Dr Juan Manuel REY LÓPEZ (Colombia)

Juan researches microgrids as a hub for energy solutions. He develops artificial intelligence-based control strategies and integrates Industrial Internet of Things technology to improve microgrid performance.

PhD in Electronic Engineering

Current position: Assistant Professor at Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia

Research focus: control and design of microgrids and distributed generation systems

Microgrids are local energy systems that integrate distributed generation and storage systems and can be connected to the main grid or operated as an island. This type of grids allows better control and monitoring of operations and improves the security and reliability of the energy supply. Due to the integration of renewable sources, the environmental impact is lower compared to centralised grids. Microgrids require the installation of control devices that exchange data on energy generation and storage via communication systems. Disruptions in data transmission can affect the stability of the microgrid and even lead to power outages. For this reason, during his PhD studies, Juan investigated how microgrids can be operated to reduce their dependence on communication. He proposed novel control strategies that mainly perform local actions, making microgrids more robust to communication failures and, thus, more flexible and reliable.

Juan is currently applying his control engineering background as a team leader in two interdisciplinary projects: First, Artificial Intelligence is being used to improve the operation of microgrids in applications such as electrical distribution systems with high penetration of renewables and green roof-integrated photovoltaics (GRIPV) in tropical areas.

Secondly, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology is being integrated to improve the operation of microgrids. Juan is developing a platform for training Colombian professionals in the skills required for Industry 4.0. One of the main components of the platform will be Microgrids 4.0, in which he is exploring the use of IIoT devices to monitor and control distributed energy systems. The technology enables cost-effective, real-time monitoring of microgrids, improves reliability and security, and enables prediction of potential future outages.

Juan’s research fields contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). Also, the training component is strongly related to SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).

Juan works on renewable energies integrated with new applications and technologies and proposes control strategies to guarantee efficient and reliable energy production. The jury was convinced of the practical relevance of the research topic of this excellent, experienced scientist who already holds a patent.

The research of Juan mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 7, 8, 9, 11, 13:

Take a look at this video that briefly introduces Juan and his research: