Interns present at North American Power Symposium
November 16, 2023
Four ACEP interns presented at the 55th annual North American Power Symposium, which happened Oct. 15-17, in Asheville, NC. This year’s conference theme was “Broadening participation in sustainable power engineering, technology and education.”
The interns in attendance included Audrey Eikenberry, Cathy Hou, Dallas Fisher and Gus Lewis. They all worked as interns in 2023 under the mentorship of Phylicia Cicilio.
Eikenberry and Hou presented a poster titled “Synthetic rural Alaskan microgrid model validation metrics.” They analyzed existing power models and data sets of rural Alaska power infrastructure. Using different modeling software, they generated these metrics to validate the model as well as to inform other researchers about the general infrastructure of Alaska microgrids. Their work is part of the synthetic microgrid project that Cicilio and her team are currently building, which aims to generate models of rural Alaska communities using available data and power systems software.
“There is so much to learn from these communities that have all taken different approaches to creating dependable power systems in the face of economic and climate challenges,” reflected Eikenberry.
Fisher’s poster, “Novel long duration energy storage options for Alaska's Railbelt electrical grid,” displayed technical options for energy storage solutions for the Alaska Railbelt transmission system, commonly known as the Railbelt. The Railbelt is the largest electrical grid in Alaska, covering nearly 700 miles from south to Interior, and supplies power to 75% of the state’s population. ACEP’s Railbelt Decarbonization project team is seeking ways to save energy produced by variable renewable energy sources during valley loads, or periods of low energy demand, for the grid. The poster explained Fisher’s summer research, specific long-duration energy storage options that would best fit the Railbelt, and how it was modeled.
Presenting research at NAPS was a valuable experience for Fisher.
“It was really cool being able to represent ACEP at a conference where so many people were interested in hearing the people from Alaska. Being able to take some time to network with other researchers, companies and students made for a really fun and successful event," he said.
Lewis also worked on the Railbelt Decarbonization project during his internship and presented his poster, “Small nuclear reactor options for Alaska's Railbelt electric grid.”