PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It seems everyday there is a new gizmo or gadget that is supposed to make life easier or better — and most of those devices run on electricity.

That’s why the people in the school of engineering at Pitt are so excited about their new power lab.

“We have a lot of occurrences where we don’t have power and we miss it,” said Dr. Gregory Reed, Dir. Of Electric Power Initiative.

A perfect example was right smack dab in the middle of the NFL’s biggest game last year, when a stadium of people was left in the dark.

“Show how electrical products and solutions work – and frankly don’t work,” said Dan Carnovale of Eaton Corporation. “For example the Super Bowl where the lights went out and you see something like that, how do we simulate something like that.”

They do in a state-of-the-art electrical power engineering lab at the Pitt School of Engineering. The new lab was dedicated Thursday morning.

“At the University we do research, but we are doing things that the companies want us to do,” said grad student Brandon Grainger. “It’s not pie in the sky type atmosphere type projects. These are problems we are solving that companies need to have solved.”

All of us are used to using power and electricity but there is a lot of different ways it can be generated and in this lab, they can control a lot of different sources including solar panels just like ones that are up on Pitt’s roof.

“Nowadays we want to connect renewable resources, we want to interconnect nations, we want to bring in wind turbines out a sea,” said grad student Emmanuel Taylor. “There are lots of things we want to do that the electric grid was never designed for, and so we need to revolutionize the technology that we use and the grid itself.”

The equipment in the lab was given by Eaton Corporation. Each lab bench acts as a micro grid – a technology that could make the nation’s electrical grid more stable and reliable.

We realize how important electricity is our daily lives – it’s the lifeblood of modern society.

So what this facility will do is it will help us continue to train new engineers in the area of electrical power engineering as well as do important research in the area of emerging technologies.

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