smerc_logo_hi-resThe University of California, Los Angeles has a Smart Grid Energy Research Center (perhaps more commonly known as SMERC), which works on developing the next generation electric utility grid – the Smart Grid –  through research, innovation, and demonstration of advanced technologies. SMERC also provides thought leadership in the area of energy through its partnerships with stakeholders from various sectors, such as utilities, government, technology providers, etc. According to the vision of SMERC, the Smart Grid of the future would allow for integration of renewable energy sources and of electric vehicles; reduction of losses and of power outages;  improved efficiency and grid flexibility; and a more competitive electricity pricing system that can become more responsive to market, consumer and societal needs.

SMERC has the following projects:

A network platform technology that allows electricity operated appliances to be wirelessly monitored, connected and controlled via a Smart Wireless hub.

A technology research program aims to showcase different levels and modalities of automation in load curtailment, control models and secure messaging schemes, leveraging multiple communication technologies and maintaining interoperability between the Smart Grid automation architecture layers.

  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Integration into the Grid with WINSmartEVTM 

A project targets at reducing energy cost and usage and at increasing the stability of local power system by managing the charging operations of the EVs using networked smart communications and control technology.

In buildings, open urban spaces, and across electric poles.

Other projects by SMERC include…

  • Battery and Storage Integration and Aggregation
  • Renewable Integration
  • Cyber Security
  • Microgrid Technologies
  • Customer Response
  • Interoperability of Architecture, Application, Data, Communications, and Security

To learn more, please go to the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center.  Related course and student projects are also listed.