Dissertation Defense

Control of Electric Load Aggregations for Power System Services

Stephanie Crocker Ross
GM Conference Room, Lurie Engineering Center (4th floor)Map


Transitioning the electric power system to clean energy sources is a key step to reducing society’s carbon emissions. As the proportion of wind- and solar-powered generation grows, balancing the energy demand and supply across the system—a necessary condition for stability—will become more challenging due to the resources’ inherent variability and uncertainty. Recently, demand-side solutions have garnered attention. In particular, thousands of loads, such as air conditioners and electric vehicles, can be controlled to correct the system’s energy imbalance in real-time. However, prior research has not adequately considered the negative effects this control could have on the local distribution network.

The objective of this work is to develop methods of controlling load aggregations to provide energy balancing while respecting consumer constraints and distribution network constraints. First, we conduct simulation studies to assess the effects of load aggregations on distribution network operation. Then we apply and extend a correct-by-construction load control algorithm to relieve at-risk distribution constraints. Leveraging our prior work, we develop two hierarchical control strategies that provide energy balancing while respecting local constraints. Finally, as an alternative to these strategies, we propose a safety constraint that ensures the satisfaction of distribution constraints by limiting the synchronization of the load aggregation.

Chair: Professor Johanna Mathieu