Microgrids augment the traditional approach of central national electricity grids with local control and local power generation thus reducing transmission losses, lowering energy cost, and insulating communities from external disruption. Problems faced by communities when implementing microgrids are (1) a lack of accessible tools to manage and control the grid at a micro-level; and (2) a lack of education. This networking website will bring together specialists in three areas: wireless sensing and embedded computing; renewable energy; and social scientists. The aims are to (1) inform the development of wireless devices and tools to support integrated community-based microgrids and microgeneration control; (2) map the current gaps in education and technology that make them inaccessible or difficult to apply in the Brazilian context. The medium-term impact will be to empower communities to control their microgrids, encourage sustainable, renewable sources, and reduce energy costs.

The expected outputs are:

  1. Knowledge sharing in renewable energy, home energy monitoring, microgrids, and communities education.
  2. A roadmap whitepaper which identifies research gaps and opportunities for the benefit of humanity and a sustainable future: clean energy, cheap, for all, demystifying technology, empowering the end user
  3. A strategy towards a community wirelessly monitored microgrid test-bed including action plans for joint PhD sponsorships, research staff and PhD student exchange
  4. A culturally appropriate youth education package and delivery methodology
  5. Joint proposals scoping for scientific innovation and sustainable and feasible plans for future collaboration
  6. A collaborative network through a joint website in which strong applications for collaborative research and activities can be organised by staff from CU, UFSC, and other invited international institutes. The platform will also allow the ECR participants to initiate new research activities with the support and including UFSC and CU.

The longer term impact will be to:

  1. Firmly establish and strengthen the connection between CU and UFSC through the development of joint teaching/ research programmes (actions in Sustainability/Capacity Building)
  2. Community based demonstrators of new tools and products aimed at enhance the socio-economic status of said community in the partner country.
  3. Energy and sustainability educated, informed and empowered communities
  4. Economic benefit through products for micro-grids and their control