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NDSU researcher earns major award for game-changing wind energy study

Published February 10, 2016

An NDSU assistant professor is conducting research that could change the way the world gets its energy and put North Dakota at the forefront of a more eco-friendly national power grid.

Nilanjan Ray Chaudhuri has received a $502,810 National Science Foundation CAREER award to study an innovative system that could more reliably and efficiently integrate wind energy into the grid.

The CAREER program recognizes junior faculty members for outstanding research, excellent teaching and the ability to combine education and research to further the mission of their university.

“North Dakota is uniquely positioned to lead the wind energy integration efforts in the nation,” said Ray Chaudhuri, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. “The proposed research is very timely and has the potential to act as a gamer changer in solving different energy challenges not only in the U.S., but the rest of the world.”

Ray Chaudhuri’s research focuses on connecting U.S. wind farms to the power system in an alternate way to the current standard. The replacement technology would be more economical, reliable and efficient when transmitting power over long distances, Ray Chaudhuri said.

North Dakota is a leader in wind energy in the United States, and it already has the infrastructure in place to test the alternate power system. This makes the state a perfect place for Ray Chaudhuri’s wind integration study.

The ultimate goal is to efficiently integrate land-based and offshore wind power into the existing U.S. power grid. A recent energy report showed replacing fossil-fuel power with wind energy could save consumers up to $200 a year while eliminating environmentally hazardous carbon dioxide emissions.    

The NDSU research project also will include summer research opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students. No other university in the United States offers similar curriculum, Ray Chaudhuri said.

Ray Chaudhuri will lead STEM workshops at West Fargo Public Schools and a summer camp at NDSU for elementary students.

“Graduate students working on this project will visit the Manitoba High Voltage Direct Current Research Center on an annual basis to gain international research exposure,” Ray Chaudhuri said. “This program will promote teaching, training and learning of high voltage direct current in the graduate program and renewable energy integration in the undergraduate program.”

Ray Chaudhuri’s research is funded by Award No. 1553141 from the National Science Foundation.

Courtesy of University Relations
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 06, 2016 3:00:17 PM