About Us

Team Members: Daniel Ludois, Jonathan Lee and Patricio Mendoza

Dan Ludois

Dan is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying electrical engineering with a primary focus on power electronics for integrating offshore wind farms into the electric grid. Dan obtained his B.S. in Physics in 2006 and M.S. in electrical engineering in 2008 from Bradley University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison respectively. In 2009, Dan designed the electric drive train for the School of Agriculture’s series hybrid tractor which will be going to competition later this spring. He is involved with many other technical projects as well, for work and pleasure alike, some of which may be viewed at www.ludoislabs.com. Dan provided the initial idea for the small, low-cost microwave oven transformer to realize the Microformer and has been leading the laboratory parameter study and cost evaluation. Dan attended the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Boot camp (WEB), a rigorous summer course taught in the business school designed to assist scientists and engineers in forming technology based start-up companies and networking with the business community. Dan serves as principle hardware designer and provides business insight for the team.

Jonathan Lee

Jonathan is a second-year Masters student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying Electrical Engineering. He has been running simulations of the small distribution system using PSpice to identify the system’s inherent traits. Jonathan is a member of the Engineers Without Borders-UW Madison chapter. Over the last five years, he worked with two different project groups: one working in Rwanda, and the other, in Haiti.

During his time as a member of the Rwanda Program, Jonathan led a team of students as the 2007 project manager, organizing the installation of a rainwater catchment system, the construction of an experimental sand filter, and the continuation of fuel briquetting research. For the last year, he led the electrical sub-group the main Haiti Program. In January 2010, Jonathan took an assessment of the electrical distribution, supply, and load of the small village of Bayonnais, gaining insights into the generation and use of electricity in rural settings in Haiti. He brings a unique perspective to the group about electricity supply and demand in developing nation settings.

Finally, Jonathan acted along with the other group members to expand the initial idea of a Microformer, and its possible construction, use, and benefits. He modeled an example Microformer, and possible Microformer grid to conduct tests of its theoretical performance. Additionally, he performed a background literature review of low-cost, medium voltage rural electrification systems.

Patricio Mendoza

Patricio is a native of Chile and a third-year Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying electrical engineering. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2006 and P.E. in Electrical Engineering in 2007 from the University of Chile. He is currently an Instructor of the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Chile.

Patricio’s work focuses on renewable sources of electrical energy such as small wind and small hydro generation. He has participated in a variety of projects such as the Chilean electric car competition “Formula-i” in 2005, and the Australian solar car competition “World solar challenge” in 2007. On both competitions, he served as a team leader and worked on power converters and energy management units.

Patricio has spearheaded the literature review to see what has been done in the past in addition to what research is currently taking place. Patricio is also assisting the laboratory measurements and designing small renewable sources which can be integrated into the Microformer system. Additionally his connections with the University of Chile would serve as an excellent platform to start a Microformer installation in rural Chilean community.

Giri Venkataramanan

Giri is our faculty advisor for this endeavor. He is a Professor of Electrical and Computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin –Madison. Giri holds 6 patents and has over 150 published technical papers, including several in the field of microgrids and renewable energy technologies. Giri is the engineering faculty advisor to Engineers Without Borders (EWB)’s chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

UW-Madison Microgrid Research

UW is a leader in microgrids, small distribution systems capable of interconnecting many different loads and generation sources. UW-Madison has a 15kW lab-scale system which interconnects a diesel generator, inverter-based battery energy storage element, general dc-supply based inverters, loads, and an outside grid connection. By drawing on the experience of our colleagues who work on this state-of-the-art system we can strengthen our own design. UW-Madison is also the home of some pioneering work in the CERTS Microgrid concept under the supervision of Professor Lasseter who has received much credit for popularizing the term ‘microgrid’. Other recent research efforts include large scale microgrids (150kW) intended for neighborhoods and small communities with AEP and an even larger demonstration test-bed at Cheveron with 1MW+ power levels that will incorporate the control algorithms developed in the UW microgrid. With this collection of local resources and the connections with UW graduates now working with microgrids professionally, our team has access to a wealth of knowledge in small power systems.

