DOE is Looking For Grad Students for Building-Grid Integration Research Pilot Program

Building-Grid Integration
Integrating buildings and the grid increases energy efficiency, supports incorporation of renewable energy, and balances new loads, such as electric vehicles.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office is seeking graduate students interested in exploring energy systems of buildings and how building assets or functions can integrate and transact with the energy grid supplying the building’s energy. The deadline for applying is Nov. 15, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

The Building-Grid Integration Research and Development Innovators Pilot Program provides a unique opportunity for graduate students currently pursuing a master’s degree or doctoral degree in a science or engineering discipline to explore building-grid integration research and development technology concepts. This research will focus on ways to improve the operating efficiency of buildings and increase penetration of distributed renewable energy generation, leading to more efficient buildings and cleaner generation of electricity.

A total of five awards of up to $50,000 per year are scheduled to be awarded for the first year. The initial research project period includes a nine to 12 month period followed by an optional one year advancement phase. These funds may be budgeted for student stipend, travel, tuition, materials/equipment or for internal services expenses, such as equipment usage, machine shop or prototyping costs.

Applicants are required to select a building-grid integration topic as the focus of their innovation research project. All projects are required to use the DOE-funded VOLTTRON™ software to demonstrate the technical solution. VOLTRON™ is an open source control and coordination software platform that DOE is developing as a common platform for distributed control. VOLTTRON™ enables developers to quickly build secure applications and agents that can unlock more value from building devices through the delivery of end-use services, grid services and energy market services. VOLTTRON™ can independently manage a wide range of applications, such as HVAC systems, electric vehicles, distributed energy or entire building loads, leading to improved operational efficiency.

Completed applications and supporting materials must be submitted via the online application system by 11:59 p.m. EST onNov. 15, 2015.

Additional information about the program and access to the online application system is available at

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