Visible to the public CPS: Medium: LoCal - A Network Architecture for Localized Electrical Energy Reduction, Generation and Sharing

Project Details
Lead PI:Randy Katz
Co-PI(s):David Culler
Seth Sanders
Eric Brewer
Performance Period:09/01/09 - 08/31/13
Institution(s):University of California at Berkeley
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Project URL:
Outcomes Report URL:
Award Number:0932209
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Abstract: The objective of this research is to understand how pervasive information changes energy production, distribution and use. The design of a more scalable and flexible electric infrastructure, encouraging efficient use, integrating local generation, and managing demand through awareness of energy availability and use over time, is investigated. The approach is to develop a cyber overlay on the energy distribution system in its physical manifestations: machine rooms, buildings, neighborhoods, isolated generation islands and regional grids. A scaled series of experimental energy networks will be constructed, to demonstrate monitoring, negotiation protocols, control algorithms and Intelligent Power Switches integrating information and energy flows in a datacenter, building, renewable energy: farm", and off-grid village. These will be generalized and validated through larger scale simulations. The proposal's intellectual merit is in understanding broadly how information enables energy efficiencies: through intelligent matching of loads to sources, via various levels of aggregation, and by managing how and when energy is delivered to demand, adapted in time and form to available supply. Bi-directional information exchange is integrated everywhere that power is transferred. Broader impacts include training diverse students, such as undergraduates and underrepresented groups, in a new interdisciplinary curriculum in information and energy technologies. Societal impact is achieved by demonstrating dramatic reductions in the carbon footprint of energy and its overall usage, greater penetration of renewables while avoiding additional fossil fuel plants, and shaping a new culture of energy awareness and management. The evolution of Computer Science will be accelerated to meet the challenges of cyber-physical information processing.