The NFCRC hosted the Austrian Ambassador Hans Peter Manz and a delegation of about 20 researchers, officials, and journalists for a tour of its laboratories and the Irvine Smart Grid Demonstration (ISGD) project. As the Austrian Delegation toured the labs, they were introduced to graduate students who gave an overview of the research they are conducting. Making their way through the ISGD project in a fleet of Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Vehicles, the delegation viewed homes outfitted with smart appliances, solar panels, energy storage, and electric vehicles all acting as the “home of the future” and revealing their effect on the grid.
The Austrian Ambassador was in Irvine while visiting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon where a team from Austria competed against 19 other teams from around the world. Team Austria was declared the winner of the Solar Decathlon 2013, exemplifying Austria’s significant progress in the smart grid and electric vehicle research field. As a result of the Ambassador’s visit to the NFCRC, there is interest in establishing a future research collaboration.