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In the Spotlight...

Andrea A. Mammoli, Ph.D.

FINAL Mammoli photo webAndrea A. Mammoli, Ph.D.
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Director, Center for Emerging Energy Technologies
The University of New Mexico

Dr. Mammoli has disclosed 12 inventions, received one issued U. S. patent, and has four pending patent applications for his energy system technologies. He has several research and development agreements with the DOE, PNM, Sandia National Labs, and the Japanese energy research and development agency NEDO to develop his energy management system technologies. Dr. Mammoli and his co-inventors developed many of these technologies for the smart-grid test site at Mesa del Sol, a joint effort among these groups and Japanese industry. In 2012, Dr. Mammoli and his co-inventor received gap funding from STC’s gap fund program, to develop their fault prediction and detection technology for solar hot water systems.

Electricity production research is focused on moving away from a primarily fossil fuel resource to carbon-free renewable energy. To allow this shift, the electric power grid needs to be modified in its most basic operating principle—from generation following load to a system where load and generation cooperate with each other through automated controls, with storage serving to decouple the two when necessary. Energy systems research includes elements of control theory, simulation of collective system behavior, and experimental verification.  The ability to integrate increasing amounts of renewable energy into the power grid rests on the development of new storage and control technologies, which are reliable, robust and cost-effective.

Dr. Mammoli’s micro-grid control system technology is a method of forecasting solar energy irradiance potential and subsequent photovoltaic output in a region. In addition, this invention includes adaptive resonance theory (ART) which is a type of neural network system that assesses cloud patterns to determine future solar irradiance. ART can be used to analyze whole-house records to produce information for a solar hot-water system. His PV battery storage technology is a novel algorithm aimed at firming the power from PVs by controlled charging and discharging of a battery energy storage system. This allows energy to be delivered in a predictable manner with maximum economic benefit by delivering power when it is most valuable to the system. His distributed energy technology is a system and method for integrating distributed energy resources on a power distribution feeder. This invention is comprised of two or more distributed energy sources (one of which is a renewable energy source), a control device, a power distribution feeder, and an energy storage system. Each of these energy sources can be integrated to perform various functions, such as controlling multiple thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs) to adjust power levels on a power distribution feeder. These technologies are scalable, economically efficient and environmentally friendly.

With increasing amounts of solar energy being integrated into the electric power grid, solving the problems of solar intermittency, distribution, and storage through energy system technologies will be key to transforming the way utilities provide power in the future.

Dr. Mammoli’s research interests focus on energy systems, beginning with a project to refurbish and modernize the solar-assisted HVAC in the UNM Mechanical Engineering Department building. This initial effort spun off many related projects, dealing with the interaction between buildings and the electric power grid, especially concerning how buildings can enable higher levels of renewable energy from all sources. Dr. Mammoli collaborates with the utility industry and national laboratories (Sandia, Berkeley and Los Alamos) on various demonstration projects and test beds to bring new technologies to the marketplace.

Issued U. S. Patent

7,416,903, Wavy Interface Mixer, issued August 26, 2008

Pending Patent Applications

Systems and Methods for Distributing Power Using Photovoltaic Resources and a Shifting Battery System
Systems and Methods for Integrating Distributed Energy Resources
Apparatus and Method for Solar Energy Resource Micro-Forecasts for Solar Generation Sources and Utilities
Residential-Sized Thermal Storage System

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