MPEL Seminar

When the Correct Technical Solution Is Not Good Enough

Bruce WollenbergProfessorUniversity of Minnesota, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

The talk describes finding a solution to a problem in power system operations that had gone unsolved for many years. If two transactions are placed on a power system with different send and receive buses, how are the losses of each to be calculated. This problem was solved in the late 1990's and extended to give accurate allocations of MW losses, MVAR losses, voltage support for transactions etc. It gave the most accurate calculation possible for allocation of transmission use in operation of an open market, yet never got beyond publishing one paper. It could have been used to solve a major dispute in allocating costs of new transmission construction, but instead Federal Courts prevented a technical solution. Such is the real world when engineering solutions collide with economic feasibility and legal reasoning.
Bruce Wollenberg graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSEE (1964) and MEE (1966) in Electric Power Engineering, he then attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a PhD (1974) in Systems Engineering. He worked for Leeds and Northrup Co. North Wales, PA from 1966 to 1974, Power Technologies Inc. Schenectady, NY from 1974 to 1984, and Control Data Corporation Energy Management System Division Plymouth, MN from 1984 to 1989. He took a position as a Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota in September 1989. He is presently the Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Electric Energy (UMCEE). His main interests are the application of mathematical analysis to power system operation and planning problems. He is the co-author of the textbook "Power Generation Operation and Control" published by John Wiley. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

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Faculty Host

Ian Hiskens