A new laboratory at the University of Alaska Fairbanks enables realistic testing of power generations systems for Alaska villages. Alaska Center for Energy and Power Director Gwen Holdman says the 5,000 square foot lab can analyze both traditional diesel and alternative energy generation systems.
Holdman says the lab is unique in its ability to mimic an isolated or islanded grid, common in Alaska. She stresses that the lab does not rely on computer simulation, but uses real equipment to act out how generation systems will work in a specific community.
Holdman says the energy lab is enabling the U.A.F. Center to bring together and support diesel, wind, and hydro kinetic programs that have been scattered in various locations. She says the lab is very Alaska focused, but its ability to verify performance of energy systems is drawing interest and contracts from outside Alaska.
Holdman says many 3rd world countries are dealing with similar energy challenges. The new 4 million dollar U.A.F. energy lab is the first component of a planned Energy and Power Center expansion. The next phase is a 30 million dollar office and small lab facility that would consolidate university energy research at one complex. The Center for Energy and Power is funded by government, tribal and private entities.
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