storage, and transmission network and perform several real-time scenarios while incorporating real measurement, control, communication, estimation, and actuation in the system.  The system can be used to represent faults, future grids with high levels of renewable penetration, and a multi-terminal HVDC overlay.  

The testbed has been used to represent a future North American grid model that has high penetration levels of renewables (>80%) and also for representing a distribution-level microgrid that has a flexible boundary and multiple points of grid connection.  The tool has been useful in developing control, protection, and measurements needed for the future electric grid.

Also, a brief introduction will be provided about the NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center headquartered at The University of Tennessee called CURENT (Center for Ultrawide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Network).  The goals of CURENT are to develop controls and technology that enable the integration of a high penetration level of renewables into the electric transmission network and to enable wide area monitoring, control, and actuation of the U.S. electric grid.  

Leon M. Tolbert received the Bachelor’s, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech. He worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN, from 1991 until 1999 on electric distribution and power quality projects. He joined the University of Tennessee in 1999, and he is currently the Min H. Kao Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is a founding member for the NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center, CURENT (Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks). He is also an adjunct participant with the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center, ORNL. 

Join Zoom Meeting:

Leon M. Tolbert received his Bachelor’s of Electrical Engineering with highest honors in 1989, his M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1991, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1999 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.He joined the Engineering Divisio of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1991 and worked on several electrical distribution and power quality projects at the three U.S. Department of Energy plants in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1997, he became a Research Engineer in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center (PEEMRC) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Some of his projects included thermal and efficiency modeling for hybrid electric vehicles, development of multilevel inverter PWM methods, and testing methods to approximate electric machine efficiency.In 1999, he was appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he is presently the Min H. Kao Professor in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He served as the Department Head from 2013 through 2018. He does research in the areas of power electronics, application of WBG (SiC and GaN) power devices, multilevel converters, electric vehicles, interface with renewable and distributed energy resources, and reactive power compensation and active filters. He is a founding member and thrust leader for CURENT, the NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center established at UT in 2011. He is also a faculty member in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education (CIRE) .Dr. Tolbert is also an adjunct participant at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Tennessee, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the IEEE Industry Applications SocietyIEEE Power Electronics SocietyIEEE Power and Energy Society, and IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. He was the Review Chair for the Industry Power Converter Committee of the IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications from 2014-2017. He was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics from 2007 – 2012, and was elected to be an At-Large Member of the IEEE Power Electronics Society Advisory Committee for 2010 – 2012. He was the Membership Chair for the IEEE Power Electronics Society from 2011-2012. He was the chairman of the Education Activities Committee of the IEEE Power Electronics Society from 2003-2007. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the 2001 IEEE Industry Applications Society Outstanding Young Member Award. He has had six prize papers: second prize in 1992, first prize in 2006, and second prize in 2013 from the IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting, and a prize paper in 2009 from the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. He has received the following awards at The University of Tennessee: the Charles Ferris Faculty Award in 2019, Moses A. and Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award in 2010, Engineering Research Fellow Award in 2003, 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2017; Chancellor’s Citation for Research and Creative Achievement in 2016, Chancellor’s Multidisciplinary Research Award in 2012, and Chancellor’s Citation for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement in 2003.

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