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Building the smart grid of the future: UCLA teams with Korea's energy research institute


With major funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Gadh and his colleagues from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science are leading the charge to build and test innovative smart-grid technologies that could lead to major breakthroughs for power infrastructure and reliability.

And now, UCLA Engineering has entered into a 10-year partnership with the government-supported Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) in South Korea to collaborate on smart-grid research and the development of new technologies with the aim of creating a robust smart grid on an international level.

As part of that effort, Gadh’s team is using the campus — in particular, Boelter Hall and the Engineering IV and V buildings — as an experimental lab to observe how wireless sensing and control systems can help create the smart grid. They are retrofitting these structures with cutting-edge sensors and smart meters that can, for example, gauge and adjust the amount of power needed in a room at a particular time of day and control appliances, lights, and heating and air-conditioning systems depending on energy pricing or power availability on the grid.