Power Seminar with Anil Pahwa: The Past, Present, and Future of Electric Power Distribution Systems


March 28, 2023    
1:10 pm - 2:00 pm


3043 ECpE Bldg Addition
Coover Hall, Ames

Event Type

Title: The Past, Present, and Future of Electric Power Distribution Systems

Abstract: Electric power distributions systems have evolved from passive systems with one-directional power flow to active systems with multi-directional power flow due to integration of distributed energy resources.  The customers of the future are expected to adopt larger deployment of rooftop solar PV generation and higher levels of electric vehicle ownership. Additionally, more storage devices could be installed in distribution systems. The complex nature of the future distribution systems will require leveraging progress in communications, computing, sensors, power electronics, cybertechnologies, and data analytics to operate them as cyber-physical systems for higher reliability, resiliency, efficiency, and flexibility. Continued innovation and integration of these technologies will have unprecedented effects on the system. Further, the customers will be more engaged. There could be real-time prices and market at the distribution level. Implementation of artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning techniques, and advanced power electronics will enhance real-time control and operation of system both in normal and emergency states to improve efficiency and resiliency. This presentation will provide a brief history of power distribution systems followed by some projections for the future power distribution systems supported by examples of recent research to advance the transformation.

Bio: Anil Pahwa received the B.E. (honors) degree in electrical engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India, in 1975, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from University of Maine, Orono, in 1979, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, in 1983. He has been a faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Kansas State University since 1983, where he is currently University Distinguished Professor and holds the Logan-Fetterhoof Chair. The National Academies selected him for the Jefferson Science Fellowship in 2014. He served as a Senior Scientific Advisor in Economic Policy Office of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Department of State as a part of the fellowship.  He served as Program Director for power and energy at the National Science Foundation from 2018 to 2020.  He has served in several officer positions in IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) including chair of Power and Energy Education Committee from 2012 to 2013, and an editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems from 2010 to 2015.  He has received several awards over his professional career including the IEEE PES Douglas M. Staszesky Distribution Automation Award in 2012, IEEE PES Prize Paper Award in 2013, KSU College of Engineering Distinguished Researcher Award in 2020, and Outstanding Alumni Award from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in 2014.  He is a Fellow of IEEE.  His research focuses on reliability, automation, and optimization of power distribution systems. His research has provided innovative and practical solutions for application of advanced communication and cyber technologies for automation of electricity distribution to customers and large-scale integration of renewable energy resources in the system.  He has published over 250 articles with over 4700 Google Scholar citations.


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