Summer 2017 Research Planning Workshop
August 7-8, 2017

The Center for Advanced Power Engineering Research (CAPER) is a membership driven consortium among several universities and numerous industry partners created to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive and integrated methodology for grid modernization.
On August 7-8, 2017, CAPER held the annual Summer Research Planning Workshop. 

Location: Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park hotel in Asheville, NC 

Attendees (complete list provided upon request)
There were

  • 32 industry and government
  • 19 university faculty
  • 6 students

Workshop Highlights
Workshop began at 8:00 am, Monday, August 7, 2017.  Steven Whisenant started the meeting with an Introduction and Safety Moment.

  • Steve stated the Objectives of this Summer Research Planning Workshop shared recent In the News Headlines concerning the power industry.

Grid Stability as the Power Generation Mix Changes by Eric John, ABB FACTS

  • Generation mix is changing – natural gas equal to coal generation in 2016.
  • More coal plants facing retirement mainly driven by age and regulations
  • Wind and solar generation rapidly increasing
  • Reserve margins decreasing slightly
  • Renewables increase need for Agile Ramping Power – ramping power as a commodity
  • Reduced short circuit levels due to large amount of renewables will have an impact on
    • Relay protection systems
    • Level of harmonics in the grid
    • Level of voltage dips and post fault voltage recovery profiles
    • Increased potential of commutation failure of HVDC
  • The reduction in strength of the system may potentially cause the network resonance to shift towards lower order harmonics, causing amplification of voltage distortion
  • Recovery of the voltage to pre-fault levels for a weak system will require fast acting shunt equipment providing sufficient reactive power support to avoid voltage collapse

The keynote presentation is available to the public (above). All following presentations, delivered in the various sessions, are available on the Members-Only Section of this website.

Session I – System Dynamic Performance with Low Inertia Sources

  • Grid Stability and Dynamic Performance 501: Graduate Level by Jesse Leonard – Clemson
  • Will Low Inertia Sources Affect Stability and How Will it be Provided in the Future by Ralph Masiello – Quanta Technology
  • Grid Forming vs Grid Following by Alex Huang – NC State

Session II –  State of Energy Storage

  • Energy Storage Technologies and Application Roadmap by Johan Enslin – Clemson
  • Current State of Batteries and Next Generation Technologies by Andrew Kling – Duke Energy
  • Applications and Associated Benefits of Energy Storage by Ralph Masiello – Quanta Technology

Session III – Cybersecurity – Compliance, Detection and Mitigation of Cyber Attacks

  • Top Ten Elements of Enterprise CIP Program Management by Chad Cowan – Duke Energy
  • Security and Resiliency for Energy Management Systems by Ehab Al-Shaer – UNC Charlotte
  • Detecting Cyber Attacks Before the Attack by Jeff Hahn – GE
  • OT / IT Cybersecurity Development at Southern Company by Steve Sanders – Southern Company
  • Measuring and Evaluating Automated Responses by Rita Foster – Idaho National Lab
  • Next Generation Cyber Detection and Mitigation Responses by David Lawrence – Duke Energy
  • Geo-Authentication Using Low Earth Orbit by Joe Cordaro – Savannah River National Lab
  • A lively Panel Session concluded Session III.

Reception and Dinner –
Bonnie Tyler Had it Almost Right – Total Eclipse of the Sun
by Sam Holeman – Duke Energy

Next day – Session IV – PMU Data Applications in Grid Operations

  • Event Detection and Short-Term Voltage Stability Assessment by Kat Sico – Duke Energy
  • Voltage Stability Applications by Timothy Gubitz – Duke Energy
  • PMU Deployment for Enhanced Protection and Control by Dino Lelic – Quanta Technology
  • PMU Cost Benefit Studies by Dino Lelic – Quanta Technology
  • A Panel Q&A session concluded Session IV

Session V Energy Policy & Economics

  • Energy Economics 101 – A Primer on the Economics and Markets of Energy by Wesley Burnett – College of Charleston
  • Energy Economics and Policy: New Directions by Christopher ​Galik – NC State
  • Regulations and Policy Governing Renewable Integration and Operations by Jason Martin – Duke Energy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis for​ DER Integration: A Case Study by Mesut Baran – NC State

 Session VI – 2018 Research Planning Session

  • In this session there were five Breakout Groups , one for each of the five CAPER Research Themes. Each Group took 90 minutes to discuss topics for future research projects in their respective themes.
  • At 3:15 pm each Breakout Group reported on their discussions. Research topics are summarized below:

Power Delivery Infrastructure and Systems
Facilitated by Gregg Turbeville – Santee Cooper
       Topics of interest:

  • PMU
  • Asset Management
  • Renewable Integration
  • T&D Automation
  • Grid Resiliency
  • Physical and Cyber Security

Research questions:

  1. How do we bring value out the PMU infrastructure? Added value to control centers.
  2. Use of PMU/Power quality to capture DER interactions at the distribution level (harmonics)
  3. Cyber security strategy for substation protection (resiliency, redundancy, economically)
  4. Grid Resiliency Under Extreme Events – Project 821 – case study on 8/21/2017.
  5. How to manage energy storage as a utility asset? How operations affects life cycles, operating procedures, requisitions, evaluation standards, real-time monitoring and required data gathering.
  6. Predictive analysis of life cycle changes in specific distribution equipment/assets in the presence of DER. Mitigating changes in prescribed maintenance.
  7. Cyber hardening of edge devices.
  8. Coordination of utility Volt/Var with smart inverters and controllable transformers.
  9. Comparison of combustion turbines vs utility-owned PV systems for frequency control.
  10. Integrated CAPER Testbed – universities and Duke Energy Holly Mountain (5 locations).Applications areas: renewable modeling, cyber security

