Cisco and Resnick Sustainability Institute Working Towards Improved Future
Power System Architectures
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- May 01, 2013
The Cisco Connected Energy Networks business unit is working with the Resnick
Sustainability Institute at Caltech on important research toward a clean
distributed energy future. Cisco’s long history in distributed networks is
combined with Resnick’s deep expertise in complex scientific problem-solving.
Together, they are discussing ways to allow optimal energy use in the long
“While we have decades of experience in engineering networks and deep
relationships with energy providers around the globe,” said Dr. Jeff Taft,
chief architect and distinguished engineer, Cisco Connected Energy Networks
business unit, “the Resnick Institute can call upon some of the most creative
scientific minds in the world to address the enigmatic challenges of energy
distribution over the coming decades. Together, our goal is to conquer one of
the most complex issues in long term sustainability.”
Taft explained that the parties are discussing a distributed control
architecture for reliable and efficient electric systems and new
distributed-market designs by blending economic principles with physical
“Energy systems management will change dramatically over the next few
decades,” explained Dr. Harry Atwater, Resnick Institute Director and Howard
Hughes Professor of Physics at Caltech. “Alternative energies that are coming
on line have very different dynamics from the traditional forms of the late
20^th century. And at the same time energy usage is changing dramatically and
in new ways from data centers around the world to electric vehicle usage and
self-sufficient power use. All of these lead to the need for a new, more
unconventional look at sustainable power systems as well as entirely new ways
of looking at the usage.”
The Resnick Institute can bring together two very different kinds of
expertise: optimization of network systems and the economics of distributed
markets to manage future power systems. “Many organizations have one or the
other expertise, but because Resnick Institute is part of the cross-catalytic
environment of Caltech, the results are unique,” explained Dr. Taft.
To date, the discussions between Cisco and the Resnick Institute have focused
on a number of areas. These include models to assess the impact of rooftop
solar, new algorithms for managing complex power systems, and work that
proposes an ultra-large-scale grid control architecture to achieve public
policy goals for distributed energy.
For more information, see http://resnick.caltech.edu/index.html.
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About The Resnick Sustainability Institute
The Resnick Institute is Caltech’s studio focused on the breakthroughs that
will change the balance of the world’s sustainability. It marries bold
creativity and deep scientific knowledge by encouraging original thinking and
orthogonal ideas. The Resnick Institute works with some of the world’s top and
emerging scientists – at the California Institute of Technology and beyond.
Current projects at the Resnick Institute include research into energy
generation, such as advanced photovoltaics, photoelectrochemical solar fuels,
cellulosic biofuels, and wind energy system design; energy conversion work on
batteries and fuel cells; and energy efficiency and management such as fuel
efficient vehicles, green chemical synthesis, thermoelectric materials, and
advanced research on electrical grid control and distribution.
Editors, note: All trademarks and registered trademarks are those of their
For more press information contact:
Abigail Johnson, 650-802-1850
For more customer information contact:
Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech
Neil Fromer, 626-395-4157
Bessie Wang, 408-526-6009
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