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Utah State gets funding to develop smart charge scheduling and management tool for transit systems' electric buses

image credit: © 2016 Utah State University
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I've been a business journalist since 1985 when I received an MBA from Penn State. I covered energy, technology, and venture capital for The Philadelphia Business Journal from 1998 through 2013....

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A tool being developed by Utah State University could help grid operators overcome the load management challenges posed by the electrification of public transportation system bus fleets.

The smart charge scheduling and management tool is part of a suite of tools that Utah State is developing to enable public transit systems to electrify their bus fleets. Other tools in the suite include a public transportation network design tool and a simulation and operations tool. The tools are meant to improve the systems' energy efficiency by reducing the buses’ travel times; decrease the upfront cost of electrification for the systems by right-sizing the buses' electric batteries; and minimize the systems’ charging costs through smart-charging management, which also could help grid operators manage the load required to charge the buses.

Development of the tools is being funded by $1.75 million from two federal agencies: the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technology Office, which is contributing $1.425 million, and the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, which is contributing the remaining $325,000. The funding was recently revealed by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, which said it was part of $139 million for 55 research projects dealing with advanced vehicle technologies that the DOE announced in July.

Utah State in August was awarded a five-year, $26 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish an international research center dedicating to advancing sustainable electric transportation. The center is called ASPIRE, which is an acronym for Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification, and builds on the success of SELECT, the multi-institutional, industry-sponsored Center for Sustainable Electrified Transportation, which Utah State Professor and ASPIRE Director Regan Zane launched in 2015.

 

 

 

 

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