Our research focuses on how to build a smart grid that will maximize the amount
of energy produced from renewable energy sources at a reasonable cost while maintaining the
reliability of the electricity supply at the level to which we have grown accustomed.
From Sweden to South Africa and from China to California, governments are
encouraging the development of renewable sources of electrical energy. Many of these governments
are taking measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels for transportation and heating and are thus
likely to increase the proportion of energy that is consumed in electrical form. Accommodating
these changes in the generation and consumption of electricity will require a fundamental
rethinking in the design and operation of the power grid. A consensus is emerging that many of
these challenges could and should be met primarily through the development of a "smart grid"
rather than simply building more generating plants and more transmission lines.
Recently, we have also focused our research on the resilience of the grid to
natural disasters. In particular, we are investigating the following questions:
How should repair crews be optimally dispatched in the aftermath of a
disaster to minimize the harm done to a community by the absence of electricity?
How should a grid be hardened or restructured to minimize the effects of a
In this context, researchers from the ReaLab have participated in a project
aimed at installing emergency solar + battery nanogrids in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of
Hurricane Maria, with more details in the coverage.
May, 2021. REALab's Ph.D. student Lane Smith is currently working with Breakthrough Energy to create a computationally efficient demand flexibility model for Breakthrough Energy's open-source production cost model. To adequately model future electrification projections, Lane is also collaborating with researchers from Columbia University, UC Irvine, and Texas A&M University. Lane held an internship position with Breakthrough Energy during the summer of 2020.
February, 2021. REALab alumni and a current faculty member at Kuwait University, Dr. Abeer Almaimouni, has designed new teaching slides based on Prof. Kirschen's book "Fundamentals of Power System Economics. (2nd ed)"
June, 2020. REALab 2020 graduate, Ryan Elliott, at the ECE
department before going off to work at Sandia National Laboratories. Congratulations!
April, 2020. Spring Quarter virtual lab meeting during quarantine
May, 2018. Undergraduate students Nathan Hills, Kamil Jiwa, Jerome
George Paliakkara, and Yuxuan Chen (L-R) presented a poster describing their research project
at UW's Undergraduate Research Symposium.
May, 2018. Daniel Kirschen and Baosen Zhang gave presentations at a
joint research symposium with Tsinghua University in Beijing
Sep-Dec 2017.Daniel Olsen visits Tsinghua University. He conducts
research with Professors Kang and Zhang on hot pot and low-carbon campus energy hub design.
Nov, 2017. Welcome our new baby visitor!
Jun, 2017. REAL congratulates four most recent graduates: Yishen
Wang(Ph.D.), Zeyu Wang(Ph.D.), Anna Edwards (M.Sc.), Kevin Morrissey (M.Sc.), and Ryan Hay
Oct, 2016. Group meeting, in which Bolun is presenting his research
during summer internship in ISO New England.
Oct, 2016. Group Photo!
Sep 2016. REAL welcomes a new graduate student, Yao Long (Ph.D.) and
a visitor, Professor Jinjiang Zhang.
June 2016. REAL congratulates four most recent graduates: Mushfiqur
Sarker(Ph.D.), Yury Dvorkin (Ph.D.), Anna Edwards (M.Sc.), Kelly Kozdras (M.Sc.), and James
Oct, 2016. Ricardo's farewell dinner at the Taste of India.
May 2016. REAL welcomes a new visitor - Victoria Guerrero Mestre, a
Ph.D. student at the University of Castilla-La Mancha!
September 2015. REAL welcomes two new visitors - Jingkun Liu (a Ph.D.
student at Thsinghua University) and Kenneth Brunnix (a Ph.D. student at KU Leuven).
September 2015. REAL welcomes new graduate students: Ryan Elliot
(Ph.D.) and Kevin Morrissey (M.Sc.).
September 2015. REAL's undergraduate researchers Phillippe Phanivong
and Josh Monson won the poster contest at the symposium titled "Transforming the Future: A
Symposium on the Science and Technology of Energy Storage in the Pacific Northwest". More information.
September 2015. REAL just hosted the Seminar for the Next Generation
of Researchers in Power Systems. The program and slides are available here.
July 2015. Congratualtions to new mother Ting Qiu, REAL's Ph.D.
student, and her little boy Darren!
June 2015. REAL's Ph.D. students Yishen Wang, Yushi Tan and Zeyu Wang
will spend this summer interning at Argonne National Laboratory.
June 2015. REAL congratulates four most recent graduates: Ahlmahz
Negash (Ph.D.), Agustina Gonzalez (M.Sc.), Drew LaQua (M.Sc.), and Rebecca Breeding (M.Sc.)!
July 2014. Ahlmahz Negash received the prize paper award in the
category "Best Conference Papers on Markets, Economics, and Planning" at the IEEE 2014 Power
and Energy Society General Meeting held in National Harbor, MD. Her paper is titled
"Optimizing Demand Response Price and Quantity in Wholesale Energy Markets."
May 2014. Ahlmahz Negash wins 2nd place prize for "Best Paper
Submitted by PhD Student" at 11th International Conference on the European Energy Market,
Krakow, Poland. Her paper is titled "Compensation of Demand Response in Competitive Wholesale
Markets vs. Retail Incentives".