ME Faculty Candidate Michael Waite Research Seminar
- Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 11:00am
- Cobleigh Hall, Room 429 - view map
Implications of Wind Power Expansion for Operational Needs and Building Systems
Abstract: Long distances between the highest potential variable renewable energy (VRE, namely wind and solar) sites and current energy demands are common. This is reflected in visions of large scale transmission projects across countries and even hemispheres, as well as more general discussion of the need for increased transmission capacity and system operational flexibility within regions. What's less well understood is (a) the other causes of curtailment that could occur even with transmission upgrades at the high VRE capacities envisioned, (b) the effect of the current fleet of baseload generators, including low-carbon nuclear and hydropower, and (c) the geographical distribution of measures to facilitate the integration of VREs on a large scale. Recent research points to benefits of a building and distributed system focus with increasing utility-scale VRE.
This talk will focus on analyses of deep VRE penetration scenarios, with a focus on wind power expansion in New York State. With wind-generated electricity better aligned with current fossil fuel-based heating demands than with current electricity demands, the potential benefits of an integrated approach to building electric and thermal demands will be discussed. This would, in turn, have significant implications for grid reliability measures, electricity generation and distribution systems. Addressing these issues may encourage building- and district-integrated technologies and design approaches with other system benefits while facilitating the transition to deeper wind power penetration.
Bio: Dr. Waite is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University. Dr. Waite’s research relates to energy systems engineering and planning in the transition to a low-carbon energy regime. His research methods include identifying and integrating technologies, analysis of systems from building to regional scales, and optimization models of the overall energy system with increasing use of variable renewable energy. He has developed computational tools to simulate scenarios of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions reductions, including optimal deployment strategies for deep penetration of wind and solar power, electrification of heating, and generation capacity expansion and operation.
Dr. Waite holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University. His dissertation research included analyses of regional energy infrastructure serving a dense urban area with emphasis on opportunities and challenges for wind power, building systems and distributed generation. Dr. Waite is a licensed Professional Engineer and, prior to his doctoral work, he was a building technology design and consulting engineer. During this time, he was a member of the international committee responsible for the most widely used building energy standard.
- Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering