Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wind power or photovoltaics?

Wind power is an interesting option for producing renewable energy. In contrast to Photovoltaics, wind generated energy costs less but it requires transmission infracstructure between wind parks and the consumers.Germany has more than 32 GW of installed wind power capacity and is now building transmission lines to transport the energy to the south.

How predictable is wind in comparison to PV output? The yield of both depend on some meterological factors which are hard to predict. However there is one big difference: you can easily calculate the maximum amount of solar intensity that your PV system has to cope with. With wind speed, it is hard to define a maximum possible wind speed, since on rare occasions wind speed can be significantly higher than the expected value.

Which could be dangerous: If the generator spins faster and faster, large forces produced could cause a wind turbine to self destruct:

Luckily, todays wind turbines have an overspeed control (a braking or featherin mechanism) and a cut-out mode. Still, I don't want them in my garden :-)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Open position for an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at Vienna University of Technology

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of Vienna University of Technology invites applications at the Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives for a Tenure track position with qualification agreement for associate professor in the area of Electrical Energy Distribution Systems in form of a initially fixed-term (6 years) tenure track position starting from 01.04.2014. Research areas to be independently covered are automated distribution system operation including information and communication technologies (Smart Grids), integration of renewable and distributed energy resources into the energy system, electro-mobility, Microgrids as well as protection technology. The successful candidate is expected to initiate independent, creative research programs and to establish an own research group.
A strong emphasis is placed on the broad fields of planning, modeling, simulating and analyzing electrical energy distribution systems as well as the integration of decentralized renewable energy resources, hybrid energy storage systems and application of information and communication technologies for automated distribution system operation.
The following requirements for applications to this position exist. The successful candidate is expected to be an internationally recognized scientist with a PhD relevant to the field and perennial experience in one or several of the following research areas:
- Impact of distributed energy resources on distribution system operation and protection
Integration of decentralized renewable energy resources and distributed storage into the energy system
Integration of electro-mobility into the energy system
Application of information and communication technology in energy distribution systems
Reliability, resilience and island capability of energy distribution systems
Real time simulation of energy distribution systems and Microgrids
and experience and commitment to excellence in teaching and supervision of undergraduate, graduate and PhD students.

The successful candidate is expected to participate in teaching according to the curricula of the faculty of electrical engineering and information technology and to establish an own research group.
Salaries and benefits of the tenure track position are according to collective labor agreement for employees at universities, salary group B1, based on 40 hours per week, and a monthly minimum salary of currently € 3.411,70 (14 times per year). After signature of the qualification agreement salaries and benefits are raised to salary group A2 and thus monthly € 4.034,70 (14 times per year).
Applications should include curriculum vitae, list of publications, copies of 5 most relevant publications, list of successful grant applications, and list of teaching experience. Applications should be directed to the Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of Vienna University of Technology, Erzherzog Johann Platz 1, 1040 Wien, Austria. Applications should include a CD-ROM with an electronic version of the complete application documents. Candidate evaluation will begin on 04.01.2014.
Candidates are not eligible for a refund of expenses for travelling and lodging related to the application process.