Smart Power Grids

Smart Power Grids Theme:

Traditional power systems have often been built on the basis of an electrical energy value chain that consists of a relatively few centralized and actively controlled thermal power generation facilities serving a relatively large number of distributed passive electrical loads. However, the IEEE Control Systems Society outlines five trends that are set to dramatically challenge the basic assumptions upon which the electric power grid was built. These are:

  1. Decarbonization of electric power generation

  2. Continued yearly growth of electricity demand, especially in developing economies

  3. Electrification of the transportation sector

  4. Trends toward electric power deregulation

  5. Trends towards empowered consumers responsive to the grid's physical and economic conditions

Taken together, these drivers virtually require a steadily increasing penetration of variable energy resources (VERs) into the power grid. As a result, the overall dispatchability of the generation fleet is set to decrease while the overall dispatchability of demand is set to increase. Naturally, power system assessment techniques should correspondingly evolve to accommodate that the control as well as the disturbance may originate from either generation or demand.

To address these needs, the LIINES Smart Power Grid Research Theme has made contributions in three areas:

  • Smart Grid Thought Leadership

  • Electric Power Enterprise Control Systems

  • Smart Grid Control Systems

Map of U.S. with lights

Key Achievements in Smart Grid Thought Leadership:

The LIINES has been fortunate to be a part of several smart grid thought leadership activities:

A Hetero-functional Graph Resilience Analysis of the Future American Electric Power System (2021): In this work, the LIINES shows that as the American Electric Power System evolves towards a sustainable energy transition, there is no structural trade-off between grid sustainability and resilience enhancement and that these strategic goals can be pursued simultaneously.

Testimony of Dr. Amro M. Farid to the State of New Hampshire House of Representatives on HB 315  (2021): In this testimony, Prof. Farid registers his strong opposition to New Hampshire House Bill 315 as originally introduced.

Testimony of Dr. Amro M. Farid to the State of New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission on DE 19-197 (2020): In this testimony, Prof. Farid describes how the State of New Hampshire can consider developing a statewide multi-energy data data platform.

Transforming the Grid's Architecture: Enterprise Control, the Energy Internet of Things, and Hetero-functional Graph Theory (2019): In this work, the LIINES recognizes that the grid's evolving architecture must consider its enterprise control, the emergence of the energy internet of things, and hetero-functional graph structure.

eIoT: The Development of the Energy Internet of Things in Energy Infrastructure (2019): In this book, the LIINES describes how IoT is able to transform energy infrastructure and help bring about the sustainable energy transition.

Distributed Control for Distributed Energy Resources: Long-Term Challenges & Lessons Learned (2018): Building upon previous work, the LIINES identifies seven long-term challenges facing the future distributed control design of electricity markets.

The Need for Holistic Enterprise Control Assessment Methods for the Future Electricity Grid (2016): In this comprehensive literature-based study, the LIINES presents a logical case for integrating power grid assessment methods into holistic enterprise control frameworks. To support the argument, the LIINES has conducted the most comprehensive review of renewable energy integration studies conducted to date.

Sustainable Energy Sector: Job Creation Potential and Skill Requirement (2015): This work evaluates the job creation potential of the sustainable energy sector.

World Wind Energy Association Integration Report (2015): This WWEA report is a futuristic assessment of the role of wind power in the power grid in the year 2050. In this work, Prof. Farid highlights smart grid enterprise control as a systematic approach to the holistic assessment of the power grid with large scale penetration of wind power.

IEEE Vision for Smart Grid Controls: 2030 and Beyond (2013): The IEEE Control Systems Society Technical Committee on Smart Grids developed this study to highlight the essential role of control theory, technology and systems in the much needed transformation of today’s electric power grid. Prof. Farid contributed significantly to the study’s treatment of renewable energy integration and demand response.

MIT Future of the Electric Grid Study (2011): Dr. Farid contributed significantly to this study. The MIT Energy Initiative has produced the “Future of..” studies as a series of multidisciplinary reports that examines the role of various energy systems could play in future energy scenarios under carbon dioxide emissions constraints. Prof. Farid contributed significantly to the study’s treatment of renewable energy integration, demand response, and electrified transportation.

