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GRid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems (GRAPES) is a National Science Foundation- Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) launched by the University of Arkansas and the University of South Carolina in 2010. The second I/UCRC that UWM has joined, the mission of GRAPES is to accelerate the adoption and insertion of power electronics into the grid in order to improve system stability, flexibility, robustness, and economy. Together with our university partners we hope to make electric power systems more sustainable, cost-effective, and secure. Our reasearch focus is on energy storage, microgrid systems, power electronics interface, and renewable energy sources.


Milwaukee has traditionally been one of the largest power electronics hubs in the nation, home to many large- and medium-sized power companies. Because of this, the UWM site supplements and complements the existing expertise, capabilities, and facilities of GRAPES partners while adding an important and diverse geographic and population center. In particular, UWM adds cutting-edge power electronics facilities, microgrids, protection, energy efficiency, and energy storage to GRAPES. The focus at the UWM site will be on distributed generation integration, AC and DC microgrids, distribution and protection, ancillary services, smart distribution, grid connected energy storage systems, and SiC-based converters.

Research Focus

Energy storage systems: inverter topology and controls, integrated compact systems, hybrid storage systems, high frequency inverters, wide band gap (WBG) devices for storage inverters, high voltage and high power inverters, grid support functions.

• Distributed generation (DG): inverters and interface for DG including wind and solar Photovoltaic (PV), controls for DG systems, integration of DG systems into grid.

• Microgrids: grid-tie and island microgrids, controls for microgrids, microgrid-tie inverters, energy management.

• Reliability for power electronics converters: low-frequency and high-frequency inverters, components, systems, and systems of systems.

• High-frequency and high-power converters: converters with WBG power semiconductor switches, electromagnetic interference, cooling, and packaging.

• Fault protection for AC and DC microgrids.


Center Director Cuzner quoted in CyberScoop story on Pentagon DEF CON test and cybersecurity of microgrids. Read more.


  1. Adapt to the increased demand for electrical energy.
  2. Replace and improve aging equipment.
  3. Develop new technologies for advanced power electronic systems in the area.
  4. Integrate energy from multiple, smaller sources (microgrids).
  5. Expand power supplies.
  6. Identify ways in which storage devices can help manage energy in diverse applications.
  7. Accelerate the adoption and insertion of power electronics into the electric grid.
  8. Provide the highest quality integrated education, research, and engineering.
  9. Develop the software and tools for controlling embedded- and grid-connected power electronics.


Rob Cuzner