June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Energy Conversion and Conservation
12.326.1 - 12.326.8
Bringing Power Back to the Power Industry through Industry-Academia Partnership
Within the last months of 2006, two reports have been issued – one by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the other by the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) that warn about potential reliability problems of the North American electric power grid. For the first time, these reports address critical interrelations between reliability of the power grid and the engineering and technical expertise of the power industry workforce1, 2. It is clear that not only the physical infrastructure of the power grid is aging but so is its workforce. Lack of adequate supply of its replacement requires coordinated effort by both, the power industry and the academia to address this dual edged problem. This paper concentrates on some of the steps that are being taken in Western New York. Although it does not address long-term strategic issues, we feel that even small steps in the right direction could help solve both immediate and long-term needs of the industrial and academic sides of power industry.
The factors of economic production are capital and labor, materials and technology, management skills, and energy. Without the large amounts of energy consumed by the production system, the modern economy, and the high standard of living it provides, cannot be sustained. One of the major sources of energy for the economy is electricity. Therefore, its production, transmission and distribution constitute a critical infrastructure of a modern economy. Taking New York State as an example, energy delivered in the form of electricity accounts for approximately 24% of energy consumed, not counting the transportation sector3. Note that transportation sector accounts for 35% of total energy use. With electricity being the most versatile form of energy, developing the technical talent to address the issues of its generation, transmission and delivery are the focus of this paper.
Electric energy has been used since the1890’s when the world entered the Age of Electricity. Since then the world has moved through a series of these ages: 1890’s – The “Age of Electricity” begins with the lighting of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and completion of the first long distance transmission line moving hydro-electric power from the mighty Niagara Falls to Buffalo in November of 1896. 1930’s – The “Industrial Age” begins with electricity, power tools, and automation in factories, at the end of the Depression. Industrial productivity, measured in terms of output per unit of labor, makes major gains during this period. This results in economic prosperity in the Western world, creating a large middle class of consumers. 1940’s – The “Atomic age” begins after the Second World War, giving us the technology to build elaborate nuclear power plants for the production of cheap electricity during the fifties and sixties; necessary to keep the wheels of the economy turning. 1960’s – The “Space Age” begins with the challenge to land man on the moon and bring him back safely. This sudden increase in research and development accelerates
Grinberg, I., & Safiuddin, M. (2007, June), Bringing Power Back To The Power Industry Through Industry Academia Partnership Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1830
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