Copyright Microformer 2011

 

Dan Ludois

Dan is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying electrical engineering with a primary focus on power electronics for integrating offshore wind farms into the electric grid. Dan obtained his B.S. in Physics in 2006 and M.S. in electrical engineering in 2008 from Bradley University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison respectively. This year Dan designed the electric drive train for the School of Agriculture’s series hybrid tractor which will be going to competition later this spring. He is involved with many other technical projects as well, for work and pleasure alike, some of which may be viewed at www.ludoislabs.com. Dan provided the initial idea for the small, low-cost microwave oven transformer to realize the Microformer and has been leading the laboratory parameter study and cost evaluation. Dan attended the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Boot camp (WEB), a rigorous summer course taught in the business school designed to assist scientists and engineers in forming technology based start-up companies and networking with the business community. Dan serves as principle hardware designer and provides business insight for the team.

Patricio Mendoza

Patricio is a native of Chile and a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying electrical engineering. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2006 and P.E. in Electrical Engineering in 2007 from the University of Chile. He is currently an Instructor of the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Chile.

Patricio’s work focuses on renewable sources of electrical energy such as small wind and small hydro generation. He has participated in a variety of projects such as the Chilean electric car competition “Formula-i” in 2005, and the Australian solar car competition “World solar challenge” in 2007. On both competitions, he served as a team leader and worked on power converters and energy management units.

Patricio has spearheaded the literature review to see what has been done in the past in addition to what research is currently taking place. Patricio is also assisting the laboratory measurements and designing small renewable sources which can be integrated into the Microformer system. Additionally his connections with the University of Chile would serve as an excellent platform to start a Microformer installation in rural Chilean community.

Jonathan Lee

Jonathan is a first-year Masters student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying Electrical Engineering. He has been running simulations of the small distribution system using PSpice to identify the system’s inherent traits. Jonathan is a member of the Engineers Without Borders-UW Madison chapter. Over the last five years, he worked with two different project groups: one working in Rwanda, and the other, in Haiti.

During his time as a member of the Rwanda Program, Jonathan led a team of students as the 2007 project manager, organizing the installation of a rainwater catchment system, the construction of an experimental sand filter, and the continuation of fuel briquetting research. For the last year, he led the electrical sub-group the main Haiti Program. In January 2010, Jonathan took an assessment of the electrical distribution, supply, and load of the small village of Bayonnais, gaining insights into the generation and use of electricity in rural settings in Haiti. He brings a unique perspective to the group about electricity supply and demand in developing nation settings.

Finally, Jonathan acted along with the other group members to expand the initial idea of a Microformer, and its possible construction, use, and benefits. He modeled an example Microformer, and possible Microformer grid to conduct tests of its theoretical performance. Additionally, he performed a background literature review of low-cost, medium voltage rural electrification systems.

Giri Venkataramanan

Giri is our faculty advisor for this endeavor. He is a Professor of Electrical and Computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin –Madison. Giri holds 6 patents and has over 150 published technical papers, including several in the field of microgrids and renewable energy technologies. Giri is the engineering faculty advisor to Engineers Without Borders (EWB)’s chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

UW-Madison Microgrid Research

UW is a leader in microgrids, small distribution systems capable of interconnecting many different loads and generation sources. UW Madison has a 15kW lab-scale system which interconnects a diesel generator, inverter-based battery energy storage element, general dc-supply based inverters, loads, and an outside grid connection. By drawing on the experience of our colleagues who work on this state-of-the-art system we can strengthen our own design. UW-Madison is also the home of some pioneering work in the CERTS Microgrid concept under the supervision of Professor Lasseter who has received much credit for popularizing the term ‘microgrid’. Other recent research efforts include large scale microgrids (150kW) intended for neighborhoods and small communities with AEP and an even larger demonstration test-bed at Cheveron with 1MW+ power levels that will incorporate the control algorithms developed in the UW microgrid. With this collection of local resources and the connections with UW graduates now working with microgrids professionally, we have access to a wealth of knowledge in small power systems.