Students develop software for energy companies
Computer Science Software Project
Five groups of TU Delft students from the bachelor Computer Science, from the faculty EEMCS worked on a special AI & Energy project this year: they were given a real-world problem or challenge by an energy-related company for which they had to develop AI-related software. The goal was to develop software or prototypes that can actually be used by the companies. Last week they presented their results, with great success.
This opportunity for computer science students to work with energy companies was created because computer science and IT in particular are extremely important in the energy transition; “but too few people really understand both”, says Associate Professor on Algorithms for Planning and Scheduling Mathijs de Weerdt, who also supervised some of the students.
Second-year students Yue Chen, Chao Chen, Senne Van den Broeck, Maxime Museur and Levin Winter worked on a project for TenneT. TenneT is a Dutch-German transmission system operator. At TenneT human operators monitor the grid 24/7. The company could very well use software for decision support to assist these operators. The students built a backend that allows reinforcement learning agents to operate on electricity grids. "Besides the fact that the technology was interesting, this assignment required us to show initiative and responsibility and to be creative. In that sense, it was a real challenge and different from other study projects”, says Chao Chen. Fellow student Yue Chen also recommends the project: "This way you can already see during your studies what it's like to work for an energy company, how we can contribute to the energy transition and whether we want to go in that direction after our studies or not."
For the companies, this cooperation with students has multiple benefits, explains Senne van den Broeck. "We design a real software product for them. In addition, TenneT has offered us to make our thesis with them as well; so for a company it also works as recruitment." Moreover, we have put a lot of time into it, Yue Chen adds. "We worked full time on this assignment for two months; their own employees don't have that much undivided time." She already knows that she wants to work on accelerating the energy transition in the future.
Proposing a Project
In this first round, the companies TenneT, Alliander, Lion Storage, EEE and Flex Technologies have participated as clients in this Software Project course. Companies can apply for the next rounds in September 2022 and February 2023. If you consider proposing a project, please email Arnoud van der Zee to confirm your interest.
AI for energy & sustainability
The energy transition exposes the complexity of our energy system. A future system must 'green up' to become sustainable – while continuing to balance electricity production and consumption at all times. Digitalisation of energy systems has thereto increased enormously, and so has the availability of data. This allows us to use AI to accelerate the energy transition significantly. Read more about AI and energy.