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Ancillary service to the grid from deferrable loads: the case for intelligent pool pumps in Florida

Meyn, S (University of Illinois)
Wednesday 14 August 2013, 13:30-14:15

Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute


Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power have a high degree of unpredictability and time-variation, which makes balancing demand and supply challenging. One possible way to address this challenge is to harness the inherent flexibility in demand of many types of loads. We focus on pool pumps, and how they can be used to provide ancillary service to the grid for maintaining demand-supply balance.

The control solution is based on the following steps: 1. A Markov Decision Process (MDP) model is introduced for an individual pool pump. 2. Using the Todorov's formulation, a randomized control architecture is proposed, motivated by the need for decentralized decision making, and the need to avoid synchronization that can lead to large and detrimental spikes in demand. 3. An aggregate model for a large number of pools is obtained from a mean field limit. 4. A linearization of the eigenvector problem in (2) provides an LTI-system approximation of the aggregate nonlinear model, with a scalar signal as the input and a measure of the aggregate demand as the output.

The final approximation is convenient for control design at the grid level. Simulations are provided to illustrate the accuracy of the models and effectiveness of the proposed control approach.


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Recent Comments

The day of Sean Meyn's talk there was a pertinent story in the NYT: Intermittent Nature of Green Power Is Challenge for Utilities

"But the recent Vermont episode, which set off a debate among government officials, the New England grid executives and the wind farm producers, highlights a broader struggle taking place across the country as utilities increasingly turn to renewable sources of energy. Because energy produced by wind, for example, is intermittent, its generating capacity is harder to predict than conventional power’s. And a lack of widely available, cost-effective ways to store electricity generated by wind only compounds the complex current marketplace." ... nvironment

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