Innovative microgrid training boot camp at ASU

asu-lightworks-microgridsGlobal capacity of microgrids is expected to grow by 500% over the next ten years for applications such as the military, remote villages, telecom, campuses and industrial parks, mines, communities, buildings, and commercial and industrial centers. In May, LightWorks® – in collaboration with NEPTUNE’s Micro-Grid Project lead by Nathan Johnson – hosted a micro-grid boot camp for civilian and military application. This boot camp has trained 25 US Veterans to date, with plans to expand training to hundreds of people per year. The one-week program couples simulation-based design with hands-on integration to provide an “all-inclusive” approach to microgrid education. Two Veteran graduates from the program have been hired into Dr. Johnson’s research laboratory to work on design, fabrication and control of 1 kW to 100 kW micro-grids focused on providing power to 1.4 billion people without electricity. The global capacity of clean, local power microgrids installations is expected to grow five times by 2025. NEPTUNE’s Micro-Grid Project has developed a suite of solutions for on-grid and off-grid power applications that accommodate residential, commercial and industrial sectors. “My research team seeks to create public and private good by developing new research and intellectual property, testing solutions in our Microgrid Testbed, and then building prototypes for commercial and humanitarian applications,” says Dr. Johnson, Director of the Laboratory for Energy and Power Solutions (LEAPS) that is home to 20 researchers. Additional work by the group includes exploration of resilient infrastructure design, building energy management, distributed energy resources and mobile microgrids. All projects leverage public-private partnerships to drive energy innovations from concept to construction. On-site deployment, testing and scale-up of technologies are completed in conjunction with corporations, small-scale entrepreneurs or NGOs to spur business development. As Bill Brandt, Director of Strategic Integration at LightWorks®, explains, “What we’re trying to do at ASU, is help veterans leverage their skill sets with new learning that will help them with their careers.”