Welcome to the Renewable Energy & Advanced Power Electronics Research Lab at Texas A&M.

We are engineering next generation technologies to power widespread use of solar energy.

Our research spans the gap between solar cells and smart grids, supported by the NSF, QNRF, and industry partners.

With Texas A&M facilities in the USA and Qatar, our vision, expertise, and impact are global.

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News Feed

Dr. Balog gives an IEEE PELS Distinguished Lecture as part of the “Power August Seminar Series” of the IEEE Taipei Section joint PELS/PES/IES Chapter.

As part of the IEEE Power Electronics Distinguished Lecture Series, Professor Balog, REAPERlab Director, gave a distinguished lecture on August 11, 2021 entitled “A Smart PV Roof Tile and Non-Planar Photovoltaic Systems” to the IEEE Taipei Section PELS/PES/IES joint chapter.

With the latest advances in photovoltaic material science technology, solar cells can now be curved, conformal coated, and even painted onto arbitrary surface geometries. This facilitates a paradigm shift from the traditional, building-applied, rigid planar modules to non-planar, structurally-integrated photovoltaic systems. PV arrays on curved surfaces enable new concepts for PV applications but also present new challenges for balance-of-system components, electrical interconnections, and power conditioning electronics. Non-uniform insolation across the PV surface complicates maximum power point tracking, which is well-known for planar PV but more complicated when the non-planar morphology inherently introduce the partial shading and thermal variations. Yet, these non-planar surfaces offer opportunities to increase energy harvest and shape the time-of-day generation profile, all while creating an architecturally appealing – even invisible – energy system. This talk will include results from a recent research project which investigated a smart solar roof tile in the form-factor of the traditional terracotta roof tile.

Dr. Balog thanks Prof. Dr. Katherine Kim of National Taiwan University for the invitation to present.

The REAPER lab congratulates undergraduate students Ms. Leen Al Homoud, Mr. Safin Bayes, and Mr. Rinith Reghunath on their graduation from Texas A&M University in Qatar.

The REAPERlab congratulates undergraduate students Ms. Leen Al Homoud, Mr. Safin Bayes, and Mr. Rinith Reghunath on their graduation with their B.S. in electrical engineering. As a team, they have been part of the REAPER lab over the last year and conducted innovative research into cyber-physical security for electrical power distribution systems by applying machine learning techniques to identify authenticated but malicious control commands. Such a scenario may exist if an attacker gains access to the control systems so that they appear to be authenticated, spoofing as a bona fide agent in the system. Such an attack vector would be undetectable with traditional cyber-security authentication methods. The students have submitted their research results for publication. The REAPERlab wishes them good luck as they start a new chapter in their professional lives.

Dr. Balog gives an distinguished keynote address to the IEEE 8th International Conference on Electrical and Electronics Engineering (ICEEE 2021).

As part of the IEEE Power Electronics Distinguished Lecture Series, Professor Balog, REAPERlab Director, gave a distinguished keynote presentation on April 9, 2021 entitled “A Smart PV Roof Tile and Non-Planar Photovoltaic Systems” to the IEEE 8th International Conference on Electrical and Electronics Engineering (ICEEE 2021). With the latest advances in photovoltaic material science technology, solar cells can now be curved, conformal coated, and even painted onto arbitrary surface geometries. This facilitates a paradigm shift from the traditional, building-applied, rigid planar modules to non-planar, structurally-integrated photovoltaic systems. PV arrays on curved surfaces enable new concepts for PV applications but also present new challenges for balance-of-system components, electrical interconnections, and power conditioning electronics. Non-uniform insolation across the PV surface complicates maximum power point tracking, which is well-known for planar PV but more complicated when the non-planar morphology inherently introduce the partial shading and thermal variations. Yet, these non-planar surfaces offer opportunities to increase energy harvest and shape the time-of-day generation profile, all while creating an architecturally appealing – even invisible – energy system. This talk presented results from a recent collaboration between Texas A&M University and the Middle East Technical University to develop a smart solar roof tile in the form-factor of the traditional terracotta roof tile.

Dr. Balog wishes to thank Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ali Ozcelik, Chair of the IEEE PELS Turkey Chapter for the invitation to present at the conference.

Dr. Balog gives an IEEE Power Electronics Society Distinguished Lecture to the Buffalo Section.

As part of the IEEE Power Electronics Distinguished Lecture Series, Professor Balog, REAPERlab Director, gave a talk on March 27, 2021 to the IEEE Buffalo Section and Power and Energy Society entitled “Challenges and Opportunities in the Balance of Systems for Photovoltaic Energy.” For years photovoltaic systems were all about the cells – specifically their cost and efficiency. It can be said that today’s cells are good enough and cheap enough. This talk examines the other costs and performance issues in photovoltaic systems – the so called balance of systems – to explore other technologies and considerations.

Dr. Balog wishes to thank Mr. Steven Rhoads, Chair of the IEEE PES Buffalo Section for organizing and “virtually” hosting the lecture.

Dr. Wesam Rohouma is elevated to Senior Member of the IEEE.

Congratulations to Dr. Wesam Rohouma for being selected by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for elevation to Senior Member. This elevation is professional recognition by his peers for his technical and professional excellence. In the REAPERlab, we agree! Dr. Rohouma has been a key contributor not only on his own research but also as a mentor to other. Congratulations and best wishes for a continued, successful, career.

Fatima Al-Janahi honored at the 14th Annual Education Excellence Day ceremony.

The REAPERlab congratulates Fatima Al-Janahi for receiving the Education Excellence Award. Ms. Al-Janahi was honored, in part, for her undergraduate research project on Characterizing Photovoltaic System Arc-Faults, which was supported by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) through the Undergraduate Research Experience Program Grant  UREP24-023-010. During the award ceremony, held March 1, 2021, Ms. Fatima was presented the award by His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

The Education Excellence Day (EED) Award is an award in which outstanding Qatari individuals are honored in various fields to promote a culture of creativity and excellence among the Qatari society, push students to more excellence and outstanding educational attainment, and promote integration between individual and institutional efforts to improve educational outputs and bring them to global standards.

Dr. Balog gives an IEEE Power Electronics Society Distinguished Lecture to the Pittsburgh Chapter.

As part of the IEEE Power Electronics Distinguished Lecture Series, Professor Balog, REAPERlab Director, gave a talk to the Pittsburgh chapter entitled “Power Compensation in the Electrical Distribution System using a D-STATCOM.” The talk explored a solid-state power conditioner that can compensate reactive and harmonic power at or near the source before it flows upstream to the substation. As a fully controllable device, it can be deployed and dispatched as needed in the network.

Dr. Balog wishes to thank Dr. Hashim Al Hassan, Chair of the IEEE Power Electronics Society Pittsburgh Chapter for organizing and “virtually” hosting the lecture.

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