University of St. Thomas microgrid could be power of the future |

University of St. Thomas microgrid could be power of the future

Ellen Galles
Updated: September 20, 2021 06:47 PM
Created: September 20, 2021 05:25 PM

The future of alternative power might just lie in the basement of an engineering building at the University of St. Thomas.

Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan, director of the Center of Microgrid Research, is working on a microgrid with some of his students.

"You have a grid outage, you disconnect from the grid and keep the lights on locally and have a seamless, uninterrupted power supply," Kabalan said.

The microgrid is a self-contained electrical system that's designed to power cars, buildings, even neighborhoods. It's one of the only of its kind in Minnesota and it's powered in part by solar panels on top of the building.

The idea is to generate power locally rather than be completely reliant on the country's network of transmission lines.

"Five to 10,000 of these spread out in a strategic location can ease the burden on the grid and ensure the grid is not strained during weather events," Kabalan said.

Right now, the microgrid is being used on an experimental basis but the goal in the next few months is to eventually use it to power a few of the buildings on campus.

Copyright 2021 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Minneapolis tattoo artists help breast cancer survivors reclaim their bodies through art

Hmong College Prep Academy superintendent to resign amid investment scandal

5 injured in house explosion in Cambridge, Minnesota

1 dead after rollover crash on Highway 100 in Brooklyn Center

Experts say colder weather may mean an uptick in COVID-19 cases this winter