Edwin Fonkwe is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his “Diplôme d’Ingénieur de Conception” (2009) from the Ecole Polytechnique Yaoundé (Cameroon) with a specialty in Electrical Engineering. He also holds an MSc (2013) in Electrical Power Engineering from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and a Master of Science (SM, 2015) from MIT. He is broadly interested in problems at the confluence of power electronics, controls, and power systems.

Research Summary

Microgrids are small power systems comprising a collection of distributed energy resources (DER), including solar and wind generators, and loads that can operate connected to the utility grid or in a stand-alone configuration. While microgrids have the potential to bring electrical power to many underdeveloped parts of the world that have no electric grid infrastructure, current applications are too expensive, lack modularity and reliability, their control systems are rudimentary, and are difficult to operate and maintain.

Edwin’s research is focused towards developing a set of solutions that will radically transform the design, commissioning, and operation of resilient plug-and-play (pnp) microgrids, and thus pave the way towards a sustainable and electric energy abundant future for all. He is currently focused on primary (device-level) and secondary control strategies that can demonstrate superior performance in inverter-dominated plug-and-play microgrids, and his work leverages controller hardware in the loop (HIL) which enables testing actual device controllers in simulation environment. Part of his research is to design tools to facilitate control design and testing in large multi-agent plug-and-play microgrids, as well as a framework for model estimation and model order reduction of DER on different useful time-scales.