Energy Policy, Markets and Economics – facilitated by Mesut Baran – NC State
Areas for research:

  1. Viability/Resiliency of infrastructures (power grid, water etc.) under extreme stress such as a hurricane
  2. Hidden cost of DER integration (for both regulated or deregulated utilities)
  3. DER causes stranded assets in a regulated utility
  4. How to avoid fixing long-term problems with short-term solutions, as moving from long-term investment to short term investment is causing price volatility
  5. Can utility help customers to overcome first cost barriers.
  6. How storage investments should be recovered – different ownership models.
  7. Retail market / transactive energy models: assessment is needed
  8. Design of pricing mechanisms for demand response
  9. How to develop Regulation framework that is technology agnostic

Data Management, Analytics and Security – facilitated by Mike Mazzola – UNC Charlotte
Areas of interest:

  1. Concern that “adversaries are already in the firmware” of various intelligent electronic devices as reported during the INL briefing of the previous day. However, after discussion it was decided that the technical activities required were of such a meticulous and system specific nature that a CAPER research project topic was probably better sought from other potential issues.
  2. The issue of authentication and authorization (A&A) of actors participating in critical infrastructure data exchanges, such as phasor measurement unit (PMU) data streams.
  3. The combination of massive data quantities and high data rates associated with the new PMU networks is an “interesting” problem that represents a compelling challenge.
  4. There is still time to perform meaningful university research on the problem of cyber security of PMU data streams because utilization of this data is still at a very early stage utility control systems.
  5. Using geo-specific authentication using low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite networks as a natural method for the geographically distributed PMU systems.
  6. Research current cyber security protocols and methods currently being applied to PMU data networks for an assessment of vulnerability.

Power Generation, Storage and Integration – facilitated by Johan Enslin – Clemson
Areas of interest:

  1. Location and value in location of storage
  2. Integrated with distribution and transmission planning process – helps with value planning
  3. During winter peak in the morning and dip in the afternoon. Will it be beneficial to store the energy ?
  4. Location, siting of storage, underground storage, storage unit in the size of transformer to hang it on a pole
  5. Distributed storage and grid edge. Better to have closer to the load for voltage storage. But it may not be a good idea have a big storage unit near the house. Maybe tesla Powerwall.
  6. Grid edge, behind the meter, where? If the utility can control the battery for a demand spike then it may be something that they are interested in. Emergency needs and reserve.
  7. Predict a day ahead and schedule charging
  8. Would reusing the EV batteries still be possible?
  9. Battery end of life
  10. How can we efficiently recycle? What is the real life time, what are the reuse cases?
  11. How many EV’s needed in the parking lot to alleviate the problems in the grid? Smart park is a parking lot with EVs with 25 kw power.
  12. How can we integrate Vehicles to Grids ?
  13. Hybrid energy storage – ultra caps and lithium ions; lithium ion and pumped hydro
  14. If we have a lot of distributed assets, is transient stability still a concern at the distribution level?
  15. EMP – What do we need to protect and what do you need to protect from?
  16. Lot of electronics on the grid. If we have an EMP issue then the impact is going to be very big! Is this a real concern?
  17. Design Resilient systems
  18. We need more distributed. Distributed intelligence into the distribution system to help improve the system’s resilience.
  19. Improving performance of inverters to improve power and efficiency.
  20. With increasing solar penetration, load forecasting is difficult. Being able to separate load from energy forecast that can help planning especially behind the meter.
  21. Faster voltage regulation, central vs distributed voltage regulation
  22. Hydro seems to be a new thing. Is it consistent or does it have intermittency issues?
  23. What is the future for nuclear? Big nuke is out but what about small nuke?
  24. How can facilities in the universities be used for industry partners and their benefits?
  25. Sharing RTDSs between schools. Fourteen racks of RTDS that can work together from all three universities.
  26. How do we integrate the models and ensure representation of actual system ?
  27. Opal RT and typhoon and modeling has time scale issues. Fast scale vs slow scale dynamics. How to make both of them happen without compromising?

Power Utilization and Energy Efficiency – facilitated by Ning Lu – NC State
Research topics:

  1. Customer Engagement
  2. Automation
  3. Address generation differences
  4. Address socio-economic differences
  5. Price signals
  6. Do we need different rates?
  7. Make changes happen
  8. Encourage participation: Join
  9. Do not discourage participants: stay
  10. Technical advancement: convenience, easy to use, cool and fun, performance contracting
  11. Not alone: Game/competition/Informed
  12. Economics: Customized rates/rewards/tax break
  13. Mitigate Possible Negative Impacts
  14. Fairness and Accessibility
  15. Utilities (maintain system reliability, lose revenue, stay in business)
  16. Public safety
  17. Privacy/security/safety

Research Solicitation Process and timeline were discussed by Steve Whisenant. Deadline for submittal of proposals for the 2017 Research Solicitation is October 20.

Proposals must be in the CAPER Proposal Template which is available through Site Co-Directors. Proposals are limited to 5 pagers and must include at least two Universities and list two industry advisors.

Proposals must be sent to Center Director, Johan Enslin, by midnight October 20 at

Next CAPER IAB Meeting – November 9-10, 2017
The next CAPER meeting will be November 9-10, 2017 at NC State in Raleigh, NC.
Details will follow but please mark your calendar now to attend.