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Clarkson professor receives energy grid design grant

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POTSDAM — A Clarkson University professor’s research into “smart grid” technology has received a boost from the National Science Foundation.

The NSF has given Lei Wu, assistant professor in electrical engineering, a $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development award. Mr. Wu is embarking on a five-year project that will provide a blueprint as the United States updates its electrical grid to handle input from renewable energy sources.

Unlike coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power, wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy are volatile, lacking reliable output. The energy grid of the future will have to adjust to increases and decreases in energy output in real time.

The grant will fund two doctoral students to assist with the development of mathematical algorithms to find favorable sites for renewable energy facilities. The students may travel to high schools over the course of the grant, through August 2018, to teach power systems concepts to students.

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