Cisco and Resnick Sustainability Institute Working Towards Improved Future Power System Architectures
SAN JOSE, CA – May 1, 2013
The Cisco Connected Energy Networks business unit is working with the Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech on important research toward a clean distributed energy future. Cisco’s long history in distributed networks is combined with Resnick’s deep expertise in complex scientific problem-solving. Together, they are discussing ways to allow optimal energy use in the long term.
“While we have decades of experience in engineering networks and deep relationships with energy providers around the globe,” said Dr. Jeff Taft, chief architect and distinguished engineer, Cisco Connected Energy Networks business unit, “the Resnick Institute can call upon some of the most creative scientific minds in the world to address the enigmatic challenges of energy distribution over the coming decades. Together, our goal is to conquer one of the most complex issues in long term sustainability.”
Taft explained that the parties are discussing a distributed control architecture for reliable and efficient electric systems and new distributed-market designs by blending economic principles with physical engineering laws.
“Energy systems management will change dramatically over the next few decades,” explained Dr. Harry Atwater, Resnick Institute Director and Howard Hughes Professor of Physics at Caltech. “Alternative energies that are coming on line have very different dynamics from the traditional forms of the late 20th century. And at the same time energy usage is changing dramatically and in new ways from data centers around the world to electric vehicle usage and self-sufficient power use. All of these lead to the need for a new, more unconventional look at sustainable power systems as well as entirely new ways of looking at the usage.”
The Resnick Institute can bring together two very different kinds of expertise: optimization of network systems and the economics of distributed markets to manage future power systems. “Many organizations have one or the other expertise, but because Resnick Institute is part of the cross-catalytic environment of Caltech, the results are unique,” explained Dr. Taft.
To date, the discussions between Cisco and the Resnick Institute have focused on a number of areas. These include models to assess the impact of rooftop solar, new algorithms for managing complex power systems, and work that proposes an ultra-large-scale grid control architecture to achieve public policy goals for distributed energy.
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About The Resnick Sustainability Institute
The Resnick Institute is Caltech’s studio focused on the breakthroughs that will change the balance of the world’s sustainability. It marries bold creativity and deep scientific knowledge by encouraging original thinking and orthogonal ideas. The Resnick Institute works with some of the world’s top and emerging scientists – at the California Institute of Technology and beyond. Current projects at the Resnick Institute include research into energy generation, such as advanced photovoltaics, photoelectrochemical solar fuels, cellulosic biofuels, and wind energy system design; energy conversion work on batteries and fuel cells; and energy efficiency and management such as fuel efficient vehicles, green chemical synthesis, thermoelectric materials, and advanced research on electrical grid control and distribution.