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uLink: Decentralized micro-grids through electricity sharing

INFORMATION


  • Focus Area ,
  • Faculty Brian Williams, Rajeev Ram
  • Fellow Wardah Inam, Varun Mehra

Lack of electricity is one of the most pressing concerns in the developing world. Today, about 1 out of every 5 people, i.e. more than 1.3 billion people in the world, do not have access to electricity. This energy poverty affects important aspects of human life: health, education, and economic development.

Isolated grids with captive renewable generation, sometimes called microgrids, hold promise for rapidly expanding access to electricity in rural India. However the cost of designing, building, and operating such grids must be dramatically reduced for them to be widely deployed.

This project aims to enable microgrids to be built in a modular fashion from inexpensive, user-deployed “uLink” interface boxes. uLink grids can be expanded ad hoc to include additional homes, and the power delivered to each home can be increased to keep up with growing demand. The system is also being designed to be grid interactive, so uLink micro-grids can be subsumed into the grid to reach rural communities in the future.

Project Media:

National Geographic: 8 tech breakthroughs of 2015 that could power the world

Bringing microgrids to rural villages

 

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uLink