APEP's Key Role in the Irvine Smart Grid Demonstration (ISGD) Project

November 19, 2014

As one of the largest smart grid demonstrations in the county, ISGD is an end-to-end demonstration of advanced smart grid technologies. Led by Southern California Edison and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the role of the Advanced Power and Energy Program at UCI is to conduct critical research, smart grid design simulation and modeling, manage the deployment of the project's electric vehicles, and provide overall coordination of the various UCI groups that are involved in the project. The primary goal of the project is to demonstrate how regional energy providers, local utility companies, and consumers can successfully work together to deploy various smart grid technologies in an integrated framework, that is expected to be more reliable, secure, economic, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly than the grids in use today. The 38 homes participating in the project are made up of four blocks; three blocks include 22 smart grid homes outfitted with smart appliances, solar panels, and electric plug-in vehicles and chargers. The fourth block, comprised of 16 homes, acts as the control group. APEP undergraduate and graduate researchers are using state-of-the-art computer codes developed by UCI engineers to model ISGD's 12 kilovolt circuits, feeder circuits, and transformers within the four housing blocks, as well as tracking the dynamic performance of the homes. The goal is to better understand and improve smart grid behavior, contribute to future smart grid technology, and make contributions to reaching California's Zero Net Energy standards for new housing developments by 2020.