Our current electricity network is designed to transmit electricity from a small number of large power supplying companies to a large group of consumers, and industry and commerce. The organization of electricity networks follows this function through its division into three voltage levels. Produced power is transmitted across long distances using the high voltage transmission network, until it reaches the local medium voltage distribution networks. There the power is either delivered to large consumers such as major industry or handed off to the low voltage feeders connecting several households.
This topology has served us well until now, but it is expected that future changes in grid utilization will put the networks under increased pressure. Increased use of types of large electric consumer loads such as electric vehicles and electric heating and cooling threaten to overload the rated maximum load of distribution transformers. And increased distributed generation through consumer operated solar panels, industrially operated micro-CHP, and wind farms increases the volatility in the supply of electricity. Addressing these problems using traditional grid reinforcement and back-up supply generators is considered too expensive and inefficient, and therefore researchers have looked into techniques to make the electricity network intelligent; so called smart-grid solutions.
This research project aims to develop advanced algorithms for managing the consumption of electricity within the available capacity, in order to keep future electricity networks stable. We address this problem using mechanism design to deal with incentives in the context of fast dynamics and uncertainty in electricity networks, and combine this with existing work on planning and control algorithms.
November 2013 to November 2017
Please contact Mathijs de Weerdt