ASU scholar collaborates on solar research, benefits Arizona and Pakistan

The U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy is making gains in research


August 28, 2017

It can be tricky balancing affordable electricity bills for customers and profits for utility companies, but the happy medium might lie in solar energy storage.

Abdul Kashif Janjua, a fall 2016 exchange scholar from the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy at Arizona State University, analyzed data and patterns to find an equilibrium for both sides of the equation. Above: Abdul Kashif Janjua, exchange scholar from the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy, known as USPCAS-E, with his certificate of completion from the Power System’s Lab in fall 2016. Photo courtesy of Abdul Kashif Janjua. Above: Abdul Kashif Janjua, exchange scholar from the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy, known as USPCAS-E, with his certificate of completion from the Power System’s Lab in fall 2016. Photo courtesy of Abdul Kashif Janjua Download Full Image

Kashif collaborated on a research paper titled, “Customer Benefit Optimization for Residential PV with Energy Storage System” under the tutelage of George Karady, a professor of electrical engineering at ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow.

Different combinations of solar panels and different sized batteries were tested in concert to find the right combination. The research accounted for variables like load, temperature and battery discharge rates to derive the best result for both customers and utilities.

The paper was presented at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power Engineering Society’s general meeting in Chicago in July. Presenting the paper at the Power Engineering Society was significant because the organization acts as one of the largest forums for sharing the latest in technological developments in the electric power industry, for developing standards that guide the development and construction of equipment and systems, and for public and industry education.


Dr. George Karady representing the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Energy and ASU, surveys posters at the IEEE PES 2017 General Meeting . Photo credit: IEEE PES

Kashif compared the climates of Arizona and Pakistan saying that, “they are quite similar so photovoltaic systems are feasible in both areas.”

The research can be used to optimize variables like the size of the photovoltaic system and various charging strategies, “[with] the only difference being the tariffs which can be programmed into the developed algorithm,” Kashif explained. This leaves a door open for computers to eventually determine the right balance, possibly even using artificial intelligence in the future.

Over the next five years, Arizona is expected to install 3,380 megawatts worth of solar electric capacity, ranking it fourth in that time period in the United States. Meanwhile, Pakistan has been suffering from rolling blackouts from six to 16 hours a day. Both areas have much to teach each other about renewable energy.

The collaboration process with Pavan Etha and Anil Chelladurai, electrical engineering graduate students at ASU, as well as the mentorship he received from his time at ASU has been an invaluable asset to his education. Of Karady he stated that, “he was [the] most supportive, helpful and encouraging professor.”

He went on to say that Karady’s “knowledge and experience with electrical systems can be rarely found even in the best universities of the world and he was not reluctant to share each of his experiences related to our field."

This type of collaboration between the United States and Pakistan is a hallmark of USPCAS-E because it allows for progress in energy research for the countries’ mutual benefit.

Kashif’s time at ASU rolls into the eventual completion of his master’s degree at Pakistan’s National University of Sciences and Technology in the field of energy systems engineering. Plans are in the works for him to pursue a doctorate and then potentially apply his research in the commercial sector. In the meantime, he is in the process of publishing another research paper along similar lines in Pakistan.

The USPCAS-E project has now reached a point in its evolution where the return from this type of investment in education is now resulting in exciting research findings. Outcomes from USPCAS-E’s scholars are timely as they fall at the heels of Pakistan celebrating its 70th anniversary of independence and its continued collaboration and development with the United States.

Erika Gronek

Communications Specialist, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Musician Ysaÿe Barnwell to visit ASU School of Music for weeklong residency

A longtime member of African-American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, Barnwell will present public sing sessions and lectures on her research


August 28, 2017

Arizona State University’s School of Music welcomes musician, composer, singer, choral clinician, educator and author Ysaÿe M. Barnwell for a weeklong residency Sept. 5–8.

During her time on campus, Barnwell will present public sing sessions and lectures on her research and creative work and community building through music, as well as engage in conversations with students in ASU courses.  YSAŸE M. BARNWELL Ysaÿe M. Barnwell Download Full Image

“We are delighted to welcome an artist of Dr. Barnwell’s caliber for a residency in the ASU School of Music, as our students explore the multiple avenues through which they can engage with the community,” said Heather Landes, director of the ASU School of Music. “Dr. Barnwell’s visit highlights the ways in which they can utilize their own creative capacities to benefit society.”

Barnwell will present three Community Sing Sessions titled “Building a Vocal Community: Singing in the African American Tradition” (no singing experience necessary):

• 8:30–10:30 a.m. Sept. 5, ASU Gammage, room 311

• 4:30–6:15 p.m. Sept. 6, ASU Gammage, room 301

• 7 p.m. Sept. 8, Desert Foothills United Methodist Church, 2156 East Liberty Lane, Phoenix 85048

Additionally, Barnwell will present three public lectures:

• An African World View of Music: 11:50 a.m.–12:40 p.m. Sept. 6, Katzin Concert Hall

• Fortune’s Bones: A discussion with ASU Institute Professor Daniel Bernard Roumain: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7, Katzin Concert Hall

• Music in the Community, 9:40 to 10:30 a.m. Sept. 8, Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

All events are free and open to the public.

Barnwell is a commissioned composer, arranger, author, actress and former member of the internationally acclaimed African-American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. Trained as a violinist for 15 years beginning at the age of two and a half, she holds degrees in speech pathology (BS, MSEd), cranio-facial studies (PhD) and public health (MSPH).

For almost 30 years and on three continents, Barnwell has led the workshop "Building a Vocal Community – Singing in the African American Tradition," which utilizes oral tradition, an African world view, and African American history, values, cultural and vocal traditions to build communities of song among singers and non-singers alike. Her pedagogy is highly respected among musicians, educators, health workers, activists, organizers and members of the corporate and non-profit sectors.

This residency is made possible in part by a Mellon Foundation grant and matching funds from the School of Music. Barnwell’s residency supports the Herberger Institute Initiative “Projecting All Voices,” which recognizes that every person, regardless of social background, deserves an equal chance to help tell our nation’s and our world’s stories. Our creative expression defines who we are, what we aspire to and how we hope to live together.

For more information about Barnwell’s residency and how you can be involved, contact Deanna Swoboda at Arizona State University at dswobod@asu.edu.