DMU wins global grant to help communities in rural Brazil


Smart grids have previously been used in urban areas

Smart grid technology is to be used to improve electricity supply to communities in rural Brazil thanks to a new research project supported by the US and UK governments.

De Montfort University (DMU) has become one of just 23 UK universities to receive a grant from the Global Innovation Initiative (GII), which aims to use academic collaboration to address global issues.

The $250,000 two-year project is led by Purdue University in America, with DMU as a partner alongside UNESP University in Brazil.

Professor Subhes Bhattacharyya, of DMU’s IESD research group, will be the principal investigator at DMU.

Prof Bhattacharyya is an internationally-renowned energy specialist working on global energy issues, especially in developing countries.

He said: “This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate in research with U.S. universities and the Brazilian counter parts to realize the smart grid benefits in every segment of participating countries regardless of their economic status. This will help realize the maximum benefits of new solutions to the society. ”

The GII project is called Consortium for Rapid Smart Grid Impact. Smart grids involve using computer technology to run power networks to intelligently respond to consumer demand and prevent grid overload.

Although Brazil has invested in this area, its activities tend to be in urban areas.

The team proposes to increase the quality of supply available to communities through engineering analysis, educate communities on electricity supply and help villages become energy independent. The project will also involve staff and student exchanges to strengthen research collaboration amongst partners.

The GII was set up by the US and UK Governments to support new university partnerships and foster research collaboration with higher education institutions in Brazil, China, India and Indonesia.

A spokesman for the GII said: “This initiative aims to raise the bar for international collaboration and enhance global research capacity. Research focuses on immediate impact to society.”

Posted on Tuesday 6th May 2014

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