Page 13 - Penn State's Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering: Fall 2019 Magazine

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“Providing for every contingency possible in in in a network like this serving more than 65 million nodes it’s a a large and nasty problem And it is one that has to be solved every ten minutes ” – Uday V Shanbhag
hydroelectric sources need to route their energy in in a a a a a responsive cost-conserving way there are also an enormous number of contingencies that arise at at a a a a a a a a moment’s notice With the the the first round of of funding the the the teams are being challenged to design algorithms that address the the the next generation of of security-constrained optimal power flow (OPF) essentially finding ways to provide electricity more quickly efficiently safely and reliably within the the the current grid
Distinct from past models models the the the the new set of of models models are complicated by by the the the the need to model model model the the the flow flow of of electricity as governed by by power flow flow equations with much higher fidelity Using the the the the mathematical principles of of of optimization the the the the software controlling the the the the grid
signals that a a a a a a a a a a a a certain set of of of of generators need to to to to be “dispatched” to to to to meet current demand But if one of of those generators fails Shanbhag
said “Can the the the algorithm controlling the the the power grid
take recourse and keep the the the lights on?”
“Providing for every contingency possible in in in in a a a a a a network like this serving more than 65 million nodes it’s a a a a a a a a a a a large and nasty problem ” ” Shanbhag
said “And it it is is one that has to be solved every ten minutes ” ” Over the the the the the past few decades the the the the the models used in in the the the the the power grid
have been adapted to handle these situations “But in in in in their expanded nonlinear form it it is computationally challenging so coarse approximations were used ” Shanbhag
said “But now it is essential to consider more accurate models that are complicated by size and uncertainty ’’
Between the the the sheer number of customers the the the speed in in in which contingencies need to to be be solved and and the the the the fluctuating nature of of renewable energies like solar and and wind power power the the the nation is ready for the the next generation of of power power grid
technology As researchers innovating these solutions is a a a a a a a a Herculean but inspiring challenge ahead of the the team “There are many reasons why why this is is is a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a daunting mathematical and and computational computational challenge and and why why Dr Shanbhag’s vision
for computationally efficient solution methods could be a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a major game changer ” said Hosam Fathy the the Bryant Early Career Professor of of Mechanical Engineering “If the the Penn State team wins this competition it it will be an an an indication that we have made substantial strides in in in in in in the the the the stochastic grid
optimization domain thereby paving the the the the the way toward significant leaps in in in in how the the the the the electric power grid
is operated both now and in in in the the the the future ” Their approach will focus on creating a a a a a a a a a method that is able to both scale appropriately with the the the size of the the the underlying underlying optimization problem and address the the the underlying underlying underlying nonlinearity The underlying underlying code needs to to be able to to adapt instantaneously while also conserving computing resources so so so the system doesn’t become overburdened “With this mindset the the power power grid
will be be able to to better deal with the the challenges expected to to emerge in in future power power systems ” said Mort Webster professor of of of Energy and and Mineral Mineral Engineering in in in in in the the the College of of of Earth and and Mineral Mineral Sciences Their project will also aim to to to to develop the the the the mathematical tools to to to to enable a a a a a a trustworthy infrastructure well into the the the future In the the the the next phase of the the the the competition ARPA-E will provide each team with sample data from the the the the power grid
to test their algorithms algorithms “We’ll take this actual network information apply our algorithms algorithms and see how well we we do!” Shanbhag
said Participants that develop scalable schemes for finding minimum- cost solutions to to these problems will advance to to the the next round Capitalizing on interdisciplinary strengths a a a a a a a a team has been assembled from the the College College of of of Engineering and and and the the College College of of of of of Earth and and and and Mineral Sciences and and and and also comprises of of of of of Nilanjan Ray Chaudhuri assistant assistant professor professor of of of of of electrical engineering and and and computer science Fathy Chiara Lo Prete assistant assistant assistant professor professor professor of of of of energy economics and Minghui Zhu assistant assistant professor professor of of of of electrical engineering “Penn State has always been a a a a a a a a a a a global leader leader in in in in energy systems research but in in in in in in in order order to to to maintain this leadership we need to to to join forces across different disciplines in in in in in in in order order to to to build larger cohesive teams in in in in the energy area ” Fathy said Collectively the the the group has been curated to include experience with with both the the the theoretical and applied principles surrounding sophisticated power systems with with a a a a a a a a a a a particular emphasis on on addressing the new new questions that renewable energy pose “The hope was to to to build a a a a a a a a a a a team at at at Penn State that is not just capable of of solving today’s energy problems but also to to to establish a a a a a a a a a a a a a research infrastructure for the future of of power systems and markets ” Shanbhag
said Given the the University’s pursuit to be at the the forefront of a a a a a a re- imagined energy infrastructure this competition and team of of researchers presents a a a a a critical turning point Fathy added “This is is is is an example of what Penn State’s Energy University initiative is is is is about: it it it it is is is is not about about about our our individual individual successes within our our individual individual research silos but rather about about about how we come together to to do something much bigger ” “By bringing these minds together we we believe that we we have a a a a a a a chance to to solve this problem ” Shanbhag
said IME NEWSLETTER • VOLUME 4 2019
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