Power Systems

Power Electronics and Power Systems

Electric power systems are comprised of components that produce electrical energy and transmit this energy to consumers. A modern electric power system has mainly six main components: 1) power plants which generate electric power, 2) transformers which raise or lower the voltages as needed, 3) transmission lines to carry power, 4) substations at which the voltage is stepped down for carrying power over the distribution lines, 5) distribution lines, and 6) distribution transformers which lower the voltage to the level needed for the consumer equipment. The production and transmission of electricity is relatively efficient and inexpensive, although unlike other forms of energy, electricity is not easily stored, and thus, must be produced based on the demand.

NCSU research on electric power systems concentrates on the study of emerging technologies such as power electronics, energy storage, renewable and distributed energy sources on the electric power system operation, control and protection. The research is coordinated through two major centers:

  1. Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM) focuses on development of a smart-grid that will enable anybody to integrate new renewable energy technologies into the power grid for a secure and sustainable future. Research involves development or adoption of new power electronics, communication, and control technologies to demonstrate and prototype such a system. More info is at: http://www.freedm.ncsu.edu/
  2. Advanced Transportation Energy Center (ATEC) focuses on development of fundamental and enabling technologies that will facilitate the electric power industry to actively manage and control large amount of plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) and plug-in electric vehicle (PEV). More info is at: http://www.atec.ncsu.edu/

Associated Courses