The Autonomic Power System

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Abstract

This proposal focuses on the electricity network of 2050. In the move to a decarbonised energy network the heat and transport sectors will be fully integrated into the electricity system. Therefore, the grand challenge in energy networks is to deliver the fundamental changes in the electrical power system that will support this transition, without being constrained by the current infrastructure, operational rules, market structure, regulations, and design guidelines. The drivers that will shape the 2050 electricity network 2050 are numerous: increasing energy prices; increased variability in the availability of generation; reduced system inertia; increased utilisation due to growth of loads such as electric vehicles and heat pumps; electric vehicles as randomly roving loads and energy storage; increased levels of distributed generation; more diverse range of energy sources contributing to electricity generation; and increased customer participation. These changes mean that the energy networks of the future will be far more difficult to manage and design than those of today, for technical, social and commercial reasons. In order to cater for this complexity, future energy networks must be organised to provide increased flexibility and controllability through the provision of appropriate real time decision-making techniques. These techniques must coordinate the simultaneous operation of a large number of diverse components and functions, including storage devices, demand side actions, network topology, data management, electricity markets, electric vehicle charging regimes, dynamic ratings systems, distributed generation, network power flow management, fault level management, supply restoration and fuel choice. Additionally, future flexible grids will present many more options for energy trading philosophies and investment decisions. The risks and implications associated with these decisions and the real-time control of the networks will be harder to identify and quantify due to the increased uncertainty and complexity.We propose the design of an autonomic power system for 2050 as the grand challenge to be investigated. This draws upon the computer science community's vision of autonomic computing and extends it into the electricity network. The concept is based on biological autonomic systems that set high-level goals but delegate the decision making on how to achieve them to the lower level intelligence. No centralised control is evident, and behaviour often emerges from low-level interactions. This allows highly complex systems to achieve real-time and just-in-time optimisation of operations. We believe that this approach will be required to manage the complex trans-national power system of 2050 with many millions of active devices. The autonomic power system will be self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimising and self-protecting. This proposal is not focused on the application of established autonomic computing techniques to power systems (as they don't exist) but the design of an autonomic power system, which relies on distributed intelligence and localised goal setting. This is a significant step forward from the current Smart Grid vision and roadmaps. The autonomic power system is a completely integrated and distributed control system which self-manages and optimises all network operational decisions in real time. To deliver this, fundamental research is required to determine the level of distributed control achievable (or the balance between distributed, centralised, and hierarchical controls) and its impact on investment decisions, resilience, risk and control of a transnational interconnected electricity network. The research within the programme is ambitious and challenges many current philosophies and design approaches. It is also multi-disciplinary, and will foster cross-fertilisation between power systems, complexity science, computer science, mathematics, economics and social sciences.

Planned Impact

The impact of this activity is potentially far reaching and global, as the aim of this project is to conceptualise a paradigm change in electricity network operation and design to facilitate the development of a low carbon economy while enabling consumers, through the provision of unrestricted choice, to drive the development of the electricity sector. The beneficiaries of this research therefore include all the stakeholders associated with electricity networks including domestic, commercial and industrial consumers, generation companies, network owners and operators, information and communications technologies sector, regulators and policy makers as well as relevant research communities. The proposed research would not only benefit from the input of a wide range of disciplines but it also has the potential to move each of these disciplines forward as scientific breakthroughs are made in the energy context. A self-controlling, self-healing, self-optimising and self-protecting power system would be a significant step forward towards sustaining a low carbon economy. Realising such a paradigm shift would involve cross-disciplinary cutting edge research and should put UK at the forefront of global research initiatives on future electricity networks, in essence quite a way beyond the mainstream smart grid activities. The development of Autonomic Power System concepts and technologies, from a whole system perspective, is a massive challenge. This challenge could be turned into a significant opportunity for the UK research community and commercial sector to gain early experiences and to lead system integration of advanced future grid technologies, and contribute to creating a new international industry. This research will inform regulators, policy makers and government about the paradigm shift required in the planning, operation and control of our future electricity networks. Methodologies, techniques and prototype algorithms for short and long term policy and decision making will be critical for managing effectively the significant level of uncertainty and complexity of a 2050 scenario. Our inter-disciplinary approach, involving engineers, statisticians, complexity scientists, economists and social scientists, will provide a whole-system approach that is needed to inform policy and regulation. The multidisciplinary nature of this research means that there is considerable scope for dissemination and thought leadership activities across all the disciplines involved. This significantly increases the likely impact of the research as the interested audience for the work is much broader than traditional single discipline research.
 
Description Novel advances have been made in the evaluation of self* network operation and control, which is designed to provide autonomous behaviour within electricity networks. The scientific advances have drawn techniques from the computer science, artificial intelligence and self-organising system communities into power systems. For example, AI Planning, Distributed Constraint Optimisation and Type-2 Fuzzy Systems have all been applied to power system control with the view of achieving re-confugurable, flexible, self-aware systems in the future. This has been fully complemented by new market models that support such control, the inpact on risk and resilience and the most effective methods of including consumers actively in the control and operation of electricity networks. In terms of markets, a framework of fully decentralised trading is required which also respects the limited available network capacity. Research has produced mechanisms yielding market solutions of proven global optimality without assuming centralised knowledge of any participants' characteristics Research on consumer engagement is being targeted at a range of advances from social studies into how vulnerable customers can see their role as a prosumer, through the evaluation of utilization of collective awareness and collective actions to resolve a common good problem, to the combination of economic and technical solutions for integrating demand side flexibility
Exploitation Route n/a
Sectors Energy

 
Description This grant is intended to make impact in technical areas associated with power systems control, albeit in longer timescales due to the future looking nature of the grant. It also focuses on impact on consumers. It is demonstrating new control and market methods that could transform the operation of the electricity industry, and a wide range of examples are emerging. In terms of immediate impact, one partner is exploring what producing and consuming renewable energy looks like in households who rely on pre-payment electricity meters. This study examines what happens when you give families who are vulnerable to fuel poverty the opportunity to produce their own solar power. The research has attracted interest from both policy makers and practitioners. It was recently cited in the DECC (2015) report Performance and Impact of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme: Review of Evidence and in a blog by Dr Jeffrey Hardy, Head of Future Consumers and Sustainability at Ofgem. Three local authorities are being advised on how they can improve their engagement with households during solar PV roll outs. A further partner has worked with Ofgem on reviewing the results of the Round 1 and Round 2 offshore transmission auctions. They have also conducted a discrete choice electricity consumer survey of willingness to accept future energy services. This survey of 1876 adults showed that a platform market structure, where customers would need to be appropriately compensated to participate in remote control of their equipment is necessary. One of the partners has undertaken an assessment of the reliability and risk implications of post-fault Demand Response (DR) to provide capacity release (and therefore postpone network reinforcement) in smart distribution networks has been performed. This has been demonstrated on a network example from NW England
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Energy
Impact Types Economic

 
Description ETIP SNET - GRID PLANNING COORDINATION ACROSS SYSTEM OPERATORS
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description IEEE
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Chris Dent has the following roles within IEEE Power and Energy Society: - Vice Chair, Reliability, Risk and Probability Applications Subcommittee - Chair, LOLEWG (which shares experience between practical adequacy studies) - Chair, Task Force on Capacity Value of Solar Power - Chair, Working Group on Review of IEEE Standard 859 (transmission reliability data collection terminology) These contribute to development of industrial and academic knowledge and practice worldwide in the field of power system reliability analysis
 
Description IET Power Networks Joint Vision
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Open Networks Advisory Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Smart Systems Forum
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Submission to House of Lords Enquiry by Wilson, Goldstein and Dent
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://www.parliament.uk/resilience-of-electricity-infrastructure
 
Description EPSRC Fellowship (Extension)
Amount £576,855 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P002625/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 07/2020
 
Description Isaac Newton Institute research programmes
Amount £101,700 (GBP)
Funding ID MES 
Organisation Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 05/2019
 
Description Local Energy Market
Amount £350,400 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Department European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2018 
End 12/2020
 
Description Localised Energy Systems
Amount £472,388 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M507155/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 07/2016
 
Description Standard Grants
Amount £1,268,170 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N001974/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 06/2019
 
Description E.ON Engineering Limited 
Organisation E ON
Department E ON Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution E.ON Engineering Limited worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Joint research with Imperial College London 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from Imperial College London
Start Year 2011
 
Description Joint research with University of Cambridge 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of Cambridge
Start Year 2011
 
Description Joint research with University of Manchester 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of Manchester
Start Year 2011
 
Description Joint research with University of Sussex 
Organisation University of Sussex
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from University of Sussex
Start Year 2011
 
Description Project partnership with Accenture 
Organisation Accenture
Country Ireland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Accenture worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Project partnership with Agilent Technologies UK Ltd 
Organisation Agilent Technologies
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Agilent Technologies UK Ltd worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Project partnership with IBM 
Organisation IBM
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution IBM worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Project partnership with KEMA Limited 
Organisation DNV GL
Country Norway 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution KEMA Limited worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Project partnership with Mott MacDonald Ltd 
Organisation Mott Macdonald UK Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Mott MacDonald Ltd worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Project partnership with National Grid 
Organisation National Grid Transco
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution National Grid worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Project partnership with NiTech Solutions Ltd 
Organisation NiTech Solutions Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution NiTech Solutions Ltd worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Project partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy Plc 
Organisation Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Scottish and Southern Energy Plc worked with the research team and assisted/contributed to the project outcomes
Start Year 2011
 
Description Upside Ltd. 
Organisation Upside Ltd.
Country New Zealand 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have developed predictive statistical models of the CO2 intensity of UK electricity generation. These models will enable Upside to operate in the most environmentally responsible way by purchasing electricity at the times of lowest CO2 intensity.
Collaborator Contribution Upside helped us develop an understanding of the practical problem to be addressed.
Impact Upside has a cloud service which enables households and small businesses to get paid to reduce their energy usage at peak times. This will help reduce the cost of energy in the UK while also reducing the environmental impact of energy generation. During my EPSRC fellowship I partnered with Upside to help them build their cloud service. This partnership was formalised by a linked EPSRC-Innovate UK grant (see 'further funding') which funded an 18 month pilot project for the Upside business. I was principal investigator on the EPSRC part of the grant (£47,463). This partnership is described at http://upsideenergy.co.uk/2016/10/19/upside-delivers-successful-innovate-uk-project/
Start Year 2014
 
Description iiESI 
Organisation European Energy Research Alliance (EERA)
Country Belgium 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Input to scoping documents of field of energy systems integration - EERA Joint Programme scheme of work, and International Institute for Energy Systems Integration green paper and other reports
Collaborator Contribution Overall coordination of activity in ESI, further intellectual input to reports, event organisation
Impact All disciplines relating to energy systems are involved. EERA JP in ESI scheme of work
Start Year 2014
 
Description iiESI 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)
Department ISIS Neutron and Muon Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Input to scoping documents of field of energy systems integration - EERA Joint Programme scheme of work, and International Institute for Energy Systems Integration green paper and other reports
Collaborator Contribution Overall coordination of activity in ESI, further intellectual input to reports, event organisation
Impact All disciplines relating to energy systems are involved. EERA JP in ESI scheme of work
Start Year 2014
 
Description 2017 IEEE PowerTech 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on the new methodology for quantifying the security contribution of energy storage and demand side response
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Blog article on energy modelling 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Blog article on good modelling practice, as part of a University of Edinburgh series relating to the Scottish Government's energy strategy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.sps.ed.ac.uk/global-environment-society-academy/2017/05/22/energy-systems-modelling-mod...
 
Description CIRED Conference - Flexibility from distributed energy resources: generation, storage and responsive demand 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presenting modelling related to importance of flexibility and smart operation in future low carbon energy systems
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ICMS UK-India workshop on Energy Management 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I was lead organiser for this workshop. 45 researchers, including 9 from India, attended a one week research workshop at the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Edinburgh titled "Energy Management: Flexibility, Risk and Optimisation". There was also a public lecture with approximately 100 attendees from industry and the general public. During the workshop significant work was done towards an application to the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge for a 6 month research programme in 2019 titled "The mathematics of energy systems", which is presently in review.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.icms.org.uk/icmsnews/energy-management-flexibility-risk-and-optimisation
 
Description IEEE Power and Energy Society - General Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Setting out Market design requirements for Energy Storage and flexible demand
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Industry workshop linked to Isaac Newton Institute proposal 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Co-organised industry scoping session associated with a proposal for an Energy Systems programme at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2017
URL https://iaciac.github.io/lobanet/events/
 
Description Invited presentations to UK industrial mathematics community 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Chris Dent has given invited presentations at:
- Turing Gateway to Mathematics event on "Maths and Public Policy - Cities & Infrastructure", see http://www.turing-gateway.cam.ac.uk/mpci_mar2015-programme
- KTN Industrial Mathematics community event, to stimulate interest in links between the mathematical sciences community and energy systems applications
- KTN "Mathematics in Energy Systems" workshop, see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/energy-catalyst-brokerage-event-london-tickets-19192257559?aff=erelexporg

This outreach activity drew together experience from a number of different EPSRC projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Participate in ETP on Smart grids - General Assembly 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Gave Keynote speech on "The need for a fundamental review of electricity networks reliability standards"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Participate in International Centre for Mathematical Science Energy Management: Flexibility, Risk and Optimisation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave Talk on "Quantifying the benefits of flexibility in future lower carbon energy system"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Participate in Smart Power Alliance 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Gave talk on "Paradigm shift to smart, low carbon energy future: Opportunities and Challenges"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Participate in Workshop RTE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Gave talk on "System Flexibility Benefits " and inform the debate
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Participate in Workshop of International Institute for Energy System Integration 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Gave talk on "Flexibility in Energy System Models"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Participate in Workshop on Mathematics and Economics of Energy Markets 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Gave talk on "Paradigm shift to low carbon energy future: Challenges for Economists and Mathematicians" and inform the debate in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Tutorial day on Energy System Planning Under Uncertainty 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Tutorial day for academics and practitioners. Around 40 delegates including speakers. Aim was to translate methods from mathematical science to application disciplines. Slides and videos of talks available on website, see URL.
Sponsored by Hubnet and CESI. Other grants listed indicate source of methodology presented in one or more talks, or payment of travel for a speaker.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://icms.org.uk/workshops/energytutorialday
 
Description Visit to industry colleagues in California to broaden impact links 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visit to colleagues in California, including CA Independent System Operator, Public Utilities Commission, Stanford Research International, Electric Power Research Institute. Aim is to broaden impact of EPSRC work on uncertainty quantification in complex computer models, including discussion of future collaboration and industry projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017