Electric control systems diagram

Key Achievements in Electric Power Enterprise Control Systems:

The LIINES has also proposed Electric Power Enterprise Control Systems as a simulation approach that integrates a power grid’s multiple layers of operation and control so as to conduct holistic techno-economic assessments in the presence of large scale renewable energy, energy storage, & demand-side energy resources. This has lead to:

The 2017 ISO New England System Operational Analysis and Renewable Energy Integration Study (2017): In this work, the LIINES conducts a complete renewable energy integration study for ISO New England; investigating 12 Scenarios for 2025 and 2030.

Power System Enterprise Control with Inertial Response Procurement (2018): Led by Aramazd Muzhikyan, this work now extends the enterprise control assessment to meet inertial response requirements.

Demand Side Management in Power Grid Enterprise Control — A Comparison of Industrial and Social Welfare Approaches (2017): Led by Bo Jiang, this work uses an enterprise control assessment approach to show that industrial implementation of demand response is less economic efficient and less technically reliable than an transactive energy — social welfare based approach.

An A Priori Analytical Method for the Determination of Operating Reserve Requirements (2016): Led by Aramazd Muzhikyan, this work provides closed form analytical solutions to the quantities of required operating reserves.

Relative Merits of Load Following Reserves & Energy Storage Market Integration Towards Power System Imbalances (2016): Led by Aramazd Muzhikyan, this work now extends the enterprise control assessment to the integration of energy storage resources and contrasts their performance against traditional load following reserves.

An Enterprise Control Assessment Method for Variable Energy Resource Induced Power System Imbalances. Part 2: Parametric Sensitivity Analysis (2015): Led by Aramazd Muzhikyan, this work presents comprehensive simulation results of power system parameters on its balancing performance. These include exogenous factors such as renewable energy penetration, variability, & forecast error as well as endogenous factors such as day-ahead & real-time market time steps. The work also highlights the essential role of load-following, ramping, & regulation reserves in mitigating imbalances.

An Enterprise Control Assessment Method for Variable Energy Resource Induced Power System Imbalances. Part 1: Methodology (2015): Led by Aramazd Muzhikyan, this work lays out the methodology for conducting an enterprise control assessment in power systems.

Smart grid control systems diagram

Key Achievements in Smart Grid Control Systems:

The LIINES has made several contributions to smart grid operation & control systems which individually may be implemented within the enterprise control approach. These include:

A Profit-Maximizing Security-Constrained IV-AC Optimal Power Flow Model and Solution (2022): In this work, Prof. Farid solves the infamous AC Optimal Power Flow problem to global optimality despite its intractability since 1962. Energy regulators have estimated that such a solution can save the United States ~$6-19B per year.

Multi-Agent System Design Principles for Resilient Coordination and Control of Future Power Systems (2015): In this work, Prof. Farid describes how the application of hetero-functional graph theory leads to effective multi-agent system design principles for the future electric power system.

Demand Side Management in a Day-Ahead Wholesale Market: A Comparison of Industrial & Social Welfare Approaches (2015): Lead by Bo Jiang, this work proves analytically as well as demonstrates by simulation that the current use of power consumption baselines in demand response introduces power system imbalances and leads to costlier dispatch.

The Integration of Water Resources into Power Grid Market Dispatch (2014): In concert with the LIINES Energy-Water Nexus Research Theme, and led by Apoorva Santhosh, this work develops market dispatch techniques that account for the dual products of power and water given the coupling role of co-production facilities such as MSF desalination.

Event Triggered State Estimation Techniques for Power Systems with Integrated Variable Energy Resources (2014): Lead by Reshma C. Francy, this work investigates state estimation techniques that incorporate triggering, state tracking and weather information to give operators greater situational awareness of the power system’s evolution.

Small Signal & Transient Stability of the Physical Power Grid (2012 & 2013): Hussein Abdel-Halim investigated new approaches to tuning turbine governors in the presence of wind generation as well as new approaches to the placement of wind generators. Fang-Yu Liu is extending this work to include demand-side resources in the micro-grid domain.

Additionally, we have written several blog posts specifically on the topic of Smart Power Grids @ the LIINES.