Sustainable Power Webinar Series

Microgrids: An enabling technology towards more resilient energy systems?



Smart grids and, in a smaller scale, microgrids have arisen to assist decarbonisation efforts set by governments across the world. Microgrids have a great potential to actively contribute to grid health status, however the current practices in network design and operation hinder their capabilities. In fact, they do not allow microgrids to realise their potential and enable a paradigm shift in delivering resilience and security of supply from redundancy in network assets and preventive control to a more intelligent operation at the distribution level through corrective control actions.

This work proposes innovative design and operational models for microgrids, and particularly hybrid AC/DC microgrids, that optimise the total system cost while satisfying resilience targets. The modelling framework introduced comprises of a tailor-made genetic algorithm (i.e. for optimal sizing) combined with a detailed AC optimal power flow (OPF) that captures the technical characteristics of both the AC and DC subgrids with an extensive set of technologies considered. The proposed approach, being able to capture technical characteristics such as voltage and frequency through a detailed power flow algorithm, provides accurate solutions and therefore can meaningfully address operational challenges of microgrids.

An innovative Dynamic Stability Constrained OPF is proposed as an extension that incorporates differential equations, such as the swing equation, characterising the operation of power systems. This is achieved via appropriate conversion of the equations to numerically-equivalent algebraic equations. This novel aspect will enable optimal decisions to be taken considering stability properties, which are undeniably necessary in the context of energy systems with renewable penetration of above 50% and are proven to significantly impact the system cost


Dr Anastasios Oulis Rousis is currently a Research Associate with Imperial College London. His expertise lies in power system optimization and renewables integration. His current work involves optimization of planning and operational models for transmission and distribution systems, including microgrids, while he investigates how flexible technologies can enhance the development of future power systems. He has received a MEng degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 2013, an MSc in Wind Energy Systems from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 2014, and a PhD degree from Imperial College London in 2020.

About Energy Futures Lab

Energy Futures Lab is one of six Global Institutes at Imperial College London. The institute was established to address global energy challenges by identifying and leading new opportunities to serve industry, government and society at large through high quality research, evidence and advocacy for positive change. The institute aims to promote energy innovation and advance systemic solutions for a sustainable energy future by bringing together the science, engineering and policy expertise at Imperial and fostering collaboration with a wide variety of external partners. The Energy Futures Lab daytime seminars are delivered by staff and students from across the College and further afield.

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