We present the results of two projects on the application of mathematical optimization to load management problems in autonomous systems.
The first project is concerned with hybrid systems on off-grid sites. The recent developments in storage technology mean that batteries may further reduce the use of diesel generators. The challenge in optimizing an autonomous diesel-wind-battery energy system is to find both the optimal sizing and the optimal operational strategy: the two are linked and impact each other. Because hybrid systems are often designed by simulation, dispatch rules must be set a priori, and this necessarily influences the outcome. We propose an integer linear optimization model to find the optimal design and dispatching scenario without the need for dispatch rules. The best implementable rules are then deduced from the optimal solution. Because our solution represents a perfect dispatch, it provides a reference to benchmark dispatch strategies.
The second project proposes a new system architecture for demand-side load management in smart buildings. The system is composed of modules for admission control, load balancing, and demand-response management that operate using online operation control, optimal scheduling, and dynamic pricing respectively. It can integrate different energy sources and handle autonomous systems with heterogeneous dynamics in multiple time-scales. Simulation results confirm the viability and efficiency of the proposed architecture.
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