TFE 2009-2010 (final year project)

Dynamic optimisation of power system topology

Transmission System Operators (TSOs), which are the companies responsible for operating the power systems, struggle more than ever for operating their systems with sufficient security margins. As threats of major blackouts loom, the TSOs are always looking at improving their operation strategies. There is now a growing consensus among TSOs and academics that security margins could be increased by optimizing the topology of the power system and, in particular, by optimising more dynamically than today the substation configurations. This approach is particularly attractive since it does not interfere with the electricity market mechanisms (e.g., no generation rescheduling strategy used to increase security margins), requires small investments and small operating costs. There is however one inherent difficulty to this approach which is related to the complexity of designing appropriate dynamic configuration strategies. Such strategies should lead to a significant increase of the security margins of the systems while, at the same time, being simple to implement and to maintain. Ideally, a control agent should be associated with every substation of the system and with a minimum amount of communication between them (or with a centralized entity), the multi-agent control system should achieve good performances.

The purpose of this project is to study the benefits that distributed optimisation techniques could offer to design such multi-agent control schemes.

The project will be carried out in collaboration with ELIA, the Belgian TSO.

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