Asynchronous coordination of distributed energy resources with packetized energy management

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Contribution to Book

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Center for Cyber-Physical Systems


To enable greater penetration of renewable energy, there is a need to move away from the traditional form of ensuring electric grid reliability through fast-ramping generators and instead consider an active role for flexible and controllable distributed energy resources (DERs), e.g., plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs), and energy storage systems (ESSs) at the consumer level. However, in order to facilitate consumer acceptance of this type of load coordination, DERs need to be managed in a way that avoids degrading the consumers’ quality of service (QoS), autonomy, and privacy. This work leverages a probabilistic packetized approach to energy delivery that draws inspiration from random access, digital communications. Packetized energy management (PEM) is an asynchronous, bottom-up coordination scheme for DERs that both abides by the constraints of the transmission and distribution grids and does not require explicit knowledge of specific DER’s local states or schedules. We present a novel macro-model that approximates the aggregate behavior of packetized DERs and is suitable for estimation and control of available flexible DERs to closely track a time-varying regulation signal. PEM is then implemented in a transmission/distribution system setting, validated with realistic numerical simulations, and compared against state-of-the-art load coordination schemes from industry.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018. Publisher's version of record:

Publication Title

Energy Markets and Responsive Grids