The ambition to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions is driving unprecedented changes to the way we design and operate the electricity grid. My research targets two challenging areas of interest for current and future electricity grids: grid reliability analysis and the decentralised control of smart appliances.
Grid reliability analysis
Analysing the grid's reliability is a challenging topic, because the grid is designed to be exceedingly reliable, and because the costs associated with grid failure or inadequacy tend to be very large. Reliability assessment is thus tantamount to the study of high-impact low-probability (HILP) events. Particular topics of interest are:
- Time-resolved generation adequacy analysis
- Quantification of operational risks in smart grids
- Modelling, analysis and prevention of cascading outages
This activity requires the use and development of advanced computational methods. I have a strong research interest in rare event simulation, probabilistic modelling and statistical analysis.
Decentralised control of smart appliances
Smart appliances provide a significant potential for demand response, but it is not clear what the best approach is for unlocking this potential. Decentralised control with minimal communication requirements is an attractive proposition from the perspective of practical implementation (communication requirements) and privacy (amount of information exchanged; local control decisions). I investigate decentralised control strategies for smart thermal loads, e.g. refrigerators, air conditioners. Specific research interests are:
- Decentralised stochastic control algorithms for thermal loads
- System-level representations of aggregate flexibility
- Effect of flexible loads on optimal system operation and planning