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Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Vermont and co-founder of clean-tech startup Packetized Energy, presents:
Coordinating flexible energy resources with packetized energy management
Abstract: This talk presents recent results on integrating distributed energy resources (DERs) into grid operations and will focus on Packetized Energy Management (PEM) for aggregating and coordinating DERs, such as electric water heaters, electric vehicles, and electric battery storage. PEM leverages key tools from the communication systems that enable millions of data files to be sent asynchronously across the internet under bandwidth constraints and adapts these concepts to managing DERs. For example, in the same way that a bulky data file gets split up into smaller data packets, PEM delivers an electric water heater’s energy need in multiple small "energy packets” rather than a single “bulky" delivery. Under PEM, a little bit of “packetizing” control logic is installed on WiFi-enabled DER. This logic enables packetized DERs to asynchronously request energy packets from a demand coordinator, who can then choose to accept or deny the packet requests in real-time. By modulating the rate of accepting packet requests from a fleet of water heaters, the grid operator (or demand coordinator) can then dispatch the aggregate demand as if it was a conventional power plant or a large energy storage resource. With a randomized control policy at the individual device-level in PEM’s bottom-up framework, we overcome complications with modeling and estimating the complex end-consumer usage patterns and can guarantee privacy for the end-consumer, which makes PEM particularly promising for managing diverse and heterogeneous resources across different scales.
Biography: Mads Almassalkhi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Vermont and co-founder of clean-tech startup Packetized Energy. His research interests lie at the intersection of power systems, mathematical optimization, and control systems and focus on developing scalable algorithms that improve responsiveness and resilience of power systems. He was awarded the Outstanding Junior Faculty award by his college in 2016. Prior to joining the University of Vermont, he was lead systems engineer at another clean-tech startup company Root3 Technologies. Before that, he received his PhD from the University of Michigan in Electrical Engineering (EE): Systems in 2013.
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