National Science Foundation Workshop


Advanced Power Conditioning for Alternate Energy Systems



May 28-29, 2008

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Gaithersburg, MD




Co-sponsored by: Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory




Agenda- updated on May 27, 2008

Hotel Information - updated on May 20, 2008

Maps - Meeting Location, NIST-Hotel, NIST-Dinner Place




1. Background

The alternate energy sources such as wind, solar and fuel cell have attracted tremendous attention and have been considered to be the energy sources for the future.  These sources require power conditioning as the core technology to efficiently convert the energy to useful power and make connection to the utility grid.  The PV and fuel cell source is variable dc.  The wind generator output can be dc or ac depending on the type of the wind generator but is also variable.  In order for these sources to be practically used, especially to produce the line frequency ac voltage, one-stage or multiple-stage power conversion is necessary.  The multiple-stage power conditioning system typically involves a dc-dc or dc-ac converter that can be used to isolate or boost the variable low-voltage input to a constant high-voltage dc output and a dc-ac inverter that can produce sinusoidal output for either standalone or grid-tie mode operation. Similar power conditioning systems are also required for the grid energy storage systems often associated with alternative energy sources, as well as for advanced power transmission/distribution systems involving FACTS and HVDC transmission.   The workshop will bring together the interested parties from industry, government, and academia to identify power conditioning challenges and educational needs associated with alternate energy systems and the power grid.  The results of the discussion will be used by NSF to prioritize the research topics and funding opportunities. 


The planned invitees from industries include the energy source producers and power electronics equipment manufacturers for those energy sources including fuel cell, solar photovoltaic, and wind generation manufacturers.  Electric utilities interested in grid interconnection of renewable and distributed energies are also included.  The invitees from government agencies are those who involve in the development and usages of power conditioning equipment related to alternate energies, energy storage, and distributed generation.  The invitees from academia are those who teach and perform research in the power electronics and renewable and distributed energy areas.  A workshop organizing committee has been formed, and a technical committee will be assembled to recommend the invitees and finalize the workshop agenda.  The workshop will be conducted in two days and organized with group discussions.  The discussion results will be assembled and summarized as the NSF document by the workshop committee. 


2. NSF Workshop Objectives

The activities of the workshop are to:

  • Identify power conditioning research topics necessary for alternate energy systems
  • Identify relevant educational needs
  • Prioritize research topics for NSF



The workshop will be held during May 28-29, 2008 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We expect about 50 invited participants representing government, industry and universities.


Possible presentaton and discussion topics include:


  1. High megawatt design issues. 
  2. Modeling and simulation issues.
  3. Utility interconnect and power flow control issues.
  4. Power electronics circuit and control techniques to tackle different energy source characteristics




3. Organizing Committee of the NSF Workshop


            Dagmar Niebur, National Science Foundation

Allen Hefner, National Institute of Standards and Technology

            Frank Holcomb, US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory

            Sam Biondo, Department of Energy

            Ron Wolk, WITS

Jason Lai, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 

Saifur Rahman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 


4. Workshop Chair and Co-chair


Jason Lai, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 

Saifur Rahman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 




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