Price-based optimal control of electrical power systems

A. Jokic

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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During the past decade, electrical power systems have been going through some major restructuring processes. From monopolistic, highly regulated and one utility controlled operation, a system is being restructured to include many parties competing for energy production and consumption, and for provision of many of the ancillary services necessary for system operation. With the emergence of competitive markets as central operational mechanisms, the prime operational objective has shifted from a centralized, utility cost minimization objective to decentralized, profit maximization objectives of competing parties. The market-based (price-based) operation is shown to be practically the only approach that is capable to simultaneously provide incentives to hold the prices at marginal costs and to minimize the costs. As a result, such an operational structure inherently tends to maximize the social welfare of the system during its operation, and to accelerate developments and applications of new technologies. Another major change that is taking place in today’s power systems is an increasing integration of small-scale distributed generation (DG) units. Since in future power systems, a large amounts of DG will be based on renewable, intermittent energy sources, e.g. wind and sun, these systems will be characterized by significantly larger uncertainties than those of the present power systems. Power markets significantly deviate from standard economics since the demand side is largely disconnected from the market, i.e. it is not price responsive, and it exhibits uncertain, stochastic behavior. Furthermore, since electrical energy cannot be efficiently stored in large quantities, production has to meet these rapidly changing demands in real-time. In future power systems, efficient real-time power balancing schemes will become crucial and even more challenging due to the significant increase of uncertainties by large-scale integration of renewable sources. Physical and security limits on the maximal power flows in the lines of power transmission networks represent crucial system constraints, which must be satisfied to protect the integrity of the system. Creating an efficient congestion management scheme for dealing with these constraints is one of the toughest problems in the electricity market design, as the line power flows are characterized by complex dependencies on nodal power injections. Efficient congestion control has to account for those limits by adequately transforming them into market signals, i.e. into electricity prices. One of the main contributions of this thesis is the development of a novel dynamic, distributed feedback control scheme for optimal real-time update of electricity prices. The developed controller (which is called the KKT controller in the thesis) reacts on the network frequency deviation as a measure of power imbalance in the system and on measured violations of line flow limits in a transmission network. The output of the controller is a vector of nodal prices. Each producer/consumer in the system is allowed to autonomously react on the announced price by adjusting its production/consumption level to maximize its own benefit. Under the hypothesis of global asymptotic stability of the closed-loop system, the developed control scheme is proven to continuously balance the system by driving it towards the equilibrium where the transmission power flow constraints are satisfied, and where the total social welfare of the system is maximized. One of the advantageous features of the developed control scheme is that, to achieve this goal, it requires no knowledge of marginal cost/benefit functions of producers/consumers in the system (neither is it based on the estimates of those functions). The only system parameters that are explicitly included in the control law are the transmission network parameters, i.e. network topology and line impedances. Furthermore, the developed control law can be implemented in a distributed fashion. More precisely, it can be implemented through a set of nodal controllers, where one nodal controller (NC) is assigned to each node in the network. Each NC acts only on locally available information, i.e. on the measurements from the corresponding node and on the information obtained from NC’s of the adjacent nodes. The communication network graph among NC’s is therefore the same as the graph of the underlying physical network. Any change is the network topology requires only simple adjustments in NC’s that are local to the location of the change. To impose the hard constraints on the level to which the transmission network lines are overloaded during the transient periods following relatively large power imbalances in the system, a novel price-based hybrid model predictive control (MPC) scheme has been developed. The MPC control action adds corrective signals to the output of the KKT controller, i.e. to the nodal prices, and acts only when the predictions indicate that the imposed hard constraint will be violated. In any other case, output of the MPC controller is zero and only the KKT controller is active. Under certain hypothesis, recursive feasibility and asymptotic stability of the closed-loop system with the hybrid MPC controller are proven. Next contribution of this thesis is formulation of the autonomous power networks concept as a multilayered operational structure of future power systems, which allows for efficient large-scale integration of DG and smallscale consumers into power and ancillary service markets, i.e. markets for different classes of reserve capacities. An autonomous power network (AN) is an aggregation of networked producers and consumers, whose operation is coordinated/controlled with one central unit (AN market agent). By performing optimal dispatching and unit commitment services, the main goals of an AN market agent is to efficiently deploy the AN’s internal resources by its active involvement in power and ancillary service markets, and to optimally account for the local reliability needs. An autonomous power network is further defined as a major building block of power system operation, which is capable of keeping track of its contribution to the uncertainty in the overall system, and is capable of bearing the responsibility for it. With the introduction of such entities, the conditions are created that allow for the emergence of novel, competitive ancillary service market structures. More precisely, in ANs based power systems, each AN can be both producer and consumer of ancillary services, and ancillary service markets are characterized by double-sided competition, what is in contrast to today’s single-sided ancillary service markets. One of the main implications of this novel operational structure in that, by facilitating competition, it creates the strong incentive for ANs to reduce the uncertainties and to increase reliability of the system. On a more technical side, the AN concept is seen as decentralization and modularization approach for dealing with the future, large scale, complex power systems. As additional contribution of this thesis, motivated by the KKT controller for price-based real-time power balancing and congestion management, the general KKT control paradigm is presented in some detail. The developed control design procedure presents a solution to the problem of regulating a general linear time-invariant dynamical system to a time-varying economically optimal operating point. The system is characterized with a set of exogenous inputs as an abstraction of time-varying loads and disturbances. Economic optimality is defined through a constrained convex optimization problem with a set of system states as decision variables, and with the values of exogenous inputs as parameters in the optimization problem. A KKT controller belongs to a class of dynamic complementarity systems, which has been recently introduced and which has, due to its wide applicability and specific structural properties, gained a significant attention in systems and control community. The results of this thesis add to the list of applications of complementarity systems in control.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Electrical Engineering
  • van den Bosch, Paul, Promotor
  • Kling, W.L., Promotor
  • Lazar, Mircea, Copromotor
Award date10 Sep 2007
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-90-386-1574-5
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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