ECE Seminar: Intelligent Control of Storage and Flexible Loads in Renewable-Integrated Electrical Grids

Sun Sun

University of Toronto

Intelligent Control of Storage and Flexible Loads in Renewable-Integrated Electrical Grids 

April 4 , 2016 | 11:00am | 1132 Harold Frank Hall


With growing concerns about environment, economy, sustainability, and security, more and more renewable energy resources are expected to be integrated into future electrical grids. However, large-scale integration of intermittent renewables such as wind and solar creates noticeable imbalance between supply and demand, hence jeopardizing grid reliability. To combat the variability of renewable generation, energy storage (e.g., batteries, pumped hydro storage, and compressed air energy storage) and flexible loads (e.g., heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) are suggested to be applied in many grid-wide services. 

In this talk, I will present my work on intelligent control of storage and flexible loads in renewable-integrated electrical grids. First, I introduce an aggregator-storage system that provides service of power balancing to a grid. Both static and dynamic storage (e.g., storage inside electric vehicles) are considered with a wide range of storage characteristics being explicitly modeled. Second, for a substation to maintain phase balance, I suggest intelligent control of storage charging and discharging to balance energy flows. Third, with the inclusion of flexible loads in energy management, I propose the joint optimization of supply, demand, and storage for power balancing in a grid. To improve long-term system performance (e.g., reliability, welfare, and cost effectiveness), in each case I offer efficient centralized algorithms with strong theoretical performance guarantee, and distributed implementation with limited requirement of information exchange.


Sun Sun received her Ph.D. from University of Toronto in November 2015, and her M.Sc. from University of Alberta in 2011, both in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is generally interested in stochastic optimization, distributed control, online learning, signal processing, and information technology. Her research goal is to employ computational tools to address challenges in cyber-physical systems (e.g., modern power and energy systems